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What Everyone Needs to Know About Job Stress

Tags:  Management, Difficult co-worker, Job misery, Job stress, Health

Job stress can make you sick--physically and emotionally.  But job stress can be managed in most cases.  It may take some professional help and a change in your lifestyle or outlook, but the impact of job stress can be greatly reduced. 

According to the Attitudes in the American Workplace VII poll done for The Marlin Company by Harris Interactive, job stress is a serious problem and prevalent in our society.  Check out these statistics:

  • 82% of workers report that they are at least a little stressed at work.
  • 35% of workers polled say their job is negatively affecting their physical and emotional well-being.
  • 28% said workplace demands cause the majority of stress in their lives.
  • 48% say they have too much work to do and/or too many unreasonable deadlines.
  • 30% say that conditions at work are at times unpleasant or even unsafe.
  • 42% say that job pressures interfere with their family or personal life.
Signs of Possible Job Stress
  • Increase in angry and irritability towards co-workers, family, and friends
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Problems concentrating
  • Increased anxiety or dread about work
  • Frequent headaches and stomach ache
Remember, everyone experiences these conditions from time to time.  But if these symptoms have been
going on for a while, you may have serious job stress issues.

Job Stress Causes

Many situations can create job stress.  Here are some of the most common stressors in the workplace.
  • Unmanageable workloads
  • Difficulties with other employees
  • Unreasonable demands by a manager or supervisor
  • Inability to get things done due to office politics or inefficient procedures
  • Constant threat of job loss
  • Unsafe or unpleasant working conditions
  • Consistently tight deadlines
  • Excessive number of work hours
  • Job stress combined with stress in personal life

Effects of Job Stress in the Workplace

Employers need to pay attention to job stress.  It could cost them in the long run. So what are some of the
effects of job stress in the workplace?
  • Loss in worker productivity
  • Increased use of sick days by employees
  • Decrease in morale and job satisfaction
  • Increase in work-related injuries
  • Tense working environment
  • Increase in job turnover and decrease in worker retention
Job Stress and Health
Job stress is believed to be linked to several health problems.  Many of these are quite serious.  Job stress
weakens the immune system and makes the body vulnerable to the following.
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Back problems
  • Depression
  • Chronic headaches
  • Insomnia
Most Stressful Professions
Are you in a stressful profession?  Here are the top ten stressful professions, according to a poll performed
by Skill Soft.com.  Is yours on the list?
  • Information Technology
  • Medicine/Caring Professions
  • Engineering
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Education
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Operations
  • Production
  • Clerical
Least Stressful Jobs
By the way, in case you're looking for a career change, here are the least stressful jobs, according to a
study done by the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London.
  • Postmen
  • Librarians
  • Hairdressers
  • Legal/accounts administrators
  • Speech therapists
Ways to Deal with Job Stress
If possible, discuss your job stress concerns with your manager, but in a hostile work environment, this
may not be the best course of action.  However, here are some ways you can deal with job stress on your
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat plenty of fruits, grains, and vegetables. Avoid junk food, caffeine, and sugar.
  • Use vacation time.
  • Take breaks regularly.
  • Increase interaction with fellow employees.
  • Relax when away from work.
  • Learn and use stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing and meditation.
  • Take time management courses.
  • Join or form a support group.
Workaholism and Job Stress
There's a difference between workaholism and job stress.  You have little control over the work conditions
that cause job stress.  However, workaholics create and add job stress to their lives by putting too much
pressure on themselves.  Are you a workaholic? Here are some of the signs of workaholism, according to
Workaholics Anonymous.
  • Volunteering to take on excessive workloads
  • Making unreasonable demands on yourself
  • Taking work too seriously
  • Being a perfectionist
  • Feeling guilty when not at work
  • Using work to escape problems in personal life
Workaholism is also a serious problem but it can be treated.  Visit the Workaholics Anonymous web site
for more information.

Here are the benefits of reducing job stress.
  • Reducing job stress will keep you healthier by helping you strengthen your immune system and
  • fight off illnesses.
  • Reducing job stress will make you happier at work, increasing your overall job satisfaction.
  • Reducing job stress will improve your outlook on life in general.
Obviously, it's in your best interest to eliminate job stress as much as possible.  Here are some tips on
learning about job stress.
  • Speak to your doctor.  Maybe your physician can recommend literature or a program to help you deal with job stress.
  • Find out if your company has a job stress management program.
  • Visit the suggested web sites contained in this paper.

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