Tip : Beat Workplace Stress By Reaching Out
Sometimes the best stress-reducer is simply sharing your stress with someone close to you. The act of talking it out and getting support and sympathyespecially face-to-facecan be a highly-effective way of blowing off steam and regaining your sense of calm. The other person doesnt have to fix your problems they just need to be a good listener.
Turn to co-workers for support. Having a solid support system at work can help buffer you from the negative effects of job stress. Just remember to listen to them and offer support when they are in need as well. If you dont have a close friend at work, you can take steps to be more social with your coworkers. When you take a break, for example, instead of directing your attention to your smartphone, try engaging your colleagues.
Lean on your friends and family members. As well as increasing social contact at work, having a strong network of supportive friends and family members is extremely important to managing stress in all areas of your life. On the flip side, the lonelier and more isolated you are, the greater your vulnerability to stress.
How To Craft Prevention Programs & Workshops
There is no single approach that helps all employees manage their stress all the time.
Instead, a multimodal approach should be considered when crafting prevention programs and workshops .
Most likely, it will be necessary to put in place learning and education that are both proactive and reactive.
Focus on preventing stress and promoting positive actions for all employees.
Interventions are likely to include:
- Conflict management
- Job redesign and the organization of work
- Coping skills
- Employee fitness programs
Focus on helping employees who need assistance.
Interventions are likely to include:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
- Rehabilitation after illness or returning to work
- Employee assistance programs
A multimodal approach combines multiple intervention styles and techniques, and can be rolled out across the organization while focusing on the individual .
Programs Or Tools Should Be Made Available To Help Employees Manage Stress
Although the first line of defense against job-related stress should be modifying the work environment, educating employees on the symptoms, causes, and treatments for stress can also be of great benefit.
Do This: Offer a stress management program to help your employees learn the skills and tools they need to reduce stress. These techniques may include time management, deep breathing, muscle relaxation, assertiveness training, and changing negative self-talk.
WellSteps provide employers with campaigns and challenges designed to help employees manage stress and help employers create a stress free workplace.
Stress management training can be provided by EAP professionals or by outside experts and can be integrated into existing training meetings.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce stress. You could encourage employees to increase their physical activity by starting a walking club, providing employee discounts to health clubs, or bringing in fitness professionals for guest classes.
Discussion groups where employees can share techniques with each other are helpful. For example, groups that focus on coping with domestic stress .
Remember, unless the root causes of stress in the organization are addressed, the effects of stress reduction techniques will be short lived.
Read Also: Can Stress Cause Weight Gain
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.
How To Prevent Stress At Work: 3 Strategies
Practical and effective primary interventions can reduce or remove the need for secondary and tertiary interventions focused on recovery from stress .
While many of the following strategies appear simple, they require focus and commitment. Others foster a new mindset and change how we relate to work and occupational stress.
You May Like: What Is Stress Urinary Incontinence
Employees Need Support In A Team Atmosphere To Better Manage Stress
People who have a support network are much more secure in their ability to cope with stress. This support is especially important at work. Stress is magnified if employees have to deal with problems without support of any kind.
Do This: Arrange for small group interactions where employees can get to know each other on an individual level. This is most effective when combined with training and team building activities. Constructive interaction helps cultivate meaningful relationships.
You can also provide opportunities for social interaction outside of work. Meeting in a less official manner may give people a chance to laugh together. Humor is a great way to cope with stress. A good laugh can do wonders for your employees.
Your company may even want to create a team approach to some assignments which can help prevent isolation. When people know they are part of a team, it is easier for them to function at work.
Try To Find Humor In The Situation
Stress isnât funny, but some situations that cause stress can be seen as humorous if you make the effort.
A good laugh is a good thing. Research has shown that laughter reduces stress and has other positive benefits. Not only does it relieve the stress response, but it brings more oxygen into your body, activates your body, and soothes tension.
Being angry or worrying, on the other hand, is extremely unhealthy, harming your heart, your immune system, and even increasing your risk for stroke.
Finding humor in a situation means:
- You never laugh AT a person. No one person is the target of the humor.
- You laugh about the ridiculousness of the situation.
- You compare a situation to a funny metaphor.
- You laugh about a similar situation in the past and try to show the current situation as a temporary problem.
Youâve probably been in that moment where it feels as if a situation could get very ugly very easily, and then someone cracks a joke and the tension seems to immediately leave. Thatâs what youâre aiming for.
