Work Stress: How Bad is It, What Are the Causes and Techniques to Reduce Your Distress


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“Beat Monday morning blues, work 7 days a week"

Job related stress is more likely to become chronic because it’s such a large part of your daily life. What are the causes of your work stress and what can you do to reduce it?

Many surveys and studies confirm that work pressures and fears are, by far, the leading source of stress for adults in the western world. Here are just a few statistics. More than 50% of workers often spend 12-hour-days on work related duties and frequently skip lunch due to the stress of job demands.

According to an International Labour Organisation study, workers put in an equivalent of an extra 40-hour week in the year 2000, compared with 10 years earlier.

It’s estimated that one million workers are absent every day due to stress. 40% of job turnover is due to stress. And 60-80% of accidents on the job is stress related.

What are the causes of stress at work?

The most common complaints include,

  • Having no participation in decisions that affect your responsibilities.
  • Unrelenting or unreasonable demands for performance.
  • Lack of communication.
  • Conflicts between workers or employers.
  • Lack of job security.
  • Long hours.
  • Excessive time spent away from home and family.
  • Office politics.
  • Wages not equal to your levels of responsibility.

    Many companies often put intense pressure on employees to perform, which can lead to high levels of tension.

    For employers, treating stress has many benefits. In one study a company set up a two year stress management and education program which saved money both in compensation costs and less days lost due to sickness.

    In Japan, where culturally, expectation levels are very high, approaches to reducing workplace stress include educational consultation programs for each individual worker.

    Techniques to reduce work-related stress

    Here are a few ways to reduce your stress at work,

  • Find a sympathetic manager or personnel manager to talk to about your job stress concerns. This can be effective if it’s non-confrontational.
  • Establish a network of friends at work and home.
  • Re-structure your working day and priorities to eliminate unnecessary tasks.
  • Focus on the positive aspects of your work, but if the job is unendurable, plan and execute a career change or transfer roles within the company.
  • Schedule pleasant activities frequently and perhaps some physical exercise during lunch.

    There is one last cause of stress at work. And it slowly but effectively erodes your health, dreams and happiness. None of the stress relief techniques will help if you are in the wrong job or industry. There is only one answer to this.

    You have to work out what you want to do with your life. What activities you love. And you have to plan a career change. Stress caused by job dissatisfaction will never go away until you get a job you love, or at least like.

    The stress doctor provides advice, tips, tools and techniques for beating your stress problems. You can get a free short report “18 health problems linked to stress you should know about" or get daily “Stress Buster Tips" at

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