High Pressure Jobs: Effects of Stress on Work Performance

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It could be problems at home or issues on the job. Either way, you can’t ignore the effects of stress on work performance.

What Workplace Stress Does To You

Regular employees have enough stress, let alone trying to become a manager. Either way, you can experience stress in high-pressure jobs regardless of your career level. It has detrimental effects on you both at work and outside your job.

Mental Health Issues

Problematic employees or supervisors, difficult romantic partners, and deaths in the family all cause mental health issues. If you add the stress of a high-pressure job, it’s grounds for a breakdown.

You might not end up hospitalized, but it could reduce your ability to concentrate, and productivity declines. In this case, it’s too much personal and work pressure that could lead to your inevitable demise if you don’t deal with stress soon enough.

High Turnover

You suffer the affliction of high turnover when you’re an employee who’s always stuck working when everyone can’t. If you’re the manager, you probably feel even less able to say “no” than your employees are. At some point, you’re going to have to choose you over the job no matter how chaotic the situation is.

Otherwise, you could wind up requiring either inpatient or outpatient mental health treatment. Stress leading to high turnover can also take a toll on your body, and you could end up in the hospital. Deal with the pressure of your job and home life now before the situation worsens.

Absenteeism

Not all employees who decide not to show up for work are lazy. Some of them might just be afraid to tell a manager that they’re overworked and burnt out.

This is one reason why they decide to call in sick – which actually is true because mental health issues are just as disabling as physical illnesses, according to Mental Health America:

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“Unlike other general physical illnesses, mental illnesses are related to problems that start in the brain. The brain is an organ. Just like any other organs in our body, it can experience changes (healing or injury) based on life experiences like stress, trauma, lack of sleep, and nutrition. Generally, when someone has a mental illness, something has changed in such a way that their brain and the way that it works has also changed.”

In some cases, employees might also commit a no-call no-show for similar reasons – too much on-the-job pressure. This, coupled with problems on the home front, can add up to deciding not to bother showing up for work.

Halfhearted Engagement

The overworked, burnt-out employees who do still show up for work may have experienced a productivity decline. Their overall attitude also may not be the same as it was when they first started.

Maybe they even finish their jobs with performance that barely measures a passing review. In these cases, they may be depressed, which also sometimes happens when fatigue beyond normal tiredness levels occurs.

Increased Co-Worker Conflict

Not everyone handles stress the same way. The quiet ones usually don’t say much unless they’re experiencing extreme amounts of work and home stress, for instance.

Then, you might see a stark change in them, such as telling off supervisors and arguing with co-workers over trivial issues. If this continues, they probably are under too much stress and need a break or time off.

Careless and Dangerous Mistakes

Anxiety and depression that develops because of mismanaged stress cause careless and even dangerous mistakes. If you or another worker is making more mistakes than usual, that means that one or more workers’ lives are out of balance.

An increase in mistakes often results because of a lack of sleep, by the way. This also contributes to the effect of stress in the workplace and dangerous accidents.

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Financial Instability

Financial instability, of course, comes to overwhelmed and burnt-out workers who don’t show up for their shifts. However, managers can also lose bonuses when employees don’t produce like they’re supposed to.

What’s worse, a company’s profits can decline, and it can put both supervisors and subordinates out on the street. That’s why it’s so important for everyone employed in high-pressure jobs not to ignore the effect of stress before that workplace tension becomes unmanageable without professional help.

Deteriorating Health

Stress causes more than just psychological problems. For instance, it results in high blood pressure, heart disease, poor nutrition and weight gain, smoking, alcohol and drug misuse. It also can increase headaches, especially if you don’t sleep as much as you should.

Even if you want to sleep, the effects of stress in the workplace and your home life may cause insomnia. This causes your health problems to multiply, especially when your immune system starts to decline from being overworked.

How to Handle Workplace Stress

Whether you’re an employee or a manager, accept that you can only “do so much.” If you’re a business owner, you may want to consider meeting with your management to discuss workloads.

Maybe your company is taking on more than your workers can handle, and that could lead to decreases in profits – not an increase. In this case, you’ll have to either hire more people or set realistic limits with customers and clients if you don’t want to go bankrupt.

If you’re not sure yet what action to take concerning your high-pressure job and the effects of stress in the workplace, seek outside help. Contact a stress management therapist who has empathy and compassion and can help you resolve your workplace and personal issues.

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