Work Stress: Causes and Solutions

Work stress is often considered a normal occurrence on the job. Yes, stressful situations are a part of the daily routine for most workplaces. However, that doesn’t mean you need to let work stress harm your health and performance.

To keep work stress from impacting you, identify the sources of work stress and then address those triggers.

Causes and solutions of common work stress

Cause: the treadmill effect

Ever feel like you’re working through an endless list of tasks and not making any progress? The treadmill effect causes employees to feel as if they’re moving but not going anywhere. It often stems from a busy schedule and a looming workload.


To combat the stress connected to a huge workload, prioritize your task lists. Focus on one daily list of “to-do” items. Appreciate the satisfaction that comes with finishing your lists, and move on to new items only when you’ve finished the first.

work stress man

Cause: random interruptions

Constant interruptions prevent employees from completing their work on time. Phone calls, visitors, office discussions and personal situations are common interruptions that take focus away from work.


This kind of work stress can be prevented by keeping a consistent schedule and allowing extra time for breaks. Reward yourself for blocking out the distractions by giving yourself a few minutes of free time throughout the day.

Cause: poor communication

Poor communication is a huge contributor to work stress and lower performance. When information is not relayed, employees have trouble completing their work in the best way possible.


To fight this trigger, focus on sharing your ideas and suggestions with your coworkers. Ask for their input and address any potential miscommunications as soon as possible.

Cause: office politics

Every office culture has a unique set of practices, traditions and principles — the office politics can’t be escaped. The daily politics contribute to work stress for many employees.


If you’re feeling the pressure of the behind-the-scenes office politics, you may need a break. You also may need to address the issue you’re facing. Consider how you may address the situation fairly. Avoiding the rumor mill is one sure way to reduce your work stress.


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