How Looking Rushed Spreads Stress To Your Coworkers

How Looking Rushed Spreads Stress to Your Coworkers

We're all prone to rushing around at work now and again. The Wall Street Journal points out that looking rushed all the time can have a really negative effect on your coworkers.

Photo by jetheriot

There's a variety of reasons why rushing around the office might make your co-workers stressed out. Here are five of the responses we tend to have when we see someone rushing around:

  1. Anxiety: "Maybe I should be rushing around too."
  2. Inferiority: "Maybe my stuff isn't as important as his."
  3. Avoidance: "I'm afraid he'll be irritable if I interrupt him."
  4. Desperation: "Colleagues chase the rusher into the restroom or parking lot trying to get a minute to talk.
  5. Resentment: "Are you trying to show you're more important than me?"

The best thing you can really do to counteract this is to stop rushing around yourself (and to try and not be bothered by your coworkers who do). Regardless, it's a nice reminder that how you present yourself at work has an effect on your coworkers.

How Busy Colleagues Spread Secondhand Stress [The Wall Street Journal]

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Comments

    "The best thing you can really do to counteract this is to stop rushing around yourself (and to try and not be bothered by your coworkers who do)."

    I think the latter is more important. We should live in a culture of individual accountability. If someone is looking rushed (or actually is rushed) then chances are they're not doing it to inspire these negative feelings, but rather because they've actually got some sort of deadline. We've all been there. But don't blame the other person for your own (potentially misplaced) feelings - take ownership and realise that the only person making you feel that way is yourself.

    For the person who is constantly rushed or stressed, they shouldn't change how they present - they should change how they work. Work/life balance and being efficient and effective is a better long term strategy than constant reactivity.

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