Not surprisingly, four-fifths of executives and managers are stressed,\n\nwith a third saying they are highly stressed. And the stress does not\n\nappear to be going away, based on a recent survey of senior executives\n\nand managers nationwide as well as a similar survey conducted two years ago by NFI Research.\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\n\u201cStress is now greater than I can remember, in my 30 years of work history,\u201d said one survey respondent.\n\n\n\n\n\n\u201cThe 40-hour work week is a myth for most managers,\u201d said another\n\nrespondent. \u201cIt is expected that we work 50 to 60 hours to get the job\n\ndone and a large number of things still don\u2019t get completed because of\n\nunrealistic expectations. We are still human beings who can only do so\n\nmuch in a day.\u201d\n\nAlmost a third of survey respondents cited number of hours\n\nworked as a cause of stress while more than a third cited expectations\n\nas a cause.\n\n\u201cThe biggest cause of stress is the unrealistic expectations in\n\nthe volume of work that is expected,\u201d said one manager. "The second is\n\nthe amount of time that is expected. Not that long ago, extra time at\n\nthe office would get you ahead; now extra time is needed just to keep your head."\n\n\n\n\n\nSaid another: "One of the main stresses we all feel is too much to do\n\nand declining resources needed to get the job done. Fewer employees\n\nmeans more responsibility and less time to focus on any one thing. We\n\nmust learn to manage ourselves better and teach staff to do the same."\n\nThe top causes of stress for the majority of executives and\n\nmanagers are, in order: deadlines, interruptions, conflicting\n\nresponsibilities, expectations and e-mail overload.\n\n\n\n\n\nSeveral respondents cited internal workplace issues, such as management issues and office politics, as stress causes.\n\n\n\n\u201cOne of the major stressors is the excruciatingly slow planning,\n\ncommunication and execution of strategy by top management,\u201d said one\n\nmanager.\n\n\u201cRegular stress is good, it keeps you on\n\nedge,\u201d said another. \u201cHowever, bureaucratic stress is very difficult to\n\ndeal with. It exists between the towers if they are allowed to\n\ncontinue.\u201d\n\nSaid another: \u201cNew management is moving fast to straighten out\n\npast problems, which causes more stress because of reduced cost and\n\nexpense. The new objectives are in direct contrast to each other, which\n\ngives us a pay-me-now or pay-me-now and also pay-me-later situation.\u201d\n\n\u201cThe vast majority of my stress comes from the gamesmanship of\n\nmy peers,\u201d said another manager. \u201cToo often, serving our customers\n\ncomes after serving our own desire for power, recognition or simply job\n\navoidance.\u201d\n\n\n\n\n\nSome also said their cause of stress is essentially self-imposed. \n\n\n\n\u201cTo be honest, much of the stress I experience is due to my\n\ntaking on more projects and responsibilities, believing that they can\n\nbe done and on time,\u201d said one respondent. \u201cAnd they almost always are,\n\nbut with extra effort and time. But I seem to thrive on it.\u201d\n\nA certain amount of stress at work can keep people energized\n\nand focused on critical tasks. However, with the current stress levels,\n\nmore executives and managers might find themselves too pressured to\n\nkeep sight of what really matters, and that is not likely to be good\n\nfor business.