Causes Of Stress In The Workplace

There are many things that can be identified as causes of workplace stress and they are all dependent on various personal factors that can trigger signs of workplace stress. Such personal factors might include the nature of the job, the nature of the coworkers, work lifestyle, state of health and energy levels. Here are a few causes that seem to be generic based on studies and research:

  1. Excessive Workload

When you have a high volume of work that is beyond your capacity to finish before a particular deadline without any form of support, it could get overwhelming and turn into a major source of pressure.

2. Lack of Peer Support

When you do not get any help from your coworker because you are the only one able to perform certain tasks or your coworkers just leave all the work to you, it creates a sense of loneliness that could trigger your stress hormone.

3. Poor Job Performance

Poor job performance could increase stress levels because not doing your job well could cause worries about you losing your job. There are many causes of poor job performance. Ironically, stress at the workplace is also a cause.

4. Poor Working Conditions

Being cramped up in a tight space is not a very fun position to be in while working. Conditions as simple as an uncomfortable workspace or as tricky as a demanding boss or cold coworkers could also make you feel depressed and unwelcome at your place of work, thereby, making the simplest task seem imposed and overwhelming. One could also develop workspace anxiety from this as your body automatically produces stress hormone whenever you are in that space.

5.Conflicts at Workplace

Fights, grudges and gossiping amongst colleagues, bullying, harassment, lack of recognition, and low or lack of compensation are major workplace stressors that could also interfere with one’s mental state at work and ultimately result in mental health problems that would not only reduce your performance but also create self-doubt and lack of confidence in yourself.

6. External Factors

Factors outside the workplace can also be responsible for feeling stress from and at work. If you do not have an enjoyable life outside of work, your job might begin to feel like a box that you are trapped in, and eventually, your stress hormone gets triggered.

Signs of Stress in the Workplace

The signs of stress at the workplace are numerous and often noticeable by those around you. They could be physical, psychological, or behavioral.

Physical Symptoms of Stress at Work

Workplace stress could become symptomatic and start telling on your health and physical appearance

  • Difficulties sleeping (Insomnia) that could lead to haphazard look, drastic reduction in performance, and clumsiness
  • Fatigue at every slight inconvenience
  • Constant Headaches
  • Muscle tension
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Psychological issues that could cause it include:

  • Depression
  • Inability to concentrate or make decisions
  • Anxiety
  • Discouragement
  • Lack of confidence

It could also be a factor of behaviors such as:

  • Absenteeism
  • Self-isolation at work
  • Constant mood swings
  • Aggressiveness
  • Frustration and impatience
  • Reduction in work performance

The list is endless as people react to stress differently but these are the common signs based on reports.

How to Deal with Stress at Work?

There are different ways to manage or cope with workplace stress but the stress management strategy depends on the cause of the stress itself. So it is advisable to be clear on the reason you are experiencing stress in the first place. Here are a few helpful tips to help you cope based on the causes that have been mentioned beforehand:

  1. Stay Organized

Listing your tasks and prioritizing them would help you work more efficiently without feeling like you need to do so much all at once. This can also help reduce your stress level outside of work because external stress could also cause workplace stress.

2. Rearrange your office or workspace

3. Get professional counseling from a psychologist

4. Talk to your employer(s) about your workplace concerns

5. Stay out of workplace drama and gossip.

6.Do something fun outside of work like getting a hobby or spending time with your family or friends.

7. Seek support from your co-workers or review your workload with your boss.

8. If the stress persists after all precautions have been taken, you might want to consider a change of job or career. It is advisable to talk to a career counselor or psychologist about this first.  

Workplace Stress Management

As much as employees are responsible for managing their stress levels at work, it is also important that employers make stress management strategies in the workplace a priority to ensure they are not exposed to unnecessary and unhealthy work conditions, These are a few steps employers can take to minimize or eradicate the presence of stress in their workspace:

  1. Providing a job counselor or psychologist for their employees to consult with in case the need arises
  2. Ensuring a safe and comfortable working environment
  3. Taking the personal lives of workers into consideration when allocating tasks and making decisions. They should also make sure there is a balance in task allocation and that work is not being imposed on anyone.
  4. Giving workers more say over their duties and safety
  5. .Recognizing work-related stress as an issue and creating an environment that allows workers to freely express their stress levels without being stigmatized.

These would not only help the employers to remain healthy but also optimize the performance of the company or organization as there would be an increased performance from the employees.


Dealing with work-related stress has a lot of benefits for you and those around you. It would not only make you get better at your job but also make you feel better about yourself. It would boost your self-confidence, your relationships, and your lifestyle outside of work.