• By Check-a-Salary
  • Posted Tuesday 03 rd December 2019

Actions to Take Now to Help Combat Stress at Work

There is no easy answer for how to relieve stress at work, but it’s important that we learn how to manage it. 

We must learn how to manage our frustrations as not every aspect is within our control but we should take responsibility for the parts that we can control.

Managing stress can help with our output and the quality of our work. A direct consequence of not managing our stress may be that our relationships with clients are affected and our company’s overall interactions and future successes might be negatively impacted.

In the workplace, it’s vital that we manage stress, not only because we can contribute to how we are perceived by our peers, but it can also influence the morale of the team and the company.

If you are in a leadership position, your team looks to you for guidance and in some cases, people look up to you as a role model or at least, as someone they expect to lead the company, in a certain fashion.

Stress, when managed poorly, can lead to fatigue, attrition, absenteeism and in some cases, can be a contributing factor to mental health issues for either yourself, your colleagues or both.

If you feel the stress of work is starting to have a negative impact on your life, there are some steps you can take to get control.

  1. Assess your working methods

Using the perfect combination of time management can help you to reduce stress to a great extent and save significant amounts of time each day. Irrespective of the job or the industry you are in, you can feel like you are falling behind, which can stress you out.

By assessing your working methods and by embracing structure, you can help yourself to perform better and give yourself more time for other activities in life, like spending some quality time with your family, exercising and relaxation.

Some tips:

Technology

Today, software programs can help you to organise your work and allow easy access by adopting a personal scheduling program like to-do lists, a calendar and work plans, enabling you to save time. You can group incoming messages and work as a team to get the jobs done.

Avoid Timewasters

A lot of time is wasted by visiting distracting social media sites, attending unnecessary meetings and interacting with gossipy colleagues. You should shift your focus away from these and try to concentrate on more productive activities.

Take Small Breaks, frequently!

Clear your mind no matter how busy you are. A five to ten minute break away from your work helps to relax your body and refresh your mind. Maybe now is the best time to take that walk to the shops!

Delegate

Some people are very good delegators and others end up doing everything!  Start sharing your workload and responsibilities and this will ease some of the burden and stress.

Ask for Help When Needed

If you are overburdened at work and this is causing you unnecessary stress, never suffer in silence. If you are feeling stressed out at work, speak to your boss about your situation and get it sorted.

  1. Take lunch

Sounds simple doesn’t it? However a report in The Metro states that British workers only take 31 minutes for lunch. It’s even less in a recent report featured in The Telegraph which stipulates that people take a third less time now, compared to 6 years ago.

The research found that nearly one in five workers never leaves their desk during lunchtime. The report confirms that the reasons workers give for missing their breaks include excessive workload, unexpected tasks and not enough variety of places to eat nearby.

An action you can take now is to join a gym, or an easier option is to take a walk at lunchtime. The NHS confirms that physical activity reduces stress so there is no excuse not to walk to your local park or maybe to the shops.

A fact that might hit home is that British people lose 18 days a year from consistently not taking their lunch break!

  1. Change jobs

A short-term option might an easy option, maybe even the best option, but think long and hard about why you’d make that decision.

No doubt the thought of doing something else is exciting and maybe even a job that you are passion about but making knee jerk reactions or ‘running away’ is not always the best option.

Consider that you have ‘earned your stripes’ in your current company, you are well respected, well paid, your career is going well.

Before making the decision, consider your relationship with your manager - if you have an open relationship with a strong rapport, there may be a relatively easy solution that you can discover if you talk through your problems.

An answer may be that this person steps in to help you or that someone else is recruited to help share your workload, thus easing your stress.

Would a promotion ease the burden? Would an appraisal help? Would more money relight your fire?

An option might be that there is another job you can apply for internally, but if you feel that now is the time to change company, start to speak with recruiters and sign up to job boards.

You can do this on Check-a-Salary but here is a list of other great companies to visit and register your CV.

  1. Take a holiday

Stress affects people in different ways including loss of sleep, a lack of sense of humour, less drive, energy, focus and commitment.

Maybe you are no longer taking pride in your work, perhaps you have lost your engagement with others around you. You know you need to get your mojo back!

Taking a few days off can often help to recharge your batteries. This will give you the time to switch off, relax, reenergise, help with motivation and reduce stress.

But if a holiday is what you need, get away now or sometimes just planning a break and knowing you have something to look forward to is enough.

You don’t need to travel far, there is plenty to do in the UK.

  1. Buy a dog

I can imagine my first ever manager’s response if I had suggested that we have an office pet, but whilst researching mental health at work, this appears to be something that some companies actually do which has a great impact, not only on the employees, but on the company as well.

The most interesting article was featured on the University of Southern California website which  suggests that having a pet at work helps with work life balance. It states that having a pet reduces stress and increases productivity! If you think about it, it could make work a much nicer place to be but is it for everyone?

Apparently, it makes a company more compelling to work for, but I’d reserve judgement on that considering my cat allergy!

There are healthcare savings as well! Its official - apparently pets are identified as a proactive method of staying healthy and by doing so, saving money on a personal, professional, governmental and medical scale.

If you are in favour of pets at work to help reduce stress, think long and hard before you approach your manager - we don’t want them thinking you’re barking mad! With this idea, I think everyone must be on board. A way to get started might be that people take turns to bring their own pets in to the workplace, on different days of course.



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