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What causes a stressful work environment?

7 Causes of Stressful Work Environments and How to Fix Them

Work-related stress can affect many aspects of a person’s life. It can hurt their productivity as well as their mental well-being within, and out of, the work environment. This is why managing work-related stress is so important. 

Most people will experience stress with their job at some point in their lives, and sometimes it comes directly from their work environment. The best thing about stress related to your work environment is that  it can be managed and fixed. 

Let’s take a look at seven causes of stressful work environments and how to fix them.

1. Unorganized or Messy Work Environments

One of the number one reasons we may feel stressed due to work is because it is disorganized or messy. If you’ve ever spent hours looking for a critical piece of paper that you’ve misplaced due to a messy or unorganized desk, then you know exactly what we’re talking about. 

Mess causes stress in several different ways, with the first being that it adds clutter to our minds as well as our work areas. If the space in front of us is messy, then our heads are going to be the same way, which isn’t the best way to be productive. 

Another reason why unorganized desks can contribute to stress is that it may feel like the end is never in sight. Usually, you would be able to complete your work and slowly see your desk begin to clear itself off. But with a messy desk, that’s nearly impossible. 

So how do you fix it?  Start by clearing everything off of your desk and maybe even emptying everything out of your drawers. Getting yourself organized may take some time and effort, but the payoff will be worth it as long as you can stick to it. 

Asking your boss for some extra organizational tools like file folders, a monitor stand, a pen holder, and even a document tray can change the way you treat your desk and everything on it. It may also be worthwhile for you to purchase these things on your own if your company doesn’t provide them. 

Taking the time to organize your desk will help you have moments in your day to relax, and you aren’t always at the edge of your space buried in paperwork. 

2. Bullying or Harassment at Work

Many people think that bullying and harassment stop after grade school, but unfortunately, it sometimes follows people into their adult lives. Bullying and harassment at work is a huge cause of stressful work environments. After all, we don’t go to work to get picked on or ridiculed. 

Bullying or harassment can come from anyone in the workplace, and you might not even realize that you’re on the receiving end of it. It could be coming from your coworkers, boss, or also an admin team member.. 

The type of harassment comes in many shapes and sizes. It could be someone who talks down to you or even someone who speaks negatively behind your back. You may also experience people who purposely tell you something wrong, so you fail. 

Dealing with a bully causes stress, but it can also be detrimental to your mental health. You may come to work feeling anxious, just waiting for what could happen next. On the other hand, you may feel sluggish or depressed after hours and on the weekends,dreading coming to work on Monday. 

How do you fix bullying or harassment at work? Sometimes this can be a difficult one to tackle, but HR experts are your best defense.

Make sure you document everything that you’re experiencing that contributes to your stressful work environment. Having a copy of any emails or communication can also help to strengthen your case. 

3. Work Overload 

Work overload is one of the major causes of stressful work environments

Another type of work-related stressor is having too much work, with little to no help to get it all done, within an unrealistic set deadline. There is always a typical workload at every job, and finding a happy balance between having just enough work and too much can sometimes be challenging. 

When it comes to figuring out if you are overloaded at work, there are several questions that you can ask yourself. Do you find yourself skipping lunch breaks or staying late to complete tasks on time? Are you diligently working with no end in sight? 

There is a huge difference between being overloaded with work and not being motivated to get your work done, and a good employer will know the difference. If you feel as if you are overloaded with work, you should bring it up to your manager, who can work with you on a solution.

There are several ways to go about fixing this problem, but sometimes the easiest is that the company needs to staff more employees. Splitting up the work between a few people seems like the right thing to do at first, but as a company grows, so does the workload. 

If this sounds like your company, then it might be time to start putting out some employment ads and interviewing new people to hire. When a new person comes on board, the rest of your team will be very grateful. 

You’ll start to find that the productivity and motivation in your office go up significantly. Your team won’t feel overloaded and stressed with work, so they will be able to complete all of their tasks within the set deadline confidently. 

4. Environment

Did you know that there are tons of factors that can make your workplace a bad environment and can hurt your productivity and motivation? Noise, air quality, light levels, and even the temperature in the work space are huge factors on how productive you are in a day. 