Recommended Reading: Why Is My Life So Stressful
Improve Relationships With Employees
Having a poor relationship with a manager can be a huge cause of employee stress at work. When employees disrespect or distrust their managers , theyre more likely to be unhappy in their careers, let work negatively affect their personal lives, and ultimately leave your organization.
- When asked to describe a time they felt an especially negative emotion at work, more than 25% of employees surveyed included the words manager, management, supervisor, boss, or leader.
Negative emotions at work can snowball quickly, resulting in even worse behaviors and a toxic environment. Managers can use these tips to reflect and develop the skills needed to handle their employees more professionally.
Ask for Continuous Feedback to Develop Your Leadership Skills
Gather opinions from your employees and leaders on how you can be a better manager. And take those suggestions to heart and make an effort to act on the feedback. Dive into books and articles that provide research and tips around cultivating a healthy relationship with your team.
Conduct Recurring One-on-Ones
Meet with employees regularly to show your employees that they’re worth your time and attention. Ask what you can start or stop doing to improve your relationship with them. The number one rule for conducting one-on-one meetings is to make them a top priority. These are opportunities for you to learn about your employees’ career goals, personal goals, concerns or issues, and valuable feedback.
Identify The Cause Of Your Stress
The first step to recovery is usually identifying the problem so you can face it head-on. In the workplace, its important to be able to identify the source of the stress since there are so many external factors that could be negatively affecting you. Take note of your physical environment, and be brutally honest with yourself about whether you are actually comfortable. Maybe your chair is rickety and awkward on your back, maybe your keyboard is causing you to have wrist pain, or maybe the lighting on your computer is straining your eyes. All of these small problems can cause huge amounts of stress in the long-run, including headaches, tension, fatigue, lack of focus, anxiety, and much more. Remember, you spend most of your life at work, so the least you can do is be kind to your body on the job.
The negative effects of stress can range from the very mild to chronic physical and mental pain, which in turn easily affect your overall morale and satisfaction at work. A good manager or supervisor will certainly take your comfort into consideration because they know it will affect your productivity, so dont be afraid to approach them with suggestions on how to improve the work environment.
Don’t Miss: Does Weed Help With Stress
Are Your Best Employees Leaving
Employers can often feel that their best employees are continually leaving them, and that may be related to your organization. HR experts have spotted some reasons why good employees quit their jobs.
Among them, the lack of confidence and autonomy, lack of appreciation or recognition, lack of respect, few or no opportunities for growth and development, feeling underutilized, having a bad manager who discharges frustrations and resentment over the team, poor
management, poor communication, excessive workload, lack of support, not finding a balance between work and personal life, lack of inspiration or unhealthy environment, seeing that the other good employees leave, lack of coincidence with the values of the company, and changes in their personal life.
Thus, feeling undervalued is among the main reasons for leaving jobs. You spend many hours at work, sharing time with your colleagues and of course, you want to feel comfortable. Nobody enjoys spending eight or ten hours a day in a place that make them feel unhappy. When you work hard and nobody notices it, or your ideas are not even considered, frustration and unhappiness levels increase.
Avoid Irregular Work Schedules As Much As Possible
Salaried workers donât have to deal with varying work schedules, but hourly employees do. And itâs a huge stressor. Almost 30% of workers with irregular schedules report having serious work and family conflicts over the issue.
Random shift changes, on-call work schedules can all lead to stress, because workers are constantly in limbo when it comes to balance between work and life. They never know when theyâll need to work with much advance, and itâs difficult for them to make personal plans or even decompress when they could be called to work at any moment.
Try to create schedules that your employees can âbankâ on. Make sudden changes as rare as possible. Make it possible for your employees to rely on a steady schedule enough that they can arrange a solid personal life around their work schedule. This will help them return to work refreshed.
You May Like: What Does Stress Do To The Human Body
Helpful Ways To Deal With Stress At Work
40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful. Thatâs a problem.
Regardless of what kind of work you do, the reality is that workplace stress is detrimental for employers and employees. Read on to find the causes of job stress, why itâs so harmful, and helpful tips to cope with workplace stress.
Encourage A More Active Lifestyle Among Employees
This is the other side of the coin. As well as promoting healthy eating, the most successful companies we look at also promote active lifestyles.
Exercise reduces stress. If you can encourage your employees to exercise more, you can help to manage stress in the workplace.
Some companies can afford to provide their employees with full-sized basketball courts and Olympic-standard swimming pools, but you dont have to go that far. You might offer subsidised gym memberships, cycle-to-work schemes, or time off for employees who want to train for marathons and other epic endeavors.
