Sunday, December 4, 2022

How To Deal With Stress At Work

Encourage Employees To Take Breaks

How To Deal With Stress At Work

As Jason Schreier wrote in The New York Times, workplace cultures that encourage non-stop work have damaging effects on their employees. He outlined a phenomenon called crunching, where video game developers work as many as 20 hours a day for days or weeks on end.

The designer Clint Hocking described suffering memory loss as a result of the stress and anxiety of crunching on a game. Brett Douville, a veteran game programmer, said he once worked so long and for so hard that he found himself temporarily unable to step out of his car.

If your employees are overloaded and continually sacrificing their leisure time to get stuff out the door, it might be time to reconsider their workload such as hiring more employees, or changing expectations.

And by encouraging them to take breaks throughout the day, employees will come back to the office less stressed and more productive.

What Is Job Stress

Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury.

The concept of job stress is often confused with challenge, but these concepts are not the same. Challenge energizes us psychologically and physically, and it motivates us to learn new skills and master our jobs. When a challenge is met, we feel relaxed and satisfied. Thus, challenge is an important ingredient for healthy and productive work. The importance of challenge in our work lives is probably what people are referring to when they say a little bit of stress is good for you.

But for David and Theresa, the situation is different-the challenge has turned into job demands that cannot be met, relaxation has turned to exhaustion, and a sense of satisfaction has turned into feelings of stress. In short, the stage is set for illness, injury, and job failure.

Start With Your Organizations Leadership Structure

Workloads aside, stress in the workplace trickles down from decisions at the top.

As part of your organizations leadership, you must continuously work to monitor employee stress levels and address any harmful emotional states.

Your leadership and managerial teams can control stress in the workplace by:

  • Leading by example in every aspect of the business. This includes managing your own stress in a healthy way.
  • Regularly communicating in a transparent manner to all employees about job performance, job responsibilities, company health, company goals and reiterating the company vision.

When employees feel reassured, know how their efforts fit into the big picture, have a sense of control over their work duties, and understand how the company is doing and what the short- and long-term goals are, work takes on a higher meaning and stress levels are reduced.

Read Also: What Is The Least Stressful Nursing Job

Negative Effects At The Company Level

While stress can be harmful to the employee, it also has the potential to damage the company due to increased staff absence due to sickness, poor productivity, high turnover, low morale, poor motivation, and increased employee complaints .

The American Institute of Stress estimates the cost of stress to U.S. industry to be over $300 billion annually.

Tip : Learn How Managers Or Employers Can Reduce Stress In The Workplace

9 Simple Ways to Deal With Stress at Work

It is in a manager’s best interest to keep workplace stress to a minimum. Executives can act as positive role models, especially in times of high stress, by following the tips outlined in this article. If a respected manager can stay calm in stressful work situations, it is much easier for their employees to stay calm.

In addition, there are a number of organizational changes that managers and employers can make to reduce workplace stress, including:

Read Also: How To Relax And Sleep When Stressed

Taking A Walk And Going Outside

Research from 2017 found that exercise can affect the parts of the brain responsible for regulating your mood and coping with stress.

In fact, all physical activity can boost feel-good hormones such as endorphins, dopamine, and serotonin.

If you cant exercise regularly, try to stretch in your sitting spot, take walks before, during, or after work, or go up and down the stairs if you can.

Heading outside might also bring you some stress relief. A 2019 study concluded that spending 20 minutes outdoors, even if just sitting down, is an effective way to reduce stress.

During your workday, that might look like walking to work, eating lunch outdoors, or spending time at the park after work.

Looking out a window for 5 minutes to focus on the sky, trees, birds, lights, or anything else you can look at, may also help you manage stress at work.

Taking Steps To Manage Stress

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How To Help Employees Manage Stress

Stress is a natural result of running a successful, growing business, but it is important for managers and company leadership to take a proactive approach to handling workplace stress among their employees. Unhealthy levels of stress can have a negative impact on your workplace culture and cause problems among your staff. Taking the steps to support your employees through stress and caring for your own stress levels allows you to prevent problems before they occur and create a healthy environment of sustainable work-life balance.

Make Food Choices That Keep You Going

How to Deal with Stress at Work | Stress Management

Low blood sugar can cause anxiety and irritability, while eating too much can make you lethargic. A healthy diet can help you get through stressful work days. By eating small but frequent meals, you can help your body maintain an even blood sugar level, maintain your energy levels, stay focused and avoid mood swings.

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Employees Need A Pleasant And Safe Working Environment To Reduce Workplace Stress

Often, employees do not have control over their working environment. Hazards, distractions and annoyances can be stressful, especially if the employee can do nothing to change it.

