Understanding Workplace Stress – and What to Do About It

Stress is a response to pressure, which can be either negative or positive. Stress is often relatively short-term and is caused by a feeling of being out of control. And, many aspects of the workplace can feel out of our control, especially for women. As women in the workplace, we may feel the need to prove ourselves worthy. In many cases, we must work harder to be accepted at an equal level with our male counterparts. The demands of balancing work and home life often contribute as well.

Our stress is real.

Our insecurity is real.

Our anxiety is real.

“Time stress” is the feeling of having too many things to do and not enough time to do them. Research shows that women experience disproportionately greater time stress than men, and this is due to a variety of factors. Juggling heavy workloads, personal priorities, health concerns, and financial worries can take a toll on physical and mental health.

So, how can we reduce work-related stress? Let’s start by learning to be more assertive. Many women tend to communicate on an emotional level, which can lead to the real message being lost between feeling and doing. For example, we may avoid asking for more time to complete tasks because we believe that doing so would make us appear less competent. Assertive communication can help us reduce stress by addressing boundaries, setting expectations, and fulfilling our needs.

There are several ways in which we can change our approach or the situation to make it less stressful:

Work may always be a source of stress because we feel like we are juggling too much. Because we often are juggling too much! But spreading ourselves too thin will only set us up for more stress. Do not let work get the best of you. Join us to learn more about how to handle workplace stress and remain professional in our program, “Performing Under Pressure: Manage Stress and Stay Productive.”

About the Expert

Audrey Halpern has had an exemplary 20+ year career developing employee soft skills training programs and facilitation. She is a faculty member of the American Management Association (AMA).

Since 1992, Audrey has consulted with corporate clients, developing customized content and facilitating soft skills, emotional intelligence, leadership, and communication content face to face and through global webinars for clients in a variety of industries.