Stress in the workplace or occupational stress affects us all. The World Health Organization has named it the ‘twentieth century disease’ stating that it has reached epidemic proportions and is to be found globally, in practically every occupation.

And it is getting worse. Many of the so called technological advances that are supposed to make our lives easier do the opposite.  A  Gallup poll conducted a few years back estimated that the average working person received 190 messages a day by one means or another. Telephones, cell phones, faxes, instant messages, emails, the list goes on. Far from making our lives easier these intrusions create pressures add to our stress.

Many Factors make for Stress in the Workplace

Workplace stress is complex and cannot be boxed as there are many variables. Whilst the job function itself may be stressful whoever is doing the job brings their own set of stressors. These could relate to their job satisfaction or lack of, their role in the organization, their relationship with work colleagues and to their perception of the organization as a whole. But it doesn’t end there. Add to all that their personality type and whatever outside stress they may bring with them. These would include things such as family and / or financial problems.

Recognizing these facts and the need to manage stress in the workplace more and more companies are offering health programs and including stress management as an important component. Additionally organizations are creating an environment and facilities to help the individual cope with stress.

As an individual there are things that you can do to reduce your stress in the workplace. In addition to basic stress management techniques, consider some of the following dos and do nots:

•Do not take work home. When you leave work, leave the work behind.

•Take regular short breaks if your job function allows it.

• Do take a lunch break, Get away from you work station.

• Do not talk shop on any of your breaks.

• Do talk to some close to you about your feelings

• Do find a counselor if necessary.

• Do practice basic effective stress management.


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