KUSA – Whether it be because of an overload of projects or a disagreeable coworker, an increasing number of people are reporting feeling stressed at their jobs.
"Eighty-five percent of employees have some sort of stress that may come out at work," Robin Amadei, owner of Common Ground Mediation and Coaching, said.
As a professional mediator, Amadei has seen plenty of cases where workplace stress created conflict among coworkers.
"You put all of these people in these small spaces that have different personalities, that are competing for limited resources," she said. "Well, that's a recipe for stress."
For many people, that stress relates to being overloaded with projects at work. Amadei suggests a way to relieve that pressure by discussing it with your boss or manager in a way that makes you still seem like an eager employee.
"What you can do there is say 'You know, I'd be happy to potentially take this on, but I need help with prioritization. How does this work project compare with the other ones?'" Amadei suggested.
Coworkers can be another source of stress, and Amadei has seen it break down by generations. She's worked with offices where employees' ages span generations, and she says - many times - the stressed-out employees are Baby Boomers and Millennials who are having problems working together.
"Boomers will often times work day and night. There's less separation between their work life and their personal life," Amadei said. "Whereas ... Millennials want other things in their life. Yes, they'll work, and they'll work hard. But they prioritize other things in their lives. So you can see the potential for conflict."
Amadei says the opposing generations can relieve that tension and stress by having a mutual respect for one another.
"Each generation has something to offer that the other generations can learn from," she said.
Not addressing stress at work can lead to bigger problems at home.
"For the most part, if we have a bad day at work, we're going to be in a bad mood," Amadei said. "And that's going to come out. We're going to be short with our family. We're going to then create potential conflict in our family, which then will come back to work."
9NEWS Psychologist Dr. Max Wachtel says it's important to try to separate work stress from your home life. He suggests a post-work routine that anyone can do.
"The best thing to do is to have some sort of a transition period," he said. "You can do something like go into your room and change your clothes. You change out of your work clothes into something more relaxing clothes. And while you're doing that, you take some deep breaths."
Those deep breaths increase oxygen flow to the frontal lobe of the brain and assist with decision-making. Amadei suggests that same type of deep breathing before dealing with a stressful workplace situation.
"You can have higher-level thinking and hopefully manage the conflict better," she said.
Signs of a stressful workplace could include employees taking more sick days.
"People get stressed and get sick," Amadei says of the physical effects of workplace stress.
Amadei says employers would be wise to look for those signs and help employees who are dealing with stress.
"If people are stressed out, they're not productive," she said. "The job isn't getting done."
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