Stress is one of the most daunting obstacles to employee performance in the modern workplace. Most of the stress we experience today comes from our jobs and work sites. Job stress costs billions of dollars every year because it leads to more absenteeism, medical expenses, and workers’ compensation claims. Stress causes workers to eat poorly, take up drinking and smoking, be inactive, have problems in their relationships, and all of these decrease productivity in every aspect of the person’s life.
You must take out time to find out the origin of your workplace stress, to effectively work on it, and find solutions to it. Effective stress management is not easy and requires time and practice, but your overall health and well-being need to develop stress management skills.
These five ways can be used in managing stress:
- Workplace wellness: Exercise and living healthy are the 2 best weapons to deal with stress. Exercise takes employees’ minds off the stress of their jobs to focus on the task at hand. It improves moods by increasing the production of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters.
Employers should encourage employees to go on a walk during lunch break, subsidize gym memberships should be part of the benefits of the job, offer healthy snacks in the office, and have a wellness program once a month.
This makes employees feel valued knowing their employers are looking out for their health. A study by Peapod.com reported that 66% of employees feel happy when their employer regularly stocks the refrigerator and cupboards with healthy fresh snacks. Simple things like fresh fruit and yoghurt help employees feel more motivated.
- Control your time and goals: Set realistic goals and properly allocate timeframes for completing each work. Setting realistic goals will help you feel more in control of your life and time. Scheduling more than you can handle is a great stressor. If you are feeling overwhelmed with work, learn to say NO. Learn to delegate any activities that you don’t have to do. Also, use a planner or smartphone to schedule everything from appointments, meetings, reading and responding to emails, writing a report, etc. Schedule every tiny detail so as not to overwhelm oneself.
- Forget multitasking: Multitasking was once viewed as a wonderful way to increase one’s time and get more work done in a day, but people are eventually beginning to realize that multitasking does not provide the best in any work done. They become tired and start to lose focus very fast and it doesn’t work well with most people. Instead of multitasking to stay on top of your task, try another strategy like Chunking. Chunking means to divide or group things so they can be processed as single concepts.
- Keep perfectionism in check: being a high achiever can help you gain respect from your colleagues and help you excel at work, but being a perfectionist can create problems for you and those around you. Doing everything perfectly cannot be achieved every time especially for a fast-paced job. A better strategy is always striving to do your best and making out time to congratulate yourself on your efforts.
- Talk it out: Healthy and supportive relationships have proved to reduce stress. Taking out time to talk to loved ones to discuss your difficult day can help lower your stress level and also help you see your situation from another perspective and get a solution.
Of course, not all stress is created equal. A certain amount of healthy stress in the workplace is actually a good thing. Scientists make a distinction between Eustress (good) and Distress (bad) and point out that Eustress is actually necessary for individuals to make breakthroughs and companies to grow.
While dealing with stress at work is a real problem for me it is definitely solvable. Follow the tactics outlined here to help bring your stress level back down into the healthy range so you can create some real magic for yourself.