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Navigating Workplace Stress

by Monika
(Psychology Undergraduate Student)

Navigating Workplace Stress: Strategies for a Healthier Work Environment

Workplace stress is a common and serious issue that affects many people. It can have negative impacts on physical and mental health, productivity, and relationships. According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job, and half say they need help in learning how to manage stress 1.

But what causes workplace stress, and how can we cope with it? In some cases is obvious that all that will be impossible to be solved based on collaboration with supervisors or colleagues. In that case, needs to be done some deep analysis and think about switching jobs. Here are some factors that contribute to workplace stress and some strategies to deal with them:

Workload: Having too much work to do, unrealistic deadlines, or unclear expectations can cause stress. To manage workload stress, try to prioritize your tasks, set realistic goals, and communicate your needs and concerns to your supervisor or colleagues. You can also use time management techniques, such as making a to-do list, breaking down large projects into smaller steps, and avoiding procrastination.

Role Conflict: Role conflict occurs when you have conflicting or incompatible demands from different sources, such as your boss, your co-workers, your supervisor, or your line manager. For example, you may feel torn between meeting a deadline at work and attending your child's school event. To cope with role conflict, try to clarify your role and responsibilities, negotiate expectations and boundaries, and seek support from others who understand your situation. This doesn't work all the time.

Lack of Control: Lack of control refers to feeling powerless or unable to influence important decisions or outcomes that affect your work. For example, you may feel frustrated by organizational changes, budget cuts, or layoffs that are beyond your control. To deal with a lack of control, try to focus on the things you can control, such as your attitude, your behaviour, and your response to stress. You can also seek feedback, express your opinions, and participate in decision-making processes when possible.

Relationships: Relationships with your boss, co-workers, clients, or customers can be a source of stress or support. Poor communication, conflict, harassment, or discrimination can create a hostile work environment and increase stress. To improve your relationships at work, try to communicate effectively, respect diversity, avoid gossip and rumours, and resolve conflicts constructively. You can also build positive relationships by showing appreciation, offering help, and seeking feedback.

Personal Factors: Personal factors are aspects of your life outside of work that can affect your stress level at work. For example, you may experience stress from financial problems, health issues, family responsibilities, or personal events. To balance your personal and professional life, try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating well, exercising regularly, sleeping enough, and avoiding substance abuse. Finally, seek professional help if you feel overwhelmed by stress or experience symptoms of anxiety or depression.

Workplace stress is inevitable but manageable. By identifying the sources of your stress and applying some coping strategies, you can reduce your stress level and improve your well-being at work.

This subject is so huge that it is impossible to cover every aspect of it. But if you are interested, we can go step-by-step into the daily stress factors in the work environment and how can we deal with them successfully.


1 The American Institute of Stress. (n.d.). Workplace Stress. Retrieved from

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