A recent Australian study reported that Australian workplaces are expected to become more stressful in the future. The study found that:

  • 76% of Australian CFOs believe the stress levels of their staff will increase over the next three years
  • The top three causes of rising stress levels are increased workloads (61%), increased business expectations (52%) and short deadlines (37%).

Despite Australia being internationally regarded as a laid-back and relaxed country the study found 76% of Australian CFOs expect stress levels of their finance staff to rise over the next three years, with 48% saying stress levels will increase ‘significantly’.

Australian CFOs cite rises in stress to be increased workloads (61%), increased business expectations (52%), shorter deadlines (37%) and lack of staff (26%) as the primary reasons.

The study reported CFOs and their teams being under pressure to meet increased business expectations, produce more results, in some cases with fewer resources, so it is not surprising this can cause added stress.

The negative outcomes of stressed and overworked employees cannot be underestimated. Workplace burnout is not only harmful to the employee at hand, it also negatively impacts the company. Stress can lead to less productivity, low staff morale and increased sick leave, which all impact a business’s bottom line.

We all face stress at work. No matter what kind of job you have, every day brings minor hassles such as traffic jams, computer breakdowns, short-tempered clients and tight deadlines.

Sometimes you barely notice you’re living with chronic stress because you’ve learned to ignore it. Feeling tired, distracted, irritated and plagued by a nagging sense that time is running out starts to feel normal. You shrug off the way life keeps speeding up and accept that work pressures are necessary to get ahead in your career. Yet living in a state of over stress is anything but normal, and it causes more harm than you may realize.

Whenever you find yourself getting irritated about something at work or on the verge of reacting in a knee-jerk way you may later regret, take time to STOP, which is an acronym:

S: Stop what you are doing

T: Take a few deep breaths

O: Observe the sensations in your body and smile

P: Proceed with awareness and compassion