Deadlines? Arrrghhh!!

Feeling stressed out by project deadlines? You're not alone. Two recent surveys say deadlines are the number-one cause of personal and interpersonal office anxiety. Other big stress inducers include budget constraints, coworker conflicts and job security (or lack thereof).

          Feeling stressed out by project deadlines? You're not alone. Two recent surveys of business executives and senior managers have outlined and evaluated the top 20 causes of work-related stress.

          Two groups of 300 CIOs, CEOs and other executives surveyed by the Net Future Institute in January said deadlines are the number-one cause of personal and interpersonal office anxiety. Other big stress inducers include budget constraints, coworker conflicts and job security (or lack thereof).

          "Deadlines are ubiquitous," explains Chuck Martin, chairman and CEO of the institute, a North Hampton, New Hampshire-based think tank that identifies and analyses business management and IT trends. "Nearly every executive at every level of every organisation deals with them."

          According to Martin, some survey participants say a certain level of stress in the office can be a positive motivating factor, as it keeps people alert. On the other hand, too much stress can be debilitating.

          Respondents also listed email overload, performance expectations, poor organisational communication, political stress and the impact of layoffs as some of the other factors that raise their stress level. Bad lighting and other environmental issues, as well as pressure from direct reports, caused the least amount of workplace anxiety.

          For more information on the survey's results, see the Net Future Institute.

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