14 Stressful Signs Your Boss Is Under Pressure

Written By Aleena

Even bosses sometimes get under pressure, and it can be difficult to tell when they’re struggling. Let’s share some signs that your boss is under pressure.

Usually, when bosses are under pressure, they try to cope the best way they know. But sometimes, this can mean taking it out on those around them.

14 Signs Your Boss Is Under Pressure

You will know the signs as soon as possible you see them. However, you might at first think your boss is just grumpy.

However, if you start seeing these behaviors regularly, it might be time to ask your boss if they’re okay.

1. Your Boss Is More Irritable Than Usual:

Being irritable is a common sign of stress. If your boss is irritated more than usual, it might be because they’re feeling the pressure.

Irritability comes from feeling like you’re not in control. Or, it might be because your boss is worried they’re not meeting expectations.

Irritated - Signs Your Boss Is Under Pressure

The boss is irritable at tiny things such as a coffee machine not working. Or your clock is two minutes slow.

That doesn’t make sense. However, when someone is under pressure, they tend to micromanage.

An obvious way to control the situation is to be early for work.

Make sure you do everything asked of you and on time. Doing this will take some pressure off your boss.

2. They Are Making More Mistakes Than Normal:

Making unusual mistakes always doesn’t make you look good in your job. It puts more pressure on the boss.

When people are under pressure, they’re not thinking as clearly as they usually would. So, it’s not surprising that they might make more mistakes.

For instance, your boss might forget to sign an important document.

This can cause problems down the line, and it’s something that your boss will be sure to remember.

Or, your boss might decide without consulting you first.

This can be frustrating, but it’s important to remember that your boss is under a lot of pressure.

3. They Are Micromanaging You And Other Employees More Than Usual:

When bosses feel like they’re not in control, they tend to micromanage. This means they’re constantly checking up on you and other employees.

They might also start delegating more tasks than usual. This is because they want to make sure everything is being done correctly.

They tend to manage your every move and give more detailed instructions than usual.

For example, your boss might email you to ask how your day is going. Or, they might call you into their office to discuss a project you’re working on.

This isn’t necessarily bad if done typically, as in not too often. However, if you feel like you can’t do anything without your boss’s approval, it might be time to have a talk.

4. Your Boss Is Avoiding You And Other Employees More Than Usual:

When bosses are under pressure, they sometimes start avoiding those around them.

This is because they don’t want to deal with any problems. They might also cancel or postpone more meetings than usual.

This is because they don’t want to deal with difficult conversations.

For instance, your boss might not respond to your emails. Or, they might not come out of their office much.

If this is happening, it’s important to still try and communicate with your boss.

However, don’t take it personally if they’re not responding. They might need some time to themselves.

5. They Seem Preoccupied And Distant:

When bosses are under pressure, they might seem preoccupied and distant. This is because they’re thinking about everything they must do.

They might also be less involved in day-to-day operations. This is because they’re trying to focus on the bigger picture.

Distant bosses - Signs Your Boss Is Under Pressure

For instance, your boss might not be as interested in your project as they normally are. Or, they might not participate in meetings as much.

Sometimes, this can be a good thing. It means your boss is trusting you to handle things on your own.

However, it can also be frustrating if you need help and your boss is unavailable.

Distant bosses are not ideal, but you can not always do something about it.

6. They Are More Critical Of Employees:

Being critical sometimes is normal. But if your boss has recently started to nitpick everything you do, that is not normal.

Your boss will be more critical of employees when they’re under pressure.

Their standards are going to be higher, and they’re going to expect more from you.

And if you don’t meet their expectations, they might get angry.

They try to find mistakes where there might not be any. So, if you’re suddenly getting a lot of negative feedback from your boss, that’s the cue.

It would help if you started being more careful with your work. However, don’t be too hard on yourself. Your boss is just under a lot of pressure.

7. Your Boss Isn’t Taking Their Usual Breaks:

Breaks at work are important. They help you recharge and refocus. But when bosses are under pressure, they tend to work longer hours and take fewer breaks.

This is because they feel like they must be at work all the time. They might also cancel their vacation days. 

Or, if they do take a break, they’re probably not relaxing. They’re probably just working on their laptop or taking calls.

