Dealing with Workplace Stress: 7 Hidden Triggers

Workplace stress is often a serious quality of life factor and it's important to know what causes it, and how to deal with it. There are a few stress triggers. They're not necessarily obvious. People working hard may not even notice them, or simply consider them to be "normal" parts of the work environment.

Stress Triggers and How to Handle

  • Specific people: Some individuals may be abrasive personalities, and their mere presence makes you conscious of their disruptive inputs in the workplace. These individuals may be unavoidable. The issue is whether you wish to continue to work in that area. If not, consider a transfer.
  • Type of work: Detailed, demanding work, or lengthy tasks requiring a lot of separate functions are typical stress factors. If the work is creating continual stress, the best option is to move to another area of work. The job can't be changed.
  • Workplace environment: It's common for people working in environments which are unpleasant, or in some cases unhealthy, to feel cumulative stress. Some working environments are seriously unhealthy. The risk of working in that environment outweighs the job value. It's safer to move than to remain.
  • Workloads: Overwork is a very common cause of stress, particularly if you're working longer hours. This stress, if it's noticed, is often ignored. Rest and recovery are required, and if you don't get them, stress builds up quite rapidly. This is a real health issue. Too much work will definitely cause problems over time. Either reduce the workload, or change jobs.
  • Career issues: Lack of career achievement, career setbacks, or negative workplace effects on other important personal goals produce significant stress. This is a true hidden stress, which may not come out into the open for years. These are the problems people find too late, after they've happened. The best move is to go into damage control mode and start an all out effort to make up ground.
  • Relationships: Some of these relationships may be people at close range, where contact and friction is inevitable. These clashes are frequently very wearing, and cause increasing job dissatisfaction and unhappiness. Work relationships are extremely important, and it's always worth making the effort to patch up any differences. Not to do so means more stress. If you're unable to solve the problems, you will need to move into a more receptive environment.
  • Management issues: Any difficulty with a manager may cause worry. It makes people feel insecure. The highly stressful type of management issue, however, tends to be longer term, a series of unsatisfactory situations. This can do a lot of damage to confidence, and inevitably creates more stress the longer the situation goes unresolved. There is a limit to anyone's tolerance of management situations, and the stress they cause. It is advisable to attempt reconciliation, but if that doesn't succeed you will need to consider another job.