Work stress can really do some damage to some people, impacting the way they look at their career. Whether it comes from a boss who’s micro-managing. A poor culture that leaves a person uninspired to even go into the office each morning. Getting too much criticism from coworkers or clients. Or just something else that adds way more anxiety than necessary to work 40-plus hours each week, when work stress hits, it can really be debilitating.
Considering we spend the majority of our weeks working, the last thing anyone really wants is work stress impacting their life. Sure, we’ve all taken a bad day in the office home with us, but when it’s happening regularly, that’s when it might be time to look yourself in the mirror, weigh some of your personal values, and figure out what you prefer most: a paycheck from a crappy company, or a little bit more freedom to find happiness.
While there are a variety of factors that can lead us to some sort of stress in the workplace, thanks to a recent study from a job search platform called Comparably, we have a little bit better understanding as to what causes this feeling.
According to the study results, Comparably found that a whopping 65 percent of people reported work stress impacting them in some way. Yep, that’s just about two-thirds of employees, so don’t feel like you’re alone if you experience it yourself, because it’s more than normal.
When it comes to what’s causing the most stress in the office, 41 percent of respondents admitted that “unclear goals” was the top reason, with other factors such as a bad commute or piss-poor management being tied for second place, difficult coworkers coming in third and, surprisingly, working long hours coming in last. Hey, guess most people are totally OK going beyond the typical 9-to-5 work schedule — even if it is for someone else’s company.
Most of us remember the above scene from the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, right? You know, the one where Tom Cruise’s character is a little overwhelmed with how things are being run in his current company and decides to stage a (somewhat solo) walkout. Although plenty of people aren’t that daring, considering work stress is so popular, there’s a good chance that plenty of us have at least thought about doing it.
Who’s Being Affected Most By Work Stress?
Here’s the thing about work stress: it’s not just one gender, one title or one experience level who it’s impacting. That’s because, across the board, people are complaining about dealing with it at some point or another.
Comparably study found that one-third of women respondents and nearly half of men reported that the aforementioned undefined goals created more stress than anything else in the office. Additionally, more than half of women and half of men reported feeling burnt out at work — which is a pretty bad sign — and, maybe surprisingly, 59 percent of the respondents feeling the most burnout were from those holding down entry-level positions. In comparison, 56 percent of people with one-to-three years of work experience reported feeling burnout, and 54 percent of workers with three to six years of experience said the same; so this is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Given we all have a career path in mind that we hope to achieve, there are plenty of factors that might lead to work stress. Whether it’s the 45 percent of workers who said they were afraid of falling into a rut in their career, the 23 percent who were afraid of having a breakdown because of work, or the 19 percent who were worried about being overlooked for a promotion, there are plenty of ways that this anxiety creeps into our minds.
However, with this info, it’s important to remember to avoid falling into the trap of comparing, as well as a reminder that it’s critical to routinely check-in with managers to get both positive feedback and constructive criticism. While you may never overcome work stress entirely, like anytime you’re building relationships with people, it’s important to communicate any worries to help nip things in the bud before it escalates in your own mind.