Stress in the workplace can be “toxic” and “pervasive”

Ft.com, the website of the Financial Times, ran an article by Dennis Stevenson this month on stress in the workplace, and highlighted how mental health problems can be overlooked in business until a high-profile case thrusts it into the mainstream media. As examples Stevenson cites the cases of Sir Hector Sants, who stepped down from his senior role at Barclays after taking a month off for exhaustion and stress; Carsten Schloter, chief executive of Swisscom, who committed suicide earlier this year after talking about his addiction to his smartphone and his inability to switch off from work, and Pierre Wauthier, chief financial officer of Zurich Insurance who, shortly after Schloter took his own life followed suit, citing a “difficult work relationship” (ft.com) as a key reason for doing so.

 

MariannaNYC, commenting on the piece, talked about how “the stress created by work can be highly toxic and pervasive”. The writer quoted some sage advice that had been passed on to her a few years earlier, that read, “Choose your long term job wisely: if you have family problems at home but you love what you do, your work will help with energizing you and retaining the balance you need to solve them somehow. But if you hate your job and are too stressed out in it, you will bring that mental state home with you and in the long run it will negatively impact your family as well” (ft.com, 14 November 2013).

 

At The Grove we are familiar with working with clients who are struggling with work-related stress. We understand how it can become hard to contain problems within the workplace, and that they can spill over into your personal life and affect your relationships, family, home life and general well-being. This can quickly start to feel unmanageable, and it can be hard to know where to go for help.

 

If you are tied into a mortgage and supporting a family things may feel even more difficult. It can be hard to realise that a job you have been doing for a long time is no longer right for you, and pressure from peers, management, your family, or other friends and colleagues can leave you with nowhere to turn, and confused over which course of action to pursue. You might be feeling desperate, and as if you can’t take much more.

 

Maybe you have been struggling with stress at work, and things are starting to get tough. You may be considering leaving your job, either to look elsewhere, re-train or just because it is becoming unbearable. Perhaps you have been working in a particular field for a long time, and want to talk your options through before making any final decisions. Or maybe you want to stay where you are, but develop some strategies for managing stress in the workplace and developing stronger boundaries between work and home life.

 

But let’s talk first, before you make any decision to leave your job or take drastic action, and before problems at work start to have a detrimental effect on family life, your relationships and your health. There are other options out there, and our counsellors and therapists can help you realise these possibilities and support you in deciding which is the best course of action to take. Get in touch today, and let’s see how we can work together to help best manage your situation and support you in moving forward from here.