Creating Workplace Stress

4 Unexpected Ways You Might Be Creating Workplace Stress in Your Company (And How to Fix Them).

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People can experience workplace stress for reasons such as long hours, company changes, bad relationships with co workers and feeling unappreciated to not receiving the right support or struggling to align with the culture of the organisation they work for.

Many managers, directors, team leaders and CEO’s are actually very good at effectively controlling the obvious causes of workplace stress, but it’s actually the causes that we don’t even realise exist that can have the most negative impact.

Today we’re going to explain how you might be causing workplace stress without realising it. Obviously, we’re also going to explain how to put them right.


This might be a bit of light bulb moment for you.

light bulb moment

It’s not that you’ve intentionally tried to a create a high workplace stress culture in your company, but simply through performing the actions necessary to progress your business you can actually sometimes leave a negative impact in your wake.

#1-Ineffective Change Management

Now more than ever, change is vital. Companies are having to adapt weekly to the changes being made around them. This is crucial for survival and a necessary part of succeeding in the current climate.

The potential problem this poses is that generally speaking, human beings struggle with change.

They’re typically creatures of habit. Whilst you might be feeling incredibly proud about the changes you’re implementing to adapt to the world we currently live in, it’s important that you’re also sensitive to how these changes could be making your workforce feel.

struggle with change

Change is actually a very scary prospect for many people. The key is to try to give as much advanced warning before company changes occur as you reasonably can including explaining the reasons behind their implementation.

Guide your work force through the changes you make with regular updates, then ensure that you have a process in place to “check in” on them once they’ve been implemented. Include your employees every step of the way and be as transparent as possible. This will enhance their feeling of security.

Where changes need to be implemented with immediate effect, try your best to communicate the reasons why they’ve been implemented and how they’re going to assist everyone going forwards. Welcome and digest feedback from your team. Always strive to answer it constructively.

Transparency and inclusivity is key. And on that note…

#2-An Exclusive Company Culture

When managers and directors speak about how fantastic their company culture is, they’re often telling the truth. Sometimes, it’s only the truth from their perspective though.

It’s important to regularly check in with the people “on the ground” to make sure that the values you experience near the top of the ladder are effectively funnelling through to the middle and bottom.

It can sometimes be a little too easy to get caught up in how great it feels to be part of the “inner circle” and to think that your version of the company you work for is the same for everyone. In reality, this might not be the case.

inner circle

Welcome feedback from workers at every level to ensure that they feel as valued as you do. If you find that there’s a large discrepancy? Directly implement actions based on what the men and women working for you are telling you isn’t making them feel fulfilled at the moment.

Try to make your company have the most inclusive culture possible.

#3-Uninspiring Physical Working Environments

This is a very unexpected cause of workplace stress and one that quite often goes under the radar.

When was the last time you reviewed the environment of your workplace? How do your employees feel about it? Does it make them feel motivated and energised? Perhaps it even makes them feel squashed and uninspired?

Regardless of the answer, this is vital information. You could have the hardest working, most driven and intelligent teams and individuals working for you but they’re only going to be able to function as effectively as their environment will allow them to feel like they’re capable of.

workplace stress

Communication from management is an important part of keeping morale high and workplace stress low, but to be entirely honest whilst remaining constructive and fair, workers don’t generally want to feel like they’re being imprisoned.

What message does your current working environment send to your colleagues? Is it bright and motivating, encouraging creativity and positivity? Perhaps it’s dark and dull, leading to feelings of suppression, repression and maybe even a little depression?

It’s important to give regular thought to this area and ask your team members how their physical working environment makes them feel. A little visual flair can genuinely go a long way towards making people feel at their best.

#4-Passive Pressure

Passive pressure is an enormous contributing factor to workplace stress. It’s something that managers can be guilty of placing onto their colleagues without realising it.

An example of passive pressure when speaking to a team member could be:

“Thank you for performing the tasks you’ve accomplished today. I realise how much time and energy this has taken. You know, you don’t have to, but it would be great if you could also do X, Y or Z task as well….that would REALLY finish the day on a high!”

In theory, there isn’t anything “wrong” with this statement. The manager isn’t directly asking the colleague to perform more work past their contracted hours. The potential problem is that they have indirectly implied that the great work the team member has performed today isn’t “quite” good enough on its own.

work pressure

Considering the team member has worked their contracted hours and over delivered during them, the message they may take from this statement is that they need to finish the additional task in order to have “completed” their work day. They may feel like they’ve failed if they don’t.

This can massively amplify their workplace stress.

Always try to allocate parameters for your work force that naturally have the capacity for over delivery inbuilt into them as opposed to adding this on to the end of a seemingly completed task list. Ask for a minimum performance standard but lay out what “exceptional” looks like and the criteria associated with achieving it.

Invite your workers to discuss any barriers they may be facing in an open and supportive environment and consider linking  your company up with a professional coach for those who really want to fine tune their personal and professional performance.

Try to make sure that tasks are possible as part of a standard working day so that your natural overachievers always leave feeling satisfied and motivated. If someone asks for more work? Allocating it is no problem. Provided you’re monitoring their wellbeing in the process.


What does workplace stress look like in your company? Are most of the people working with you happy and healthy? Or is there some room for improvement?

We’d love for you to share this post to help other business owners and managers keep their workplace stress to a minimum whilst sharing some of the workplace stress management tips that you feel have worked best for you.