How A Boss's Stress Hurts Productivity

Last Updated Aug 11, 2008 1:46 PM EDT

1267104775_ccc8be73b1_m.jpgIf you're a manager who's feeling the heat, you need to realize that your team is in the kitchen with you. If you're under pressure, says the Associated Press's Joyce M. Rosenberg, you could be passing on your anxiety to your employees and creating a stressful atmosphere that hurts productivity.

How, you say? Consider that anxious employees may develop stress-related illnesses or take mental-health days to escape an emotionally toxic environment. Stress can also cause short- and long-term problems including difficulty in concentrating, memory disturbances, chronic headaches, mood swings and outbursts of anger -- none of which are conducive to a productive workplace.

Employees can pick up on your stress with verbal (yelling, tone of voice) and nonverbal (body language and facial expressions) cues, so don't think you're keeping it a secret. Instead, take action to reduce your stress. Take time off, get enough sleep, exercise, manage your time better, cut back on caffeine, practice breathing exercises and do whatever else you can to get calmer. You'll feel better -- and so will your team.

(image by gotplaid? via Flickr, CC 2.0)

  • CC Holland

    CC Holland is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and a number of national magazines. Online, she was a columnist for and writes regularly for and BNET. On the other side of the journalism desk, she's been a managing editor for ZDNet, CNet, and KCBS-TV in Los Angeles, where she earned an APTRA Best News Web Site award.