Ability to work under pressure at work

Definition specifically related to the work context

Workers who are able to work under pressure can manage their workload, fulfill multiple tasks or projects and achieve expected results, while using time and resources effectively. This skill draws on the ability of individuals to experience stress at work without this situation affecting their performance or their colleagues. Employees who are unable to manage normal stress levels may have negative effects on their own performance and that of their work team.

Workplaces expose individuals to more and more information and data that need to be processed, in all kinds of formats and from multiple sources. As a result, a new phenomenon has emerged, called “cognitive overload”. In this context, workers need to be able to distinguish and filter information that is most important and relevant to their tasks, if they want to effectively manage this information overload, which places added pressure on them. Current workers and those from the next generation will need to learn how to deal with cognitive overload by using specific management techniques.

It is neither desirable nor possible to totally eliminate stress in the workplace. A better approach may be to ensure that employees are well trained in managing stress and working under pressure. Among other things, individuals must learn to reorganize their work schedule to cope with emergencies or priorities. Further, they must be able to mobilize resources that are required to fulfill urgent and complex tasks, to refuse a project for which they do not have time and to delegate some duties when they need to concentrate on one project.

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