Most people spend about a third of their adult lives working. It’s not a very fun way to spend such a large portion of your life, especially when you have anxiety.

Research has shown that perceived stress at the workplace is a leading cause of mental health issues, like anxiety and depression. This is known to cause low morale, tension, hypertension, and reduced immune function. While having a stressful job is difficult enough, adding anxiety into the mix can open up a world of issues. Some of the issues that are commonly associated with workplace anxiety include personality differences, a lack of positive feedback, and misaligned job expectations.

This being the case, understanding what is causing you to feel this way at work can help you deal with it. Here are some of the leading causes of workplace anxiety.

woman working at desk with laptop and notebook
Photo by energepic.com

Relationships at the workplace

A considerable number of job types today require regular contact with other people while at work. Therefore, poor work relationships with your colleagues or supervisor can lead to stress and anxiety. If you feel isolated and lonely or unfairly treated at work, you may end up developing workplace anxiety. Some of the workplace relationship issues that may lead to workplace anxiety include:

  • Poor support from your colleagues
  • An aggressive management system
  • Poor leadership and a lack of understanding
  • Harassment and bullying at work

Demanding job responsibilities

The way responsibilities and tasks are assigned at work can lead to stress and anxiety. Long hours, heavy workloads, unnecessary meetings, and a misunderstanding of your work skills can all be very stressful. These conditions will only make you tired. Your exhaustion will then interfere with your focus and productivity, making you feel more anxious about it.

Uncertain or conflicting work expectations are another common cause of workplace anxiety today. Such scenarios may make you feel like you’ve been given too much responsibility or too much work to deliver within a short period of time. If this is your current situation, you may want to consider switching jobs. Many have taken to working from home as here they can better control their work environment and set their own hours. It’s worth asking if you can work remotely a few times a week. 

Insufficient pay and benefits

Finances are usually a source of anxiety, so it makes sense that your pay could be another cause of your workplace anxiety. While financial rewards and benefits may not be your sole motivator, a lower pay with high levels of responsibility can be overwhelming. Generally, your salary and benefits indicate your value and worth to your employer. As a consequence, a lower compensation can make you feel inferior and powerless. These negative feelings are a straight path towards workplace anxiety. Consider having a meeting with your employer about a better wage. You can state your contributions to the company to support your request. Either they will up your pay, or reduce your responsibilities so your current wage seems fair. 

Regardless of the cause, workplace anxiety may make you feel inferior, discouraged, or even fatigued. It doesn’t have to be this way. You have two options. You could look for another job, or train your mind and body to better manage your anxiety triggers at work.