Did you know we spend nearly one-third of our adult lives at work? Unfortunately, it is impossible to find a workplace where everyone’s roles, expectations, and individual personalities work in perfect harmony together. It is inevitable that conflict of some sort occurs, so it comes as no surprise that workplace issues are a common source of stress for many people.
For some of us, workplace issues can cause negative psychological symptoms. Stress in the workplace can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. This is particularly prevalent in demanding roles where employees have limited control over working conditions. Examples of these types of jobs include firefighters, airline pilots, military personnel, police officers, event coordinators, healthcare workers, teachers, social workers and administrative support workers. Unfortunately, the stresses of the workplace can impact on our personal life, resulting in not only mental health issues but also physical health problems such as heart attacks, hypertension, pain, insomnia and elevated rates of substance abuse.
Because so much of our time is spent at work, it’s vital that we are well-adjusted in this environment. You may find that talking with a trained mental health professional about workplace stresses and challenges is helpful, both professionally and personally.
Why workplace disputes happen
Often issues arise because:
- Employers and employees don’t know roles, expectations and laws
- Work-life balance is not valued
- Personal issues spill over into professional settings
- Boundaries are not clearly defined or simply not adhered to
- Communication is inadequate or has broken down
Common Workplace Issues
Common workplace issues that employees face include:
- Interpersonal conflict
- Communication problems
- Low motivation and job satisfaction
- Performance issues or poor job fit
Workplace bullying involves any behaviour intended to humiliate, threaten, undermine or victimise an individual or group of people in the workplace. It can be psychological, verbal or even physical abuse.
These behaviours include, but are not limited to:
- Verbal abuse, such as put-downs or ridicule
- Teasing, mocking or regularly making fun of you, or your work (Including gender, sexuality, family, race, culture, education, intelligence, socioeconomic background or lifestyle choices)
- Isolating or excluding you from situations
- Intimidation which results in you feeling fearful or afraid to work
- Purposely withholding required information
- Displaying inappropriate or offensive material
- Spreading malicious gossip, rumours or innuendo
People bully others in the workplace for a variety of reasons and causes, however, it is important to realise that whatever the cause, these behaviours are unacceptable and require action. Workplace bullying impacts both the direct victims and the people around them including family, co-workers and friends, it is a serious issue that needs intervention as soon as possible.
The Effects of Workplace Bullying
Workplace bullying can result in:
- Victims feeling stressed, anxious, depressed or scared
- Reduced confidence or self-belief
- Impacts on activities outside of work such as study or relationships
- Loss of trust for your employer or workmates
- Sleep problems and headaches
- Increased absenteeism or inability to work
- Panic attacks
Remember, workplace bullying is unacceptable and should not be suffered in silence.
Need more help to sort out a workplace issue?
Issues in the workplace can lead to decreased performance and productivity, decreased job satisfaction, stress and mental health issues. In many cases a health professional may be useful to help resolve workplace issues. Therapy can help you deal with mental health symptoms that result from workplace issues, teach healthy coping skills to help manage work-related stress, improve your assertive communication or assist with conflict resolution skills.
Career counselling can be useful for resolving workplace issues such as job fit, performance and satisfaction and to help identify your specific skills and abilities for career advancement or even career change. Industrial and organisational psychologists can also be a useful tool for employers. They can identify areas of concern within an organisation or business to create a more collaborative, healthy work environment.
Need help sorting out an issue in your workplace? We have a range of tools that can help you resolve issues in your workplace. At Wellbeing Therapy Space, we can help you clarify any work related issues and develop a practical way forward. Whatever the issue, our aim is to help you work towards a positive solution and define and reach career goals.