When someone is stressed at work, they need to take breaks. Otherwise, they’re going to burn out.

If you see your boss working all the time and not taking breaks, that’s a sign they’re under pressure.

8. They Are Working On Weekends:

Working on the weekends is not always a bad thing. Sometimes, it’s necessary. But if your boss is always working, that’s a problem.

Your boss might start working on weekends because they feel like they have to.

Or, they might not be able to finish everything during the week. This is a problem because it means your boss is not taking time for themselves.

They’re not able to relax and recharge. And, eventually, they’re going to burn out.

If you see your boss working on weekends, talk to them about it. They might not realize how much pressure they’re under.

9. Your Boss Is Cancelling Social Plans:

When bosses are under pressure, they might start canceling social plans. This is because they don’t want to deal with anything outside of work.

Or, they might not have the energy to go out and socialize. They want to come home and relax.

When you are under a lot of pressure, taking some time for yourself is essential.

Taking some time for yourself

However, you shouldn’t cancel all your social plans. It would help if you had a balance.

Sometimes, your boss might need to cancel plans because of work. But if they do it all the time, that’s a problem.

10. They Are Cancelling Or Postponing More Meetings Than Usual:

Canceling or delaying meetings regularly is another sign your boss is under pressure.

This is because they might not have the time or energy to meet with you. Or, they might not be able to make decisions as quickly as they usually do.

Or, they might be postponing meetings because they’re trying to avoid conflict.

For instance, if there’s a problem with a project, your boss might not want to deal with it.

They might postpone the meeting until they have more time to deal with the issue.

Or, they might cancel the meeting because they don’t want to face the problem.

Such as, if an employee is not performing well, your boss might cancel the meeting. They don’t want to have to confront the employee.

11. They Seek More Approval From Others:

When bosses are under pressure, they might seek more approval from others.

This is because they want to ensure they’re doing a good job. They don’t want to make any mistakes.

Or, they might need reassurance from others that they’re doing a good job.

For instance, your boss might start asking you for your opinion more often. Or, they might ask for feedback from their boss.

Sometimes, this is a good thing. It shows that your boss is open to feedback.

However, if your boss constantly seeks approval, it might be a sign that they’re under pressure.

12. They Are Not Making Decisions As Quickly As They Normally Do:

Under stress and pressure, it can be hard to make decisions. This is because you might second-guess yourself more often.

Or, you might overthink things. As a result, you might take longer to make decisions.

Second-guess yourself

For instance, if your boss is trying to decide whether to hire someone, they might take longer than usual.

Or, same if they’re trying to decide whether to fire someone.

This is because they don’t want to make the wrong decision. Rather than making a quick decision, they want to take their time and think things through.

But this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are critical in a positive way. This means that they might be more indecisive than usual.

13. Your Boss’s Health Is Suffering:

Declining health is another sign that your boss is under pressure. This is because when you’re stressed, your immune system weakens.

As a result, you might get sick more often. Or, you might have a more challenging time recovering from illnesses.

For instance, you might notice your boss coming to work late more often. Or, they might be taking more sick days than usual.

Or, you might notice that they’re not eating as well as they used to. They might be losing weight or not getting enough sleep.

If your boss’s health suffers, they have a lot on their plate.

14. They Are Snapping At You More Than Usual:

If your boss is snapping at you more than usual, they’re under pressure. This is because they might be feeling overwhelmed and stressed out.

For instance, they might be short with you when you ask them a question. Or, they might get angry more easily.

When you make a mistake, they might yell at you instead of calmly explaining what you did wrong.

Or, they might be rude to you for no reason. Such as, they might interrupt you when you’re talking or roll their eyes at you.

Final Word:

So here are some signs that your boss is under pressure. If you notice any of these things, it’s essential to be understanding.

After all, your boss is under a lot of pressure to perform well. And, if they’re not performing well, it will reflect poorly on them.

But that doesn’t mean you must always agree with everything they say or do. If you disagree with their decisions, it’s important to voice your opinion.

Your boss will appreciate your honesty, and it might help them make better decisions.

Last Updated on 2 months by Shahzaib Arshad


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