Understanding Workplace Stress - EmployeeConnect HRIS
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causes of stress in the workplace , signs of workplace stress ,stress management in the workplace ,signs of stress in the workplace , Workplace Stress

Understanding Workplace Stress

Workplace stress has an extremely large impact on all employees working in business organisations today. The impact of stress is felt immensely by employees and correspondingly negatively affects employee performance, safety, needs and further overall health. Specifically, stress is defined as a negative psychological impact that causes emotional strain on one’s self that is the result of largely demanding conditions. In turn, it has become essential for all individuals in a workplace to understand all forms of stress, the warnings signs of stress and how to effectively manage stress.

Moreover, excessive stress within an organisation can cause individuals to experience burnout. When individuals feel overwhelmed emotionally and unable to meet a constant demand level for their employers a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion is exhibited which negatively affects the employee. The impact of burnout is largely being felt by remote workers, which due to constant change in working conditions that have applied immense pressure upon these individuals and moreover due to the impact of post COVID-19 further pressure of upcoming job uncertainty and increased efforts in demand to keep one’s job has elevated the risk of negative employee burnout.

To effectively ensure that your organisation and you are safe from feeling the negative impacts of workplace stress to maintain positive health and further strong organisational performance understanding the following causes of workplace stress, warning signs, self-stress management suggestions and further manager stress suggestions is essential.

Causes of Workplace Stress

There are a large variety of workplace stress causers, by understanding each individual cause of workplace stress is present identifying the prevalent warning signs when they present themselves becomes much easier.

Organisational fear

The first key cause of workplace stress is organisational fear, essentially this is where an employee is in fear that management may negatively influence the career opportunities for the employee. This includes through not offering any sense of career development, lack of emotional help and the further potential threat of being fired from the organisation.

Task responsibility

The second key cause of workplace stress is task responsibility, this is specifically where an employee may find that the task, they have been assigned is extremely heavy and burdens the employee. Moreover, an employee may feel incapable of completing the task at hand which may negatively influence the employee to feel increased organisational pressure and stress.

Low levels of morale

The third key cause of workplace stress is the level of morale for an employee, this essentially is where the employees’ level of working morale is low the employee may experience decreased workplace productivity and essentially have a largely negative satisfaction, confidence and attitude to working within the organisation. Low morale that negatively influences employee stress is influenced through unfair workplace practices, disengagement through teamwork and further large pressure applied through unnecessary work activities.

Warning Signs

A broad variety of warning signs exist to effectively help individuals and team employees to identify if themselves or others are experiencing workplace stress. Through identifying these warning signs action may be effectively taken to ensure these individuals do not feel stressed anymore in order to protect their mental health and further increase their workplace productivity.


Anxiety is the first warning sign that may identify employee stress. If you personally feel or notice an individual who is extremely worried, nervous or uneasy about any workplace activity they may be experiencing workplace stress.


Headaches are a largely common cause of workplace stress. If you notice that you are constantly getting headaches when partaking in workplace activities or before and after you essentially complete work, you may be experiencing stress.


Irritability is another largely common cause of workplace stress. If an individual may feel as though they are being agitated, frustrated or upset easily from a variety of workplace influences stress may be the cause.


Depression is another extremely common cause of organisational workplace stress. If you personally experience a negative and uncertain constraining mood or notice another individual who may seem uneasy and upset within the workplace, they may be experiencing workplace stress.

Decreased productivity

Decreased workplace productivity is another common cause of workplace stress. If you notice completing tasks within the workplace is extremely draining and slow to your usual pace it may be a clear warning sign you are experiencing workplace stress.

Substance abuse

Substance abuse such as alcohol, tobacco and/or drugs is another cause of workplace stress. If you essentially have had an increase in taking unnecessary substances due to a shift in tasks within the workplace you may be experiencing workplace stress.


Procrastination is another major cause of workplace stress. If you personally lay off tasks for a while and often don’t do anything or may notice another individual constantly doing this, they may be experiencing workplace stress.

Self Stress Management Suggestions

To effectively manage stress, you may want to follow the following methods to effectively help reduce or even remove workplace stress.


Self-care is the first step to effectively managing stress yourself. To effectively undertake self-care, you must be sure to be aware of your own mental and physical health. This means when in a situation you may feel uncomfortable with you should take a break, breath and then take action. Moreover, stretching and looking after your body is vitally important to ensure you are taking care of yourself. Further, getting enough sleep the night before work is essential to reduce stress within the workplace.

Don’t overthink

Not overthinking is essential in managing stress within the workplace. When presented with a task you may often think about a large variety of situations such as how to manage the workload, not knowing what to do and further the impact it may have in the long-term. To manage this try changing your perspective, think about now, that is taking action to get the work done, ask others for help, broaden your communication to work well now and not worry about the future.


Exercise is another largely effective way to manage stress within the workplace. When individuals get exercise, they are able to increase mental and physical health which effectively increases individual capability to handle stressful situations more effectively. In turn through getting exercise and strengthening your phycological willpower one is able to overcome stress in the workplace more effectively.

Talk to others

Finally, talking to others is another essential way to effectively manage stress in the workplace. When one feels they are uneasy and unable to handle stress the best action is to seek help. Contacting and communicating how you feel with others is essential as others may find ways to effectively help you overcome how you currently feel and will effectively remove the stress burden you may carry by yourself.

Manager Stress Solution Suggestions

For managers to effectively manage their organisations employee stress levels, you may want to follow the following methods to effectively help reduce or even remove workplace stress.

Monitor workloads

Monitoring employee workloads is the first essential step to effectively manage organisational stress levels. If an employee is given to much work to complete managers should aim to reduce that workload through either removing the task from the employee or finding team members to effectively help the employee get through the work, they have.

Communicate consistently

Consistent communication with your organisational employees is essential to effectively manage organisational stress levels. When communicating as a manager you may find warning signs of stress appear more often and may be able to take action to effectively remove that stress. One good tool to effectively communicate more often is utilising pulse surveys to assess stress levels for your organisation’s employees.

Recognise and reward employees

Offering recognition and rewards is another essential way to effectively manage organisational stress levels. When managers reward or recognise employees within the organisation for achievements or even to show gratitude it will effectively improve employee morale and further communicate that the organisation is caring for the employee working within the business.

Encourage positive stress reducing activities

Finally, encouraging positive stress reducing activities is a largely effective way to manage organisational stress levels. If management promotes to employees that they can take breaks, exercise and work from home, employees may feel that the stress from the pressure of work may be minimised due to management providing effective self-care activities.

Jake Amodeo