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Top 5 Worries Employees Have About Work

Businessman outdoors with colleagues.

Your professional life may not always be exciting, but it should never cause you too much anxiety. Certain civilian occupations are very dangerous and naturally entail a high degree of stress, but that shouldn't be the case if you're in a standard nine to five desk job. If you're dreading going into work, you're not alone. Some fears are more common than others and usually reflect the state of the economy. Cleveland.com has collected some of the five most common fears which we've annotated for you below.

1. Having too many tasks and burning out.

When the economy gets tough, companies tend to prune their staff to reduce expenses. Unfortunately, this leaves a large number of workers with double or triple the workload they're used to. Dealing with this can cause high levels of stress, but there are steps employees can take to deal with the situation. Look for ways to streamline your process, cut truly extraneous projects, and talk to your superiors about feasible solutions. The worst option is to simply do nothing.

2. Making a serious error.

No matter what profession you're in, there will always be a way for you to mess something up. Most mistakes are small, but nearly every employee is in a position to make a serious error and damage their company's bottom line. It's better to stay on your toes than adopt a devil-may-care attitude, but don't let this type of stress bog you down. Truly egregious errors are usually few and far between for most people, and most likely a colleague, possibly even your boss, has made one too. Don't get too cozy with the idea, but don't let the fear impair you.

3. Conflicts with coworkers.

It's hard to clash with someone at work: you have to interact with them every day and do your best to shelve personal issues in the name of a professional and productive workspace. If you're dealing with someone truly unreasonable, it may be time to talk to HR, but fear of clashing with coworkers shouldn't become an overriding concern. Disagreements are a natural part of communication, and in fact might be necessary to make a project more effective. Leverage them as an opportunity to learn and communicate, but back off if things are veering towards disaster.

4. Coworkers performing to a higher standard.

Competition can be healthy, but not when it causes you high levels of anxiety. Whatever the cause, if you are overly concerned that everyone else is outperforming you, take a deep breath and evaluate the situation. If you feel comfortable doing so, talk to your boss and ask for an impromptu evaluation. Their feedback should let you know where you stand within the company. If you're still unsure, look at what colleagues in similar positions have accomplished in the last year, and appraise how your own work stacks up. Having it all on paper will help give you some perspective: if it looks like you're falling behind, think about how to catch up.

5. Missing important deadlines.

Sometimes deadlines are gentle and somewhat vague reminders. Other times, they're set-in-stone targets that must be met or a big project will fail. If you're faced with one of the latter, don't let fear overcome you. Break down the process: what do you need to do to complete the project and how much time do you have? Make estimates on how long each step will take, then draw up a schedule. If you can hit your target dates, great, and if not, you'll have an idea of what needs to be shuffled around.

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