When you think of stress in the workplace, what type of work do you think of, other than your own?  I think of stressful situations in emergency services, medical, rescue, fire, and law enforcement.  Then there’s delivery people, who are rushed to get all their deliveries done on time, regardless of the miles they must drive in order to do so.  Whether you are at the top of the corporate ladder, or not, working under stress is a common part of the job description.  We know that some stress creates productivity, but too much is not a good thing.  Effective communication between supervisors and workers is the key to keeping things calm.

A tense part of a new employee’s job orientation is becoming acquainted with the culture of the workplace.  In addition to performing a new job, it’s difficult to learn the patterns of co-workers,.  Office politics or gossip in the workplace can lead to stressful conditions. Sophisticated technology that exists now – computers, cell phones, faxes, pagers, and the internet have created added expectations for fast and efficient productivity.  Employees are expected to learn new software often. Persons who operate heavy machinery or drive trucks are under constant pressure to be alert at all times.

Research has shown that it is as dangerous to be stressed or fatigued as to be legally intoxicated.  The current economic situation is one of the major reasons for stress in today’s workplace.  Companies have merged, restructured, or downsized, resulting in putting more demands on their workers.  Sometimes unhealthy and unreasonable pressures are put on workers who are expected to do the job of two persons instead of just one.  Some workplaces have persons who constantly harass other workers.  This should not be tolerated, and the person who is the victim should report it to their supervisor without fear of retribution.

We see “burnouts” in every walk of life.  Signs of burnout are when one can’t say “No” to added responsibilities, can’t delegate part of their work to others, (because they think only they can do that particular task), are under intense pressure most of the time, or are trying to do too much for too long.  Many workers can’t help but take their personal or family problems to work.  Living in a fast-paced world, it’s no wonder there are so many employees that just can’t take time to “stop and smell the roses”.

There are many ways to try to keep stress away: find a hobby that’s fun to do, that makes you forget about work.  Get some type of exercise.  Getting seven or eight hours of sleep regularly and eating healthy foods can help keep you in shape and ready for your days’ work.  When you need support, talk to family or friends.  Sometimes, just getting your worries off your chest will make you feel much better.

Take those appointed breaks while you are on the job!  Walk outside and get a whiff of fresh air! Think about it: in most workplaces, there’s no one that can’t be replaced.  Someone was there before you, and someone will replace you when you leave.  No job is worth ruining your health for; so try to chill out, be thankful that you have a job, and make it a pleasant experience each day.  By doing so, you may ease someone else’s stress, as well.