And remember when we were talking about biophilia above? Encourage your employees to take walks during their breaks and theyll be exercising while immersing themselves in the natural world two stress-busting benefits in one!
Recommended Reading: What To Get Someone Who Is Stressed
Take Time To Recharge
Taking even a few minutes of personal time during a busy day can help prevent burnout.
Listening to an interesting podcast in between meetings or watching a funny Youtube video can give you relaxing pauses throughout the day.
Its also important to take breaks from thinking about your job by not checking work-related emails on your time off or disconnecting from your phone in the evenings.
Sometimes, feeling overwhelmed by work comes down to how organized you are. Try setting up a priority list at the beginning of your work week by preparing tasks and ranking them according to importance.
You can also beat procrastination by setting aside specific time blocks for deep concentration work.
Time Management Tips For Reducing Stress At Work
- Create a balanced schedule. Analyze your schedule, your responsibilities and your daily tasks. All work and no play is a recipe for burnout. Try to find a balance between work and family, social activities and lonely activities, daily responsibilities and downtime.
- Avoid overburdening yourself. Too often, we underestimate how long it will take. If you have too much on your plate, distinguish between “shoulds” and “musts.” Place tasks that are not really necessary at the bottom of the list or delete them altogether.
- If you’re a commuter, try to leave earlier in the morning. A mere 10-15 minutes can be the difference between frantically rushing to your desk and having time to ease into the day. Don’t increase your stress levels by running late.
- Plan regular breaks. Take short breaks throughout the day to go for a walk or to sit back and clear your head. Also, try to get away from your desk or work for lunch.
Also Check: Can Stress Make Eczema Worse
Consider Flexible Work Schedules
If any of your employees have children or an elder parent in need, the demands of work and home life can quickly become overwhelming. Allowing for employees to have a flexible work schedule will give them time to take care of the people they love, and in turn allow them to be more present at work while theyre there.
If your employees perform work that could be done remotely, consider days where they can work from home as well if it makes their lives easier. Modern tools like Slack and Google Hangouts can still keep the communication lines open.
Related article: The Future Workplace: Where Flexibility Trounces Paid Time Off
Learn To Accept What Is In Your Control And What Isnt
Some things are out of your control.
Find ways to make the things that are out of your control more bearable. If where you work is too noisy, maybe noise cancelling headphones would help.
For example, getting stressed about the traffic on the way to work is completely unhelpful. You canât control the traffic. The best you can do is leave early enough so you have plenty of time to get to work. If leaving late is adding stress because the traffic makes you late for work leaving you apologizing or making excuses for why youâre late, youâre needlessly adding to your stress. You canât control the traffic, but you can control when you leave home.
Make changes to what you can control. The rest is not worth getting upset about.
Read Also: How To Reduce Stress Levels Immediately
All Of Us Need To Learn How To Cope With Stress And Learn How To Reduce Stress In The Workplace In This Article Not Only Will We Be Considering The Different Cause Of Stress We Will Also Help You And Your Managers On How They Can Help Reduce Stress In The Workplace And Support Your Employees
As a great manager, you can reduce stress in the workplace by creating a healthy workplace environment. A healthy workplace environment is ideal when it comes to maintaining a positive outcome in a stressful atmosphere. As mentioned in one of our previous post Creating a Healthy Workplace Environment, a healthy workplace environment is good for your company as it could lead to bringing sales for the business.
Know Your Paid And Unpaid Leave Policies
Speaking of which, knowing family leave policies in the country and your state are an important piece of offering employee support.
Whether or not your company decides to offer unlimited vacations, you will have to consider the varied needs and circumstances of your team. For many people, workplace stress actually centers around the difficulty of fitting life events around work such as pregnancy, family death and illness, and childcare.
Also Check: Can Stress Cause Fever Blisters
Come Up With Healthy Responses
When you are trying to fight workplace stress, dont indulge in unhealthy coping mechanisms like junk food or alcohol. Instead, you can try developing healthier habits that enable you to relieve stress and make you more active and productive.
Various types of exercise can help you beat stress. Trying yoga can help you center yourself and find peace. Any physical activity after work can be beneficial for you. Setting aside time for taking part in activities that can lift your mood can help you improve your performance at work.
Another healthy stress-reliever is getting enough sleep. A good night of sleep can improve your mood and enable you to give your best at work. You should work on maintaining healthy sleeping habits.