Familiarize yourself with these common “stress signals” and stop the effects of workplace stress before it gets out of control in your office.
1. Increased irritability: Everyone can get irritable at work but if you find that small things are bothering you, you may want to take a step back and deal with your stress without lashing out at fellow employees first.
2. Excessive sighing: Sighing is a way to get more oxygen in the lungs but is also an early sign of stress. If you notice that you or your colleagues sigh excessively, you may want to look at the stress levels at your office.
3. More headaches: Rubbing the temples and forehead in an attempt to reduce headache pain is an obvious
sign of stress. Simply put, stress leads to muscle tension which results in headaches.
4. Poor posture: This sign is easily recognized in most workplaces. The most common posture mistakes include
co-workers with their shoulders slumped and their head hanging forward, indicating fatigue and stress. If this is done consistently, headaches and repetitive strain injuries can creep up ultimately slowing down productivity.
5. Fatigue: Prolonged stress can lead to adrenal exhaustion which will result in excessive fatigue. Be sure to get adequate rest and take vacations to rejuvenate so you can be more productive at work.
6. Anti-social behaviour: If you know someone who used to be friendly at the office but would now rather miss out on the latest office birthday party, it could be because they are over stressed. Fostering relationships at
work is an important part of enjoying your job and should be encouraged.
7. Poor productivity: When our minds are cluttered with stress, productivity will undoubtedly suffer. If you find yourself just staring at the computer screen getting nothing accomplished, then it’s time to take a break.
8. Getting overwhelmed easily: Are people always complaining about the workload handed out? This could
be a sign that stress has reduced the person’s ability to properly time manage their assignments.
9. Too serious: Not seeing the humour in things and missing out on the power of laughter is a shame. Not
allowing yourself to laugh can put up barriers towards co-workers and will further alienate yourself from the group. Be sure to keep the humour “office appropriate”.
10. Excessive snacking on sweets: Cravings for sugar can indicate excessive stress. Constant snacking on
sugary snacks could be a way people are trying to regulate their own blood sugar. To combat this, keep free
water and fruit at the office and encourage healthy eating.
Now that you are able to recognize the signs of a stressful workplace, you can take measures to reduce them.