Such stressors may include chemical agents like toxins, physical agents such as heat, radiation, cold, poor air quality, poor lighting, and other safety hazards. Employees may also be experiencing repetitive work and awkward work positions, especially those caused by computers, and heavy lifting.

Although individual opinions may differ, certain working conditions are stressful to almost everyone and should be addressed. A harsh and uninviting workplace can be a deterrent to the productivity and mental health of those working in it.

Do This: Talk to employees about their work environment. Give them the opportunity to voice concerns or frustrations about aspects that are harmful or irritating. Make appropriate changes or suggest ways for them to work around such disturbances.

Treat their concerns with respect and attention doing what you can to help them feel comfortable in their workspace.

You may want to assign a certain employee or group of employees to the task of making the workplace safe, comfortable, and ergonomically correct. They can collect grievances and find solutions to valid complaints.

Get In Touch With Your Feelings

An important component of conflict resolution involves only youknowing how you feel and why you feel that way. It may seem that your feelings should already be obvious to you, but this isnt always the case. Sometimes you feel angry or resentful, but dont know why. Other times, you feel that the other person isnt doing what they should, but you arent aware of exactly what you want from them, or if its even reasonable.

Journaling can be an effective way to get in touch with your own feelings, thoughts, and expectations so you are better able to communicate them to the other person. Sometimes this process brings up some pretty heavy issues, and psychotherapy can be helpful.

Recommended Reading: What To Do If Your Stressed

Prepare Ahead Of Time As Much As Possible

The most stressful time of the day for workers is the morning, or when they start their shift.

You canât always prepare everything ahead of time. If someone leaves a mess when you arrive for your shift, thereâs not much you can do about it other than try to work with them and get them to do better.

But, wherever possible, prep ahead of time. Think of it like this: how you start your work day sets the tone for the rest of it. If you start it in a panic, a rush, the whole day is going to be stressful. Itâll feel as if you never get caught up or on good footing.

Preparing ahead of time might be:

  • Setting up tools or products that youâll need to use.
  • Mentally considering challenges youâll face and how youâll diffuse them.
  • Exercising, or physically preparing yourself for the work you need to do to avoid physical injury or tiredness.

Whats Stressing Me Out

How To Deal With Stress At Work

The first step in dealing with school stress is to work out whats causing it. This is easy if its caused by a one-off event like an exam or an interview, but its sometimes harder to put your finger on the exact cause, particularly as stress is often prompted by more than one thing. When were experiencing stress in one area of our life, it can make other, more minor pressures harder to deal with.

However, youll probably have a general sense of what its down to, such as “too much work” or “an unrealistic deadline”, and this is good enough to begin tackling it.

Recommended Reading: How To Lower Stress And Anxiety

Tip : Dont Skimp On Sleep

You may feel like you just dont have the time get a full nights sleep. But skimping on sleep interferes with your daytime productivity, creativity, problem-solving skills, and ability to focus. The better rested you are, the better equipped youll be to tackle your job responsibilities and cope with workplace stress.

Improve the quality of your sleep by making healthy changes to your daytime and nightly routines. For example, go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends, be smart about what you eat and drink during the day, and make adjustments to your sleep environment. Aim for 8 hours a nightthe amount of sleep most adults need to operate at their best.

Turn off screens one hour before bedtime. The light emitted from TV, tablets, smartphones, and computers suppresses your bodys production of melatonin and can severely disrupt your sleep.

Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime such as catching up on work. Instead, focus on quiet, soothing activities, such as reading or listening to soft music, while keeping lights low.

Stress and shift work

Working night, early morning, or rotating shifts can impact your sleep quality, which in turn may affect productivity and performance, leaving you more vulnerable to stress.

Tip : Break Bad Habits That Contribute To Workplace Stress

Many of us make job stress worse with negative thoughts and behavior. If you can turn these self-defeating habits around, youll find employer-imposed stress easier to handle.

Resist perfectionism. When you set unrealistic goals for yourself, youre setting yourself up to fall short. Aim to do your best no one can ask for more than that.

Flip your negative thinking. If you focus on the downside of every situation and interaction, youll find yourself drained of energy and motivation. Try to think positively about your work, avoid negative co-workers, and pat yourself on the back about small accomplishments, even if no one else does.

Dont try to control the uncontrollable. Many things at work are beyond our control, particularly the behavior of other people. Rather than stressing out over them, focus on the things you can control, such as the way you choose to react to problems.

Look for humor in the situation. When used appropriately, humor is a great way to relieve stress in the workplace. When you or those around you start taking work too seriously, find a way to lighten the mood by sharing a joke or funny story.

