in my own experience I have to agree that fear is a large contributor. Fear of a poor performance review, fear of redundancy, fear of being disciplined, fear of failing audits, fear of being inadvertently responsible for an outage, fear of being sacked, fear of negative feedback, fear of the b***ockings from your managers, fear of a loss of faith from your user base....the list can go on and on and on.
Fear is self perpetuating and in my own experience of working for in the UK financial services sector it's generally brought into IT departments by one thing: poor management.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not suggesting IT managers are the cause. I'm saying that a failure in constructive management in the company you work in can cause this fear feedback loop and destroy the effectiveness of a lot more than your IT team. When people are frightened of those who manage them (of what they may think or do when faced with information about you as an employee) they start to act defensively and natural human paranoia constructs scenarios that may not have ever come to pass in any case. This isn't healthy and can lead to reduced performance, feeding the cycle of feedback and fear of that feedback.
Transparent management, clear goals and correctly managed expectations all all great contributors to managing this fear - and therefore the associated stress. Fair practices and policies that reinforce the idea that work isn't everything (you are NOT A NUMBER!) also greatly help. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemies.
95% of the stuff you worry will happen doesn't. So don't worry (be happy! )
Doooooh-doh-doh-doo-do-di-dooo-dooh-do-dooooh-de-doooooh (don' worry!) Dooh-do-do-de-doooh-de-dooooh (don' worry!) Doooh-de-doooh-de-dooooh (don' worry, be happy now......)
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