Many of the things we allow to stress us out are universal, and the way we each react can either be equally universal, or completely unpredictable. Some of the biggest sources of stress can be found in the workplace. Business owners regularly hire individuals who’s sole role is to ensure their culture cultivates happy, content and (therefore) productive staff. Here, we’ll review some of the biggest sources of stress to be found in an office environment, and what some of the effects of this stress can be.
The Origin of Stress
While it may not feel like it during the experience, stress is actually the body’s way of trying to protect you. The nervous energy and hyper-awareness that come with stress were meant to help our ancestors survive dangerous situations, which in turn allowed them to develop more advanced cultures that allowed these situations to largely be mitigated. However, as culture developed, these reactions didn’t, and now come into play in the workplace environment.
You may have heard this referred to as a “fight or flight” reflex.
This can be both helpful and problematic. While stress can effectively boost focus and productivity, the brain doesn’t differentiate between stress that comes from a physical source, and that which comes from mental and emotional stimuli.
Therefore, a particularly pressing deadline can cause the same effects that a mugging would on you, both physiologically and psychologically.
Why This is a Big Problem in Today’s Workplaces
It is no secret that the workplace can very easily be a stressful place, for a variety of reasons. There’s a veritable laundry list of sources, known as “stressors“, that a work environment can easily provide. They are:
There are other kinds of stressors that are closely related to regular work duties:
Each and every member of your organization could be susceptible to at least one of these sources of stress, and as a result, each member could potentially have their health, well-being, productivity, and potential put at risk.
Fortunately, by adopting and cultivating some policies and cultural shifts in your company, you can do your part to keep the work environment relaxed and progressing.
How to Remove Stress
- Encouraging your employees to move around more on their breaks can give them a chance to release some pent-up tension and nervous energy. Starting a walking group can not only give participants some exercise, but also encourage coworker camaraderie.
- Be clearer and more positive in your communications to your staff, as this will make their jobs and responsibilities easier for them to grasp and empower them to succeed in their efforts.
- Staff lunches and Bring Your Pet to Work days can also be a refreshing switch from the norm, and a great way to have a bit of fun.
- Even switching over the office coffee at noon from regular to decaf can help de-stress people, because nothing goes together better than stress and a stimulant like caffeine.
- Purposeless meetings only serve to keep employees away from their other responsibilities, adding to the pressure on them. Eliminating these wherever possible will allow your staff to focus on more pressing matters.
And most importantly, updating the systems your employees rely on will make their jobs much easier, and ultimately reduce their stress in the long run:
At ActiveCo Technology Management, we specialize in solutions that help to minimize the stress that your employees feel when doing what they have to do – and we’re always here to help them out when they need it. Call (604) 425-3433 for some further thoughts!