Anxiety at Work Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: Anxiety at Work outlines the importance of having a harmonious working environment due to the constant increase in people’s stress levels from their professional lives, and how managers, direct supervisors, CEOs, and other executive bodies can help reduce it by fostering a healthy environment.

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In today’s world, organizations have to keep the bar high to maintain their human resource and not have them go to better managed companies. With so many options and a shortage in skilled individuals, taking care of staff has become a top priority.

On top of that, stress from the working place and mental health awareness have become hot topics. Therefore, as a manager, you’ll want to avoid having your employees face these issues and just prevent them instead. You can start by helping your personnel with one of their biggest problems: uncertainty.

The highly dynamic working environment, the ongoing technological advancements, and a pandemic on top of it all, make it difficult for a person to settle and find certainty when it comes to the future of a job. Anxiety at Work by Adrian Gostick addresses this topic and many others, teaching you how to become a reliable employer for your people. 

Below I’ve listed three of my favorite lessons from the book:

  1. Address and solve difficult topics, such as discrimination at work.
  2. Overworking yourself is not productive, nor is it healthy.
  3. Don’t rush your career, great things take time. 

Feel like exploring these lessons a little bit more? I’ve got each one detailed below. Here we go!

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Lesson 1: Foster a healthy working environment by addressing discrimination and minorities’ rights.

Today’s society is quite different compared to a few years back. On the good side, people are more open and vocal when it comes to their problems, which in turn builds connectivity and trust. On the bad side, some people abuse this new phenomenon and feel offended and discriminated for no reason, and some may even sue. 

This is why it’s important to prevent these problems from the start. It’s no secret that the gender pay gap, or the discrimination of black people is real. Instead of contributing to this problem, become an activist. Be the employer who doesn’t discriminate based on gender, sex, or race, and be as vocal about it as you can.

Moreover, when such issues occur in your company, take the right attitude. Follow up on all conflicts, even the minor ones. Let people know that there’s no room for discrimination and hate speech in your organization, and that there will be consequences. Turn your company into a place where people can express their identity freely.

It’s easier said than done, indeed. However, if big companies like Starbucks, Nike, Apple, Facebook (now Meta) did so, why can’t you? Even though it can be difficult or costly at first, there’s a reason why these companies opted for these practices. In the long run, they pay off in indirect returns from happy employees.

Lesson 2: Avoid burnout by working within your own limits and not forcing yourself.

The modern culture of work implies spending long hours at your job, having a side hustle if possible, learning skills continuously and maintaining a personal life on top of all. Not only is this detrimental to our physical and emotional health, but it’s also counterproductive.

Not everyone has the same energy supplies or return on investment. What you find easy to accomplish can take twice as much time for someone else. Therefore, if you’re a manager, don’t overwork your people or push an extended work schedule. Even if some of your employees ask you to do so, take into account the bigger picture first. 

If you allow one person to do so, what will the other staff members say? Maybe they’ll want the same, so can you cover all those extra hours? Or, what if your employees face burnout from excessive work, how will you replace them, even temporarily? These are all questions to ask yourself when considering workload matters. The health of your employees determines their productivity, so tackling this issue is a win-win situation.

If you’re an employee, think of it this way:  do you want to reach burnout? Of course not! Can you avoid it? Yes! Therefore, if you feel pressured, overworked, or irritated at work, discuss this issue with your supervisor. Mental health is not a luxury, but a necessity. Treat this problem from the roots by taking a few days off when you need it and prevent it by keeping the workload within healthy limits.

Lesson 3: Your fear of missing out is causing you anxiety.

New generation, new problems. The seniors and the aged adult working force of today spent their life at the same job, rarely changing it. In contrast to that, the younger generation is more dynamic than ever. People change jobs faster than ever before, sometimes even after only a few months. 

Due to technological advancements, the young adults of today grew up watching their friends online. Now, when they scroll through social media, they feel as if everyone else is living a better life than them, which in turn makes them constantly look for more and want to accomplish outstanding achievements. This phenomenon has led to a mass work migration.

If you’re an executive or an HR manager, good news! The best way to retain a workforce is to offer new challenges, positions, opportunities, and other innovative projects. Trends speak for themselves ― the companies who do that are more likely to have loyal employees. If you’re an employee, learn to stay still. The world isn’t going anywhere, and your fear of missing out is only causing you anxiety. 

Building a career takes time, and not everyday can be exciting and challenging, contrary to what social media tells you. Of course, talking to your supervisors about taking on new projects and responsibilities, advancing in your career or getting training is always a good idea, but give yourself some time before you decide to call it a day.

Anxiety at Work Review

Anxiety at Work addresses a series of important topics, from employee mental health, to sources of anxiety and how to avoid discrimination and burnout at work. Reading this book is imperative for every manager, executive or team leader, as well as for employees who want to set healthy professional boundaries and have a balance between their job and personal life.

Who would I recommend our Anxiety at Work summary to?

The 40-year-old team leader who wants to be a better manager and improve their team’s spirit, the 55-year-old CEO who wants to internally rebrand their organization into a more open, learning environment, and anyone who wants to become a team leader.

Last Updated on May 19, 2023

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.