5 Tips For Talking To Your Boss About Stress

We're all guilty taking of taking work home with us at the end of the day— whether that means thinking about your to-do list while making dinner, responding to e-mails on your phone, or actually poring over spreadsheets on your laptop. Related: 3 Reasons For Stress In The Workplace According to a 2013 study, 83% of Americans are stressed out by their jobs, a 10% jump from the previous year. Overwork is just one of the many sources of stress in the modern workplace, and, while we may have accepted constant attachment to Internet-connected devices as a fact of life, we shouldn't accept the stress brought on by a poor work-life balance. In fact, stress is more than just an unfortunate part of the job, it's a safety hazard. According to MySafetySign's 2014 Health and Safety Industry Survey, stress is the most overlooked workplace safety concern, with overwork coming in a close second. Of the health and safety professionals surveyed, 24% of respondents cited stress as the health and safety concern not given enough consideration by superiors, while 20% listed overwork as the top concern.

5 Tips For Talking To Your Boss About Stress

Whatever your industry, it is more important than ever to know how to discuss stress with those that have the power to change it — namely, your boss. These five tips will help you start a dialogue about stress and overwork with your higher ups.

1. Find the source of your stress

Identify the specific stressors that are most concerning. If a particular situation doesn't immediately spring to mind, take a moment to write down everything you do at work and how much time you spend on each activity, including favors you do for co-workers and responding to e-mails.

2. Get the timing right

Know when it's time to go to a superior. If this is something that can be resolved before speaking to your boss, such as a disagreement with a colleague, try addressing the stressful situation at a lower-level first.

3. Schedule a meeting

Send your boss an e-mail to set up a meeting. Simply ask for a 15-20 minute conversation to discuss your job performance. It is important to have these discussions face-to-face, so that your concerns are given the weight and attention they merit. The e-mail you send will form the beginning of a paper trail to prove, if need be, that you've taken steps to address the stress.

4. Keep it short

Keep the meeting short and to the point. Be clear about what is worrying you and give examples. Are you short staffed? Do you feel pressure to attend to work after hours? Focus on addressing these concerns, and only these, in the meeting while doing your best to keep your emotions out of it. (Now is not the time to ask for a raise or promotion!)

5. Be Prepared

Come to the meeting armed with some solutions to your workplace stress. Express your gratitude for your work, and ask for permission to carry out your suggestions. Your boss may have other solutions she'd like to implement, but by suggesting your own fixes, you show you are serious about improving the stressful situation, whatever it may be. Once your employers know that stress is a concern, they may do a better job of keeping your workload to a manageable level in the future. If after a week or two, you feel just as stressed out as when you had your initial discussion, don't be afraid to schedule a follow-up. Remember, your health and safety may depend on it.

Related Posts

How To Stop Work Stress In 5 Ways Create A Stress Strategy BEFORE You Need It 10 Creative Ways To Beat Career Stress   Photo Credit: Shutterstock

In our new YouTube series, "Well This Happened" it's your turn to be the career coach! What would you do if you asked a coworker when the baby was due and she responded with, "I'm not pregnant." Watch the video and cast your vote b posting a comment on Youtube. We'll select one person from the correct answers at random to win free membership to the Work It Daily program. Good luck!

SHOW MORE Show less

If you've ever wondered what a Work It Daily (WID) membership could do for you, a letter we got this week provides a powerful example...

SHOW MORE Show less

There are 3 things hiring managers are trying to initially assess about you in the job interview. This video walks you through what they are looking for and offers insights into the right information to give them. Be sure to check out our free resources mentioned in the video too. They are:

SHOW MORE Show less

Last week during my Office Hours on Youtube, a client asked about how to deal with a workplace bully. After spending many years in corporate HR, I flipped to the other side and became a career therapist. So, I've seen both sides of this situation in the workplace. In this video, I discuss why people struggle to deal with bullies and what you can do to change the situation instantly.

This week, I did something that truly scared me. I sent an email to over 120,000 Work It Daily newsletter subscribers and asked them to answer the question, "What do we do?"

SHOW MORE Show less

A market correction is going to happen. When it does, layoffs will follow. I've been in the HR and recruiting industry for over two decades and have seen three recessions of varying sizes. In the video above, I explain how to tell when a recession is coming and what that means to you and your career. While many people will skip watching this. Or, will watch it and do nothing. I hope YOU are the smart, savvy professional who sees how important it is to prepare for unexpected, unwelcomed career circumstances.

SHOW MORE Show less

In this video, you'll learn how to tell if your career is plateauing due to the Executive Blues. You'll also learn what you can do to fix the problem and get your "executive energy" back so you can keep your career on track and set goals to reach new heights of success!

Want to watch the full video tutorial by J.T.?

CLICK HERE to get access!