Since we spend so much of our daily lives in our workplace, we want it to be a safe and friendly environment. But when emotional distress works its way into our work environment, we are often slow to recognize it.
We all expect a certain amount of stress during work hours. A little bit of stress might even be helpful to keep us focused, energetic, and challenged. However, excessive workplace stress can be damaging to your performance and productivity. Too much stress can even impact your physical and emotional health.
The Los Angeles employment lawyers at Kesluk, Silverstein, Jacob & Morrison, P.C. have seen the damage toxic work environments can cause. This experience allows us to help clients recognize and improve the environment where they work.
Recognizing Emotional Stress Caused by a Hostile Work Environment
In many cases, emotional distress is the result of a hostile work environment. Harassment from your employer or other employees can often be the source of toxic stress levels. Here are some signs that you are emotionally distressed at work as a result of harassment:
- Fear of being laid off. One common emotional distress signal of a hostile workplace is having a constant fear that your employer will fire you. This fear is often caused by an employer’s constant and inappropriate threats of termination. In some cases, your employer may constantly express disappointment to manipulate your performance. This behavior can poison a workplace.
- Pressure/anxiety to perform. Another sign that you are emotionally stressed from work is that you feel an extreme pressure to perform to meet rising expectations. This anxiety usually comes with no job satisfaction if you manage to achieve your work goals. You might also feel pressure to work at the highest levels at all times. This will definitely make you feel like you are pushing yourself to your physical and emotional limits.
- Loss of interest. You might also feel a loss of interest in things you were passionate about. This loss of interest could include your career, your hobbies, your relationships, etc. You may be putting all of your physical and emotional needs into pleasing your employer, leaving you no time to care for yourself.
- Extreme fatigue. Lastly, any extreme physical and emotional stress can lead to fatigue. This also relates to not being able to sleep at night and being generally irritable and unable to focus throughout the day.
What Can You Do?
If you are feeling any of these signs of emotional distress at work or as a result of work, you need to find the root of the problem. Most of the time, these feelings are due to your employer or another employee putting unrealistic expectations on you and your work performance. This is a form of workplace harassment, especially if it leaves you feeling physically and emotionally drained.
The first steps you should take are to take care of yourself. Reach out to co-workers, family, and friends for support. Focus on your health by exercising and eating right and do not skimp on sleep. Also, don’t hesitate to contact our attorneys if nothing you do seems to help. You may wish to file a hostile work environment lawsuit if circumstances do not improve.