Clean up your act. If your desk or work space is a mess, file and throw away the clutter just knowing where everything is can save time and cut stress.

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Offer A Flexible Work Environment

An inexpensive and wildly successful option to help employees reduce stress in the workplace is to offer flextime. Todays workforce has certainly evolved from the very standard and restrictive 9-to-5. Most professionals today thrive on flexibility and the power to get work done when and where they feel most creative and productive.

Your workforce is probably chock-full of morning mavens and night owls. Your workforce probably also has a good mix of young professionals, parents, and tenured businessmen and women.

Bottom line, everyone flourishes on their own schedule, and flextime will strip the one-size-fits-all business demands and give everyone the freedom to choose their work hours and improve their work-life balance.

Your flextime plan can even include a no-work time period, when employees dont have to feel obligated to answer calls or emails.

Additionally, since flextime is highly sought after by many professionals, your organization will benefit from a boost in attracting and retaining top talent.

What To Do If You Get Demoted

How To Cope With Stress At Work

An involuntary demotion can be a blow to your ego, your career and your bank account. It could be a wake-up call that your skills arent up to par or simply a result of your company downsizing or undergoing a merger.

Your first inclination may be to turn in your resignation letter and start looking for another job. But thats not necessarily your best move. Following are five steps to take after a demotion at work.

Read Also: Can Stress Cause Panic Attacks

Effects Of Job Stress On Physical Health

Uncontrolled tension, worry and anxiety at work can wreak havoc on an employees quality of life and overall healthwelcoming stress-induced colds and flus and even more severe conditions like heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Long-term job-related stress causes physical changes in the body, like:

  • Chest pain and increased heart rate
  • Heightened breathing
  • Muscle tension, aches and pains
  • Low energy
  • Upset stomach and repetitive digestive issues
  • Insomnia
  • Obesity

Take Care Of Your Physical Health

One of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health is exercise and eat well. Although it may seem like a lot of work, the payoff is worth it. Exercise can release endorphins that make you feel good and help manage stress, depression and anxiety.

Eating well means eating food that will nourish your body and provide you with all the minerals and vitamins your body needs to deal with a stressful work environment. Looking after your physical health is vital for your well-being. The benefits are numerous, including increased energy, improved moods, reduced pain, better sleep quality and much more.

You may think that physical health has nothing to do with your mental health, but this is not the case. Your physical health can have a significant impact on your mental wellbeing. If you are not taking care of your body, then you are likely not taking care of your mind.

Physical health plays a significant role in determining a person’s quality of life. Studies have shown that a person who has good physical fitness and good mental health is more likely to be successful in the workplace and in other areas of their life.

Also Check: How To Lose Weight While Stressed

How To Help Your Employees Reduce Stress & Increase Total Well

In just six weeks, your workforce can experience reduced stress levels and have the tools needed to control future feelings of stress.

Through Stress Free Now – an online, six-week program by Cleveland Clinic | Bravo that teaches clinically proven relaxation techniques to help employees reduce and control their feelings of stress – your employees can reduce perceived stress and increase their levels of mindfulness, psychological well-being, vitality and quality of life.

Learn more about Stress Free Now and lets talk about how we can help you build a stronger, healthier, stress-free culture:

Need actionable steps to take right now as you learn more about our Stress Free Now program? Find five strategies for managing stress in the workplace below that complement this program.

Tip : Reduce Stress At Work By Taking Care Of Yourself

15 Super Ways to Handle Stress at Workplace

When stress at work affects your job performance, your private life, or your health, it is time to act. First, take care of your physical and emotional health. If you take care of your own needs, you will be stronger and more resilient to stress. The better you feel, the better equipped you will be to deal with work stress without being overwhelmed.

Taking care of yourself does not require a complete lifestyle overhaul. Even small things can lift your mood, boost your energy levels, and make you feel like you’re back in the driver’s seat. Go one step at a time, and if you make more positive lifestyle choices, you’ll soon notice a reduction in your stress levels, both at home and at work.

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Get Stress Under Control In Your Workplace And Reap The Benefits Of A Healthier More Productive Workforce

The importance of addressing total well-being, including stress management and how to deal with stress in the workplace, cannot be overstated.

Through the Cleveland Clinic Stress Free Now program your employees will acquire the skills and tools needed to understand how to deal with stress in the workplace, reduce their own stress levels and defuse future onsets of stress.

In addition to helping your employees reduce and control their feelings of stress, Stress Free Now will help your employees increase their levels of mindfulness, psychological well-being, and quality of life.

Help your workforce reach their potential by helping them pivot toward a personal and professional future that has considerable less stress in it. Learn more about Stress Free Now.

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