Unfortunately, you can’t always just open up a window to let in more light and fresh air, although this is a huge help if you can. 

Open offices are a great concept that promotes teamwork and coordination, but what about the times when you need to get things done on your own? Investing in some earplugs or popping in your headphones is a great way to get rid of some of the excess noise from the office that can add a lot of stress if you’re trying to focus. 

You can also add a plant to your desk, which can bring you a bit of happiness every day but also help to improve the air quality which you breathe. Having good air quality can help people who experience anxiety.

Another thing that adds stress to your work environment is the temperature within the office. If you have no control over the thermostat, make sure to dress for what will make you comfortable in the office. 

If your office is generally on the warmer side, opt for wearing fabrics that allow for better ventilation–like cotton. But if it’s generally colder, make sure you always have an extra sweater just in case.

5. Lack of Communication

When it comes to getting the job done, another important factor in your environment that can add stress is lack of communication. Communication is a massive part of everyday life, especially in the workforce.  

There are many reasons why a lack of communication can add stress to the workplace. If there are significant changes that are happening and employees aren’t informed of them, that will add a lot of stress when they’re blindsided once the changes occur. 

It is also very difficult to work with people who don’t respond to emails or are very indecisive. If you’re waiting on a decision for something or an email for an extended period, then that could cause a lot of stress, leaving you with a lack of time to complete your task. 

There are quite a few things that you can do when it comes to getting better communication. The first thing that you may do is to just communicate with the person. Tell them what you’re needing and discuss timelines. 

Communication skills need to be worked on constantly. If you bring it up with the person and let them know that it is something that they should work on, you may notice them getting better at it. This will help relieve some stress on your end as time goes on. 

Make sure that you’re working with companies that value communication just as much as yours does too! Finding companies that have excellent communication skills can also help to relieve stress from you as well. 

6. Long Work HoursLong work hours are another major cause of employee stress.

Long work hours with no breaks are going to add a lot of pressure to a person’s workday. If you find yourself continually skipping lunch breaks, or even short breaks throughout the day, then you know that adds a lot of stress to your day. 

Taking a lunch break at work is vital to help fuel your body and recharge your mind. Many people find themselves eating and working through their lunch break, which is not an actual lunch break at all.

During your break for lunch, you should make sure that you get up and walk around for a bit. Stretching your legs and getting in even a little bit of exercise is going to help your mind and body stay focused when you head  back to work. 

When you work right through your breaks, you’re just inviting more stress. Companies give you breaks for a reason. Make sure you take full advantage of all your breaks so you won’t be as stressed when it comes to working. 

7. Boring or Unfulfilling Work

The last factor that could be adding to your stressful work environment is the opposite of what we’ve mentioned so far, and that is that you feel unfulfilled or bored at work. This could mean that you’re completing your tasks too quickly, or there’s a lack of interest in completing them. . 

Most people would think that being bored at work shouldn’t be stressful at all. But if you’re just sitting there for eight hours of your day wishing you were somewhere else, then this could be a huge stressor in your life. 

On the other hand, you may still have work to do, but you may find it mundane or unfulfilling. This could be because the work isn’t challenging or you don’t feel like what your’re doing is contributing to the company’s success.

So how do you fix a workday that is filled with dull and unfulfilling work? The best thing that you can do is to go to your manager and let them know that you would like to do more.   

When you let your manager know that you’re open to more work, they may think of you for the next promotion. They may even start giving you additional work to train you for a higher position. This is a great way to open doors to having more things to do throughout your workday.

Fix Your Stressful Work Environments

It is best to sit down and see what is affecting you and your ability to get your job done. 

When it comes to figuring out the causes of stressful work environments, there could be many possibilities. 

The best thing about figuring out precisely what is causing your stressful work environments is that it is entirely possible to fix it. Make sure you document everything and talk to the right people so you can work together to come up with a plan to help relieve your stress. 

If you’re looking for an effective way to get your HR needs taken care of right away, then make sure to get in contact with us today