Managing and preventing stress at work can be more important than companies and employees realise. Anxiety is the most common cause of stress, and when this condition is addressed, it is possible to avoid building up stress levels in the individual’s everyday duties. Addressing the underlying causes of stress will better assist the individual in dealing with or changing the circumstances that generate stress, and thus learning to adapt and cope with working situations in a more comfortable manner.
When a combination of organisational transformation and individual stress management is applied to prevent workplace stress, the results are the best. That is, just like in any healthy partnership, both the employee and the employer put forth the effort.
What can the organisation do to help employees cope with stress?
- Encourage physical activity and meditation both during and after work hours
- Promote open communication
- Establish a zero-tolerance policy in the workplace for workplace discrimination
- Ensure that the task is appropriate for the workers’ talents and resources
- Encourage taking time off, resting, and taking breaks
- Provide workers with stimulation and opportunity to apply their skills
- Hire an outside consultant to come up with new ideas for existing problems
- Establish family-friendly policies to foster work-life balance
- Increase worker morale by facilitating social connections
- Deliver Stress Management Group Activities
- Clearly define employee roles and duties
- Encourage employee engagement in decision-making that affects individual roles
- and deliver stress management training in the workplace
Unfortunately, not all workplaces have things in place to help their employees to better deal with stress, thus, the following are some recommendations on how to manage stress at work effectively:
- Establish a good work-life balance that includes exercise. It’s no secret that our health suffers when we’re busy, tired, or stressed. A poor work-life balance can result in a number of issues. Exercise lowers stress hormones and increases endorphin production, both of which aid in relaxation.
- Take note – Be aware of the indicators and how stress affects you — knowing what short-term and long-term stress does to you is crucial. Make a mental note of everything.
- Establish open and professional communication. Early communication is one approach to avoid strained relationships and stress. Rather than waiting until you’ve reached a breaking point, tell a colleague when anything is bothering you if you need help or more time. You can de-escalate potentially stressful situations by calmly expressing anger or disappointment.
- Taking small breaks to stretch and relax the mind on a regular basis will also aid with stress management. Taking a few minutes to unwind and refocus after being excited can be beneficial whenever the individual feels a bit stressed. Getting some fresh air is also beneficial to both the body and the mind.
- Leave work at work. Leaving work at work is one of the keys to managing a major source of cycle worry, workplace stress, as well as improving work-life balance. This turns off the day’s stressors and gives the body time to recover from the impacts of strain and tension. This is true for both on-site and remote staff.
- Take lunch breaks. It’s also crucial to take proper lunch and tea breaks to take your mind off work for a time. It’s a good idea to take a break while your body replenishes its resources.
- Set realistic deadlines. Set earlier work completion times, such as a day or two earlier, and then reward yourself if you fulfill those deadlines. However, make sure these are realistic. Adding a buffer is also beneficial because it allows you to plan for the possibility that others will be late. You should ask for products up to two days ahead of time as a deadline set.
- Participate in work functions. You may not think about it this way, but it does actually give you a break from the normal office scenery and will allow you to relax with colleagues without the pressure stress, or deadlines from work. It also gives motivation, allowing you to let go of the stress.
- Go home on time. If you’re always staying late at work, you may have a variety of problems, including feeling overworked, stressed, and exhausted. Long-term mental health issues, such as burnout, might result from this, and working nonstop might harm your personal connections and stifle your creativity.
- Take your holiday leave. Workers feel pressured to work longer hours and take fewer days off. Workloads are heavier, deadlines are tighter, and job security is in jeopardy, all of which adds to the pressure to perform at the greatest level possible, even if it means skipping vital breaks. It can also put a strain on relationships and cause severe fatigue. Everybody needs a break to relax and unwind.
- Give up coffee – most people are completely unaware of how coffee affects the body and mind. Coffee aids in the additional elevation of any conditions into hyperactivity, resulting in a perfect mix that worsens any stressful situation. The coffee enters the bloodstream, causing the adrenaline to become overstimulated, causing the brain to go into overdrive.
- Respect other employees. Employees who are less stressed and valued are more willing to share ideas and collaborate with their co-workers to attain their objectives. Reduced stress and improved respect can have a positive impact on your employees’ mental and physical health.
- Do not tolerate discrimination of any sort, report any instances. When people are treated unfairly or harshly on a regular basis, it can lead to low self-esteem and an increased risk of developing stress-related diseases including anxiety and depression.
- Being more organised is also great advice to most stressed-out people. The concept of being organised does not appear to provide any clear benefits to the individual, resulting in an inability to implement this highly helpful attribute into one’s daily routine. Learning the advantages of being organised can assist the stressed-out individual in better appreciating its positive contributing aspects, and when this is well-adapted as a daily practice, the quality of life will undoubtedly improve.
- Sign up for workplace training programs to develop and improve your skills. Whether this is a stress management course or a new skill to add to your job role or even a recap on a skill you already know, it will help you with self-development, self-esteem, and confidence.
- If required, seek therapy to manage and develop skills to cope with workplace stressors. Most people assume that therapy is only utilised as a last choice by those who are suffering from major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or bipolar illness, all of which are considered more serious than minor life occurrences. However, seemingly insignificant life events can have a significant impact on our cognitive performance, memories, and overall well-being. Individual therapy provides a safe environment in which you can examine your thoughts, feelings, and problems. It also aims to encourage transformation and improve one’s quality of life by encouraging self-awareness and exploration.
As you can clearly see from the above, managing and preventing stress at work is mutually beneficial to both the individual struggling with stress as well as the company they work for. This is why it is so important that both the employer and the employee develop coping strategies to combat stress at work.
If you need help as an individual, you can reach out to me for Stress Therapy.
If you are an organization and need help to combat stress for employees at work, here is a starting point with a Stress Management Workshop.