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How Excessive Stress Affects Workplaces

How Excessive Stress Affects Workplaces

As Stress Awareness Week is here – we thought to touch upon the subject of how stress affects workplaces. Employees being under healthy pressure can help excel results, yet many businesses may be putting employees under too much avoidable stress without realising it. The effects of stress can be detrimental, not only to the person suffering from stress by causing mental health and physical problems but also negatively impacting the workplace.

Stress, anxiety or worry is usually a secondary response in the body when primarily we feel overwhelmed or uncertain. Given that change and uncertainty are a huge part of all our lives, we really need to start opening up the conversation about how being overwhelmed and uncertain makes us feel.

By accepting and sharing this in a high-trust relationship or team, we can minimise the secondary response which puts the body under pressure to respond and therefore impact our overall health and well-being.

Signs of Stress

There are many signs of stress, some very obvious and others not so – things we may see as a ‘normal’ part of life although that should be far from the truth. Signs of stress include – an increased sense of anxiety, undue sensitivity, irritability, arguments and overreaction to problems you usually wouldn’t are some of the signs of stress, yet it’s a never-ending list and stress can manifest completely differently depending on your own personal emotions. Stress can also impact work performance, with some of the signs of stress in the workplace being declining performance, lapses in memory, increased sensitivity and lack of holiday usage.

Stress Affecting Work

Lowered Productivity Rates

A ComPsych survey found that 37% of people say they lose an hour or more a day in productivity due to stress, this finding shows that stress in the workplace will most likely demotivate than do anything else – causing decreased productivity. Although some prefer working under pressure, it’s important to communicate with your employees as to what their preferred working methods are – cramming too much into a schedule can leave you pondering where to begin rather than cracking on.

Poor Mental & Physical Health

Stress has a negative impact on both mental and physical states – with research showing that those suffering from stress are more likely to become ill with diabetes or heart conditions, among mental health problems such as anxiety, depression and more. Poor mental health will cause a reduced lack of concentration and ability to focus – with some mental health problems causing lapses in memory and increased irritability. An increase in mental health or physical problems will also most likely cause sickness absences also.

Low Morale

Workplaces should be filled with ambition and inspiration, however, excessive stress will almost definitely dim the morale of your employees and co-workers. Being under extreme pressure and stress will diminish any excitement that is linked to work – you wouldn’t be happy going somewhere that you know is causing you disheartening problems. A workplace with low morale will also reflect the work produced, creativity within projects and innovation as a whole, with stress being at the heart of the issue.


If stress is affecting your workplace, or you want to avoid your employees feeling stressed as a whole – we can give you a helping hand. Zest offers a huge range of learning, coaching and mentoring solutions, offering help when it comes to development – email us at and we’ll be happy to assist.

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