In this ever-competitive and fast-paced business environment, it can be easy for employees to become overwhelmed. Overwhelmed not only with their workload but the expectations placed upon them. When employees feel overwhelmed, more often than not, stress usually begins to creep in.
Whilst some work-related stress is normal, excessive amounts can contribute towards lower productivity as well as poorer (mental and physical) health. Effectively coping with stress therefore becomes imperative for employees to determinately avoid burning themselves out. To do just that, there are various steps that employees can take.
With ‘Stress Awareness Month’ right around the corner, SavoyStewart.co.uk have compiled a few simple steps that employees can actively take to relief and reduce stress within the workplace:
Instead of spending the lunch-hour stuck behind the desk, get some fresh air. Don’t feel obliged to work through lunch, instead use the opportunity to freshen your mind. Going for a short or long walk will not only take your attention of work for a little while but also provide the opportunity to reflect upon or think about other non-work related thoughts. Additionally, walking will allow you to gain some valuable movement after sitting stationary at a desk for most of the morning.
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Even though we hate to admit it, stress can be self-inflicted. When work piles up, especially against tight deadlines and pressure from senior figures, stress only increases. Organisation is hence fundamental to deal with the burden of increasing workloads. It can be simple as using a diary or planner to schedule time for different tasks or projects. There is also the wonderful option to use organisational applications on your phone or computer, these would not only be more convenient but also for better visualisation as to how time is allocated/spent.
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For many of us this is easier said than done but sufficient sleep goes a long way towards controlling stress. If you’re sleep deprived and have a ton of work, it is more than likely you are not going to be functioning at full capacity. Lack of sleep will thus interfere with your ability to fully focus thus not only adversely effecting productivity but potentially quality of work. The recommendation would be to get around seven to eight-hours sleep to avoid tiredness and lapses in concentration.
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Talk to Managers/Senior Figures
If you think your workload is unmanageable then don’t suffer in silence. Talk to your manager. Politely explain to them that the pace and rate at which work is given as well as expected to be ready is very challenging. Ask them to be more realistic in their expectations and adjust different projects/tasks within a more controllable timeframe.
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Sitting at a desk for most of the day is not only unhealthy but when stressed, it can feel like you’re being caged in. Get away from the lure of your desk. Either during lunch or after work, if possible, go to a gym. Exercise can be a fantastic vice to deal with stress, it will not only feel refreshing but get your mind away from any worries you may have. Likewise, it will improve your fitness levels and general health. If you prefer not to gym then try take up a sport on a weekly bases. Moreover, throughout the working day, take a few very short breaks to stretch muscles and gain some movement.
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Your desk doesn’t have to be drowned in a sea of files, folders, electronics and stationary – create a positive surrounding from which you can draw inspiration from. Scatter your desk with some photos and plants to brighten your mood whenever you feel down or drained. These are subtle additions but will go a long way towards instantaneously relieving any stress. Similarly, if you’re working in a dark setting(with a lack of natural lighting), get a lamp to facilitate a more vibrant environment.
Stress is likely to occur in any job but don’t let it overtake your life. Instead of over-thinking, there are various steps that employees can take to effectively handle the everyday worries and pressure that work often entails. By incorporating some of these actions into their daily schedule at work, they can progressively learn to manage work-related stress.
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