Suffering from job stress is a prevalent issue. In fact, according to The American Institute of Stress, 83% of workers from the United States are suffering from work-related stress. While each individual has different stress levels, when experienced long-term, stress is detrimental to one’s overall health.
It can lead to low productivity, a high absenteeism rate, lowered employee retention and it can even cause toxicity in the workplace. Job stress, if not addressed, can cause severe health issues and even death.
Here are the consequences of long-term stress:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Mental health problems such as depression and anxiety
- Menstrual problems
- Sexual dysfunction
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Skin and hair problems
Employee engagement also plummets when employees are suffering from certain types of stress. Moreover, according to Umass Lowell, job stress is causing American companies over $300 billion each year in health costs, productivity and absenteeism.
Here are other statistical data compiled Umass Lowell about job stress:
- 40% of job turnover is because of job stress.
- Costs in healthcare are almost 50% greater for employees who report high levels of work stress.
- There are more health complaints about job stress than financial or family problems.
- Replacing an average worker costs 120 to 200% of the employee’s salary.
- In big companies, the average cost of absenteeism is over $3.6 million per year.
- Depression is the largest single predictor of absenteeism and poor work performance.
By knowing the different types of job stress and their causes, you can better know how to deal with them. Here are the 3 types of job stress:
One of the most common types of stress being experienced by workers is being burnt out. A burnout is much more complex than what you might think it just is. According to Dr. Leiter and Dr. Christina Maslach, burnout has five distinct profiles:
- Engaged – worker is effective, involved and energetic.
- Overextended – worker is tired and overwork yet still productive.
- Disengaged – cynical but productive
- Ineffective – employee is less effective and productive but can still care.
- Burnout – exhausted. Cynical and less effective.
The first and the last profiles are “endpoint” profiles and the other three in between are “transitional” profiles. It shows how exhaustion comes first and can then be followed by disengagement and ineffectiveness.
The causes of burnout are:
- Excessive work demands – too much work or not having the right skills for the job.
- Limited job resources – could be too little supplies, support or time.
Here are symptoms of burnout:
- Lack of motivation
- Memory issues
- Trouble concentrating
- Loss of energy
- Dread of work
- Negative attitude
- Loss of productivity
- Poor performance
- Habitual complaining
What one can do to reduce and remove the feeling of being burnt out is to change negative habits. To start, make small changes such as eating better and having better quality of sleep. It’s also important to exercise.
By having healthier habits, you combat exhaustion. Give yourself some downtime. If you’re exhausted and don’t give yourself time to recover, it can do you more harm than help. You can also talk to your employer about your situation.
You can meditate or if you believe that having your current job is not helping, consider looking for a new job that can offer you better work-life balance.
This is fleeting stress that one can experience when there is an upsetting scenario. But after the stressful event has passed, the accompanying negative emotions also dissipate. A good example of this is when you are trying to finish a project or a task within a deadline.
Just a few days or hours before the deadline, you can experience acute stress. But once you’ve finished your task or assignment, you can feel relieved. According to the American Psychological Association, if you are having muscle tension, rapid heartbeat and stomach upset, you might be experiencing acute stress.
Here are different ways on how you can deal with acute stress according to verywell mind:
- Breathing exercises
- Cognitive reframing – changing your perception about situations
- Progressive muscle relaxation
According to verywell mind, chronic stress is “the type of stress that tends to occur on a regular basis”. It can cause you to feel drained and if not addressed, it can lead to burnout. If chronic stress is not relieved before the next one arises, the chronic stress can remain indefinitely.
Here’s how you can deal with chronic stress:
- Listen to music
- Meditate more often
- Have a healthy diet
- Have supportive relationships
- Exercise more often
As an employer and or as a leader, you can support your employees with reducing stress through fostering a positive work environment. The benefits of a happy workplace include having a healthier, more productive and engaged workforce.
Strive to implement strategies that can help out your workers have better work-life balance and work hard in nurturing a positive workplace for your employees.