Chronic stress may impact every aspect of a professional’s well-being, and job strain is increasing in prevalence among the American workforce. According to a paper from healthcare assistance company Health Advocate, unclear job expectations, shrinking paychecks and ongoing layoffs are causing stress levels to skyrocket. The paper “Stress in the Workplace: Meeting the Challenge” noted research from the American Psychological Association (APA) found two-thirds of American workers cite work as their major stressor. According to an article by Women’s Media for Forbes, there are certain areas of the workplace that may contribute to high job strain among workers.
Here are five aspects of the office or worksite that may be causing employees to develop job strain:
1. Constantly hearing negativity
Being surrounded by positivity may be one way employees can reduce their stress levels, but all too often negativity can permeate the workplace environment. According to the Forbes article, studies examining the link between humor and health found pessimism causes a weakened immune system and perceived pain. In contrast, fostering humor within the workplace may help workers to feel happier and less stressed, Forbes reported.
2. Not utilizing time management
Government Executive suggested employees may have an inadequate view of how much time they have to accomplish a task. For example, if workers think they don’t have much time to get something done, they may not only be stressed the entire time but actually may end up missing deadlines. According to Government Executive, employers may want to set realistic timelines and provide workers with time management tools to help them reduce their stress levels.
3. Lacking job clarity and communication about performance
Employees who do not have enough information to complete a project correctly may be more stressed, according to Government Executive. Not receiving clear tasks or feedback about their performance may cause workers to feel uncertain of how to improve, causing anxiety, mistakes and stress. To mitigate this uncertainty, employers may want to focus on fostering a culture of communication.
4. Having disorganized schedules, systems and workflows
Not only may disorganization cause workers to be unproductive, it may contribute to job strain. According to the Forbes article, employers that try to keep all aspects of the workplace as organized as possible may see their workers’ stress levels drop.
5. Being driven to be perfect
Constantly trying to improve may help workers accomplish their goals and their employers succeed, but the pursuit of perfection may do more harm than good. Workers who try to be perfect may have unnecessary stress. Employers may want to encourage workers to have a realistic outlook of their performance and abilities in addition to inspiring employees to be the best they can be.