It’s a normal day at the office, and then you hear it – a sneeze coming from your cubemate. You know the drill. Grab the Clorox wipes, whip out the Emergen-C, and subtly suggest they head home early. But what do you do when it’s your coworker’s stress, not cold germs, that’s contagious?

Is Stress Contagious?

Image via mensfitness.com

According to the Wall Street Journal, this is actually a real thing – a coworker’s high stress levels are infectious. So that frazzled colleague who’s always slamming the phone down, racing from meeting to meeting, and in a 24/7 panic is, whether you realize it or not, giving you secondhand stress. And here you thought secondhand smoke was annoying.

The worst part? There is no Emergen-C for this little predicament – unless doling out Xanax is allowed in your office (and I’m guessing it isn’t). Until then, I plan on sending around this study to a select few colleagues. And I’ll probably throw in a wink face, because emojis make everything acceptable, right?

Read more about office stress on the Wall Street Journal.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Editor

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December 13, 2013