Outcomes of work related stress

The effects of work-related stress can be considerable and long term. It can impact both individual workers and your business.

Possible individual health effects

Short-lived or infrequent exposure to low-level stressors are not likely to lead to harm. But when stressful situations continue or are regular and unmanaged your body stays in a constant state of stimulation. This is when stress occurs.

Some of the effects of work-related stress are:

Physical
  • Headaches.
  • Indigestion.
  • Tiredness.
  • Slow reactions.
  • Shortness of breath.
Mental
  • Difficulty in decision-making.
  • Forgetfulness.
Emotional
  • Irritability.
  • Excessive worrying.
  • Feeling of worthlessness.
  • Anxiety.
  • Defensiveness.
  • Anger.
  • Mood swings.
Behavioural
  • Diminished performance.
  • withdrawal behaviours.
  • Impulsive or risky behaviour.
  • Increase in alcohol and nicotine consumption.
Long term health issues 

Common longer-term health issues linked to stress include:

  • cardiovascular disease
  • immune deficiency disorders
  • gastrointestinal disorders
  • psychiatric and/or psychological illness including depression, anxiety, suicide
  • musculoskeletal disorders.

Possible effects on your organisation

Increased stress levels of workers in your organisation can mean:

  • a reduction in productivity and efficiency
  • a decline in job satisfaction, morale and cohesion
  • increases in absenteeism and sick leave
  • increases of staff turnover
  • increases in accidents and injuries
  • increases in workplace conflicts
  • reductions in client satisfaction
  • increases in health care expenditure and workers’ compensation claims.
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