Volume 02 Issue 06
Dealing with Stress in the Workplace
Stress on the job is not new to the American workforce. However, recent events, such as elevated terror levels and a poor economic climate, have exacerbated workplace stress. Combine these with workforce downsizing and even the most tempered employee may feel extreme workplace stress on occassion.
Recognizing and treating stress is a complicated process. Everyone has their own level of stress that they manage on a daily basis. When this level increases it can motivate an employee to focus and be organized or it can lead to distractibility and depression. Stress is one of the leading causes of illness in the workplace. According to a survey by Integra in 2000:
- 62% of workers surveyed reported work-related neck pain,
- 44% of workers surveyed reported eye strain,
- 38% of workers complained of hand pain,
- 34% of workers complained of sleeping problems related to stress, and
- 12% of workers admitted calling in sick because of job stress.
Employers can minimize the effects of stress on productivity by:
- Increasing natural light,
- Allowing frequent breaks,
- Addressing workplace issues, and
- Sponsoring an employee fitness program.
Employees can reduce stress levels in many ways, including:
- Learning relaxation and organization techniques,
- Asking for help when needed, and
- Participating in employee sponsored wellness programs.
- Using deep breathing exercises;
- Reducing distractions in the work area;
- Taking a break;
- Using a picture of a relaxing place (e.g., beach or hammock);
- Playing soothing music or environmental sounds;
- Placing a small desk top aquarium or a lava lamp in the work space; and
- Using positive self talk.
For additional information on stress and stress management techniques visit the following Websites: