A man in a white shirt and thick-rimmed wayfarer glasses looks at his laptop screen with his hand on his forehead and a stressed expression.
Image: Syda Productions /Shutterstock

How much is stress at work affecting you?

28 Sep 2018

Stress at work is worryingly widespread these days. Do you exhibit symptoms of stress? Do you even know what those symptoms are?

Stress at work is not only quite common but can often be worn as a badge of honour. It’s a concerning trend whereby some people think you’re only working hard enough if you’re close to burnout.

In the long term, you’re not going to be very productive if you end up so stressed you can’t function. Yet of course, a huge part of the problem is that people are too inclined to view employee health purely through the lens of productivity. People are not merely the sum of their deliverables, so if the only reason you think it’s important to manage employee stress is to protect bottom lines, you need to take a good hard look at your priorities.

If you’re an employer, that means reassessing your management style. If you’re an employee, that means reassessing how you view yourself and determining how stressed you are. Taking an emotional inventory of your self-esteem is a complicated and personal manner. Assessing stress levels is, however, a little more straightforward.

Pound Place has designed this flowchart to help you determine your stress levels. Being aware of the symptoms of stress can help you catch it before it begins to seriously impact your health and wellbeing.

First off, ask yourself how well you slept. Do you have trouble nodding off? When you do fall asleep, is it uninterrupted or do you struggle to stay asleep? When you wake up in the morning, how rested do you feel?

Your appetite is also a huge indicator of your overall health. Are you eating nutritious, well-balanced meals as well as regular hot meals? Or would you describe your diet as more erratic? More importantly, has there been any significant worsening of these habits of late?

Similarly, have your drinking habits changed at all? Alcohol can, unfortunately, evolve into an unhealthy crutch during periods of intense stress. If you find yourself drinking more often or more heavily than previously, this may be a sign you’re experiencing a lot of stress.

For more advice on spotting whether stress at work is taking a toll, check out the infographic below.

Eva Short
By Eva Short

Eva Short was a journalist at Silicon Republic, specialising in the areas of tech, data privacy, business, cybersecurity, AI, automation and future of work, among others.

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