The daily grind of the 8-to-5 work week can cause stress for many. However, outside factors like the COVID-19 pandemic can raise stress levels at work. In July, we asked our readers how they would describe their current work stress level compared to the same time last year. And with nearly half of the responses, 49% say work stress levels are either significantly higher (27%) or somewhat higher (22%) than they were during the same time last year.
On the other side of the pendulum, 21% of respondents said stress levels were somewhat lower, whereas only 15% said they were significantly lower than 2020. Another 16% said there has been no change in work stress levels year over year.
When asked what the key factors were impacting their stress levels, respondents wrote in personal experiences, including:
- “The industry I work in is operating at a diminished capacity. There are very few openings and opportunities in the film industry, under the current climate.”
- “Job applicants way down. Short staffed. More workload put on managers to reduce costs even though sales are way up.”
- “Having to manage COVID rules and regulations for the company was challenging. We still have to keep abreast of what’s going on regarding COVID. So although stress is somewhat lower, it’s not gone away.”
- “Current stressors are related to lack of manpower and shortages and increasing prices of raw materials.”
- “COVID policies and procedures. Overworked. Understaffed. Burnout. Not feeling appreciated. Feeling undervalued.”
One respondent gave their own thoughts on what causes higher stress levels in the office. “Communication plays a great part in the stress level of my current employment. Expectations that are not verbalized or expressed. This comes along with team work not being taken serious in order to make this flow better.”
During recruiting crunches and building supplies shortages, companies may struggle with higher levels of stress; however, taking the right steps may help alleviate stress in the workplace. Focusing on communication, employee recognition, and empathy, you can significantly lower stress in the office. Check out these Refresh Leadership articles to learn more!
- Practical Tips for New Leaders: Recognition
- Conflict Management: Building a Culture of Communication
- Importance of Recognition
- The Empathetic Leader: The Lasting Effects of Empathy on Culture and Retention
- The Most Important Communication Secrets of Top Leaders
What have you done to lower stress levels at work? Has communication and recognition helped with stress levels in the past? Let us know in the comments section below!