What is workplace anxiety? Know signs and symptoms; ways to deal with it
Persistent workplace anxiety can lead to burnout, reduce job satisfaction and also quality of life. Here are expert tips on how to address it.
We spend at least a third of our day at workplace and it has become an important aspect of our lives. Deriving satisfaction out of our work and feeling comfortable in workplace is crucial for our overall well-being. While it's common to be stressed about work at times and while facing new challenges at work, one should be watchful of symptoms that point toward workplace anxiety. (Also read: What is phone call anxiety? Here are the signs)
According to experts, workplace anxiety is real, and many people experience irrational stress and worry about their job performance which could interfere with their quality of life and impact their productivity. Employees who are not able to regulate their workplace pressure may feel fatigued and exhausted and this could even lead to burnout.
"Workplace anxiety is a prevalent and often underestimated mental health concern that affects individuals in various industries and job roles. It refers to the emotional distress and unease experienced by employees in response to the demands, pressures, and expectations associated with their work environment. This form of anxiety can have a significant impact on an individual's overall well-being and productivity," says Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Founder-Director and Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali in an interview with HT Digital.
Workplace anxiety, also known as job-related anxiety or occupational anxiety, is a specific type of anxiety disorder characterized by excessive worry, fear, or stress related to one's job or work environment. It can manifest in various forms and can be triggered by different work-related factors, such as workload, job insecurity, interpersonal conflicts, and performance expectations.
Common symptoms of workplace anxiety are as follows:
1. Excessive worry
Individuals with workplace anxiety often experience persistent and irrational worry about their job performance, job security, or workplace interactions. This worry can be all-consuming and interfere with their ability to focus on tasks.
2. Physical symptoms
Anxiety can manifest physically, leading to symptoms like headaches, muscle tension, gastrointestinal issues, rapid heartbeat, and sweating. These physical manifestations can be uncomfortable and distracting.
3. Difficulty concentrating
Workplace anxiety can make it challenging to concentrate on tasks and make decisions. Employees may become easily distracted, forgetful, or overwhelmed by even minor work-related issues.
Anxiety can lead to procrastination and avoidance of tasks, as individuals may fear failure or criticism. This avoidance can result in increased work-related stress and a sense of being overwhelmed.
5. Impaired sleep
Anxiety often disrupts sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or restless nights. Poor sleep can further exacerbate workplace anxiety and affect overall health.
6. Social withdrawal
Employees with workplace anxiety may avoid social interactions at work, fearing judgment or criticism. This withdrawal can impact team dynamics and collaboration.
A strong desire for perfectionism can be a symptom of workplace anxiety. Individuals may set unrealistically high standards for themselves, leading to increased stress and dissatisfaction with their performance.
8. Physical and emotional exhaustion
The constant battle against anxiety can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion. Employees may feel drained, fatigued, and emotionally depleted, which can hinder their ability to cope effectively with workplace challenges.
9. Decreased job satisfaction
Persistent workplace anxiety can erode job satisfaction and overall quality of life. It may even lead to burnout if left unaddressed.