How Dangerous is Workplace Stress?

One of the biggest problems facing any office is stress. A stressed out employee won’t be able to produce at nearly the same level as his or her clear-headed counterpart. Therefore, managers in every location should focus – for the sake of productivity – on ensuring that their team is as relaxed as possible.

Citing research from MySafetySign, the International Business Times recently reported that stress was identified as the biggest health concern for current safety professionals. This suggests that managers need to start paying as much attention to the mindset of their employees as they do to the work produced by those individuals.

“It is very important to set boundaries within working environments,” Nellie Brown, director of Cornell’s Workplace Health and Safety Program, told the International Business Times. “Overwork and stress can often lead to a lack of alertness. True alertness and concentration takes a toll on the body. There is a real limit to how long our brains can tolerate that kind of focus. We need to be aware of this kind of strain because it can become a physical strain.”

Battling back against workplace stressors

However, it’s not impossible for workplaces to make themselves as stress-free as possible. One way to lessen the anxiety felt by employees, for example, is to lighten their load by finding repetitive, time-consuming work functions that can be outsourced to another firm, in order to alleviate stress caused by overwork.

Time Magazine recently detailed a number of other ways workplaces can become stress free, suggesting that managers influence employees to sit up straight, abandon their unrealistic goals, avoid interruptions and more. Citing information from the American Psychological Association, that news outlet noted that workplace stress costs American companies an estimated $300 billion every single year.

One way of successfully battling back against workplace stress may have to take place away from the office, however. HealthDay recently reported that regular exercise may be one of the best ways to battle back against stress caused in the workplace.

“If, for example, you go for a two-mile jog or walk 10 flights of steps at work and feel good about yourself for doing that, it will translate and carry over into other areas of life,” said Russell Clayton, author of the study cited by HealthDay, and an assistant professor of management at Saint Leo University.