Stressed Out At Work? How You Can Deal With Workplace Stress
A guest blog by Sav O’hara
Today more than ever, stress at work is a major issue. The modern workplace is becoming increasingly more competitive, and as a result more is always asked of employees, and the demands can be detrimental to one’s personal wellness. But this is all, increasingly, common knowledge. The trickier side of things is figuring out what to do about it. So in this piece we’ll explore that simple but vital question: How can you as an employee deal with workplace stress?
Learn To Recognise It
We have covered recognising stress in the workplace before, pointing out things like dramatic changes in weight or short tempers as possible indicators. Often though, tips like these are provided to employers as means of monitoring their employees and maintaining healthy workplace culture. Here we’ll simply add that it’s also important to learn to recognise signs of stress or burnout in yourself as well. As with so many other things, identifying the issue is generally the first step to solving it.
Keep A Journal
If and when you do recognise that you’re experiencing high levels of stress in the workplace, one of the first proactive steps you can take is to start keeping track of what causes it. You might not always be able to tell, in precise terms. For instance, it may just be that you feel your overall workload is weighing you down. If there are little things throughout a given day