Stress is a common thing in the workplace due to the nature of the workplace. Workplace stress contributors include high work demand, time and cost constraints, people and other issues. Reasonable stress level could be good to move you from the comfort zone to creativity zone. Excessive and constant stress is a problem. Understanding causes of stress will enable you to exercise preventive measures to manage and minimise stress in your workplace or project team.
Causes of stress include the following:
§ Unrealistic expectations – putting great demand on teams, beyond their capability, in order to do more at lower cost and/or in less time.
§ Incompetence – inability to confidently perform an assignment either due to wrong self-assessment or due to assignment of tasks that are not commensurate to the resource skill set or capability.
§ Lack of enough rest – long hours’ work, without enough rest to be in a state of mind and physique to withstand regular long hours of work, could be a recipe for disaster.
§ Disorganization of self, information and team.
§ Organization culture and practices – high level of bureaucracy, unstructured and ineffective governance, favouritism, unethical behaviours, imbalance performance reward etc.
§ Emergency situations – include fire and flood. These are usually rare occurrences, and their impacts could be very transient.
§ Lack of adequate equipment, tools and technologies, required to support the project, could cause frustration leading to stressful situations.
Stress can be managed and controlled. Stress management techniques and tips are widely published and you can reference them in your local library or on the Internet. Unmanaged stress leads to loss of productivity or poor quality outcome. It is important to manage stress in a responsible way, because it is better to be safe than sorry.