Do you feel stressed when working? Whether you work indoors or outdoors, you can expect to encounter some stressful situations. Failure to manage your stress levels, though, could lead to many problems, including lower productivity. How does work-related stress affect productivity exactly?
What the Data Says
According to the American Institute of Stress, over four in 10 stressed workers say they are less productive. Stress is a normal bodily reaction that's closely linked to our fight-or-flight response. As humans, we've survived all these fears by avoiding dangerous situations. When we experience a dangerous situation, our bodies respond by producing stress hormones -- thereby manifesting as stress.
Unfortunately, though, stress can occur in situations that aren't particularly dangerous as well. Working in a chaotic or hectic environment, for instance, can leave you feeling stressed. Alternatively, you may feel stressed when discussing a deal with a high-value client or customer at your business. Regardless, work-related stress is a common phenomenon that occurs in nearly all workplaces.
How Work-Related Stress Affects Productivity
If you feel stressed when working, your productivity may suffer in several ways. First and foremost, chronic stress has been associated with fatigue. When you feel stressed, you may experience an initial boost in energy levels. Shortly thereafter, though, your energy levels will crash, resulting in fatigue. And no matter what job you have, fatigue will likely cause you to work slower and less efficiently.
Work-related stress can also increase your risk of injury. You may not think as clearly when stressed, for instance, which could lead to human error that results in bodily injury. Maybe you're working on a manufacturing line, or perhaps you're operating a forklift or other piece of heavy machinery. Regardless, accidents are more likely to occur if you feel stressed.
You'll probably feel less motivated to perform your respective job when stressed. Rather than focusing on your end professional goals, your mind will be clouded with stress. In turn, your productivity will decrease and your work performance will suffer.
Don't less stress interfere with your productivity. No matter what job you have, you can minimize stress while boosting your productivity in the process. Taking breaks, for example, can help you keep your stress levels in check. Another way to manage work-related stress is to create a to-do list. With a to-do list, you'll have a breakdown of all the tasks you need to perform. Therefore, you shouldn't feel stressed when taking on the workday.