Most jobs involve some degree of stress, and this can affect people at all levels within an organisation, including frontline employees, managers and senior leaders.

Some stress is reasonable, but it becomes an issue when it is excessive and ongoing. There are some strategies everyone can adopt to manage and reduce their own stress levels, as well as find a positive work-life balance.

 


 

What do we mean by 'workplace stress'?

Workplace stress can occur when there is a mismatch between the requirements of the role, your capabilities and resources and supports available.  

Everyone knows what stress feels like and we've probably all experienced it at some stage – at home, school or work, or while getting outside our comfort zone, but while this stress is normal, if it is ongoing, it can become a problem.  

There are common stressors in most roles but also specific stressors for certain roles.

Find out more about specific stressors for these specific roles:


"A challenging and fulfilling job in a good workplace can be great, but if work starts to take over and we lose the balance, it gets stressful. The ability to have some control over your own workload definitely contributes to the impact work has on your life."

- Andrea

Signs of work stress 

Stress is a normal response to the demands of work. It can be beneficial in short bursts, helping you stay alert and perform at your best.

However, prolonged or excessive job stress can be damaging to your mental health. Stress can contribute to the development of anxiety and/or depression, and may cause an existing condition to worsen.

As well as affecting your relationships and life outside work, stress can increase your risk of injury, fatigue and burnout.

 


Signs of stress

  • Physical signs of stress

  • Non-physical signs of stress

 

Tips on understanding and managing stress

 


 

Contributing factors to work stress

 

  • working long hours or overtime, working through breaks or taking work home
  • doing shift work
  • time pressure, working too hard or too fast, or unrealistic targets
  • having limited control over how you do your work
  • limited input into broader decisions by the business
  • not receiving enough support from supervisors, managers and/or co-workers
  • job insecurity
  • high mental task demands, work that requires high-level decision making
  • a lack of role clarity
  • poor communication
  • conflict with colleagues or managers
  • bullying
  • low levels of recognition and reward
  • work that is emotionally disturbing or requires high emotional involvement
  • poorly managed change, lack of organizational justice
  • discrimination – whether based on gender, ethnicity, race or sexuality.

 

 


 

Understanding your own stress

Knowing what is contributing to your stress enables you look at the right strategies to manage it. You may have identified several things in the list above. It can be useful to track your mood to help identify what things are impacting on your stress levels. 

Learn more about taking care of yourself and staying well