Workplace Stress

There is nothing wrong with hard work in the workplace and studies show that a well-organized, well managed and supportive environment, can be positive for our health.

This is evident in giving employees a sense of camaraderie, purpose and achievement. A safe place where they can grow and apply their skill sets to be more productive, fruitful and successful in what they do.


In a workplace which is neither organized, managed or supportive, stress arises. In the workplace one can assign stress to 3 high level categories.

3 High Level Workplace Stress Categories


  • How the company is organized
  • Ethos and dynamics of senior management
  • Mission, vision, values


  • Middle management execution of directives, mission and core values
  • Maturity of middle management
  • Expectations from senior management and resources


  • To perform at optimum levels
  • HR progression plan
  • Interaction with team members and management

People immersed in ease can see a solution almost instantaneously because their minds are not gyrating in the middle of tangential usually imagined emergencies

~ Nancy Kline (Time to think)

The levels of stress arise in a workplace environment when:


  • Given very high responsibility
  • A role that conflicts with another’s role
  • Disorganised change within the organisation
  • A job or environment that is unstable
  • A job that threatens life and or health
  • Exterior pressures – demanding clients
  • Parent company policies
  • Negative press about the business or parent company


  • Given more work than they can handle
  • Given work outside of their skill set
  • Not having a say in what their work is or how to carry it out
  • Asked to do things within a very strict or unrealistic timeline
  • Issues with other colleagues or bullying
  • Sexual harassment
  • Code of ethics in workplace
  • Not allowed to give feedback
  • Are working too many hours


  • Lack of clarity of what is being asked of them
  • Being under trained for their position
  • Offered no encouragement and feeling under valued
  • Not given access to the right resources to carry out the job
  • No career path management
  • No definitive goals or feedback as to performance
  • Expectation of working unpaid hours – come early – leave late
  • No break-out place or quiet space
  • Interruptions during lunchtime
  • Sexual harassment
Yerkes Dodson Stress Performance Curve

How many of the above can you identify with? If you are seeing aspects of the above categories, then perhaps the workplace you are in is in a stressful condition.

You need help to reduce the levels and improve mental health, establish stress management plans, training that will increase your productivity and well-being.

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