Stress in the Workplace
Stressful experiences are a normal part of life. Our stress response helps us stay alive when we are in real danger. It’s fine for this system to be active for a short periods of time but when the stress system stays on too long, it harms us.
If we feel under too much pressure at work our minds misinterprets this as danger and it activates our stress system whether we need it or not. Where there is a sense of prolonged pressure the over pressured mind can lose its ability to switch off the stress reaction when it becomes conditioned to high stress. Chronic stress can result and this harms us and will ultimately lead to burn out. Our immune systems suffers leaving more susceptible to colds, infections, and viruses. Concentration, social interaction, decision making, and judgement are also impaired. Learning and remembering things can be hard hit. A higher risk of depression, Alzheimer’s, and anxiety in the long run.
Common Workplace Stressors
- Excessive workload
- Feelings of isolation
- Feelings of being overwhelmed by your job
- High expectations
- Lack of cooperation and support from management and colleagues
- Pressures related to promotion and unhealthy competition with colleagues.
Employers that value and care for staff want to create a healthy and safe work environment. There is also a strong business case to do this. 82% of employees face increased stress (Mercer 2015) which is leading to reduced concentration, job satisfaction and productivity. It is estimated that up to 11 million work days are lost through absenteeism every year at a cost of €1.5bn to the Irish economy. ESRI research indicates that stress, anxiety, and depression (SAD) and musculo-skeletal disorders (MSD) together account for 68 percent of work-related illnesses.
Other research shows that engaged and healthy employees are, on average, up to 30 days more productive. Further, 6 out of 10 employees are more likely to give greater company loyalty to employers who demonstrate an interest in their wellbeing.
- Workplaces where people thrive and excel.
- Places where people feel valued, contribute positively and develop their skills and abilities.
- Environments where people are connected and energised with their team and the direction of the business.
- More motivated and productive people contributing to the business bottom line.
How can we help?
Through Stress Reduction Ireland we provide specific tested activities and techniques that help reduce stress.
We provide cutting edge psychologically enhanced skills, empowering people to reduce stress and excel in their personal and professional lives. Our programs are designed to address day-to-day real world situations. Click here for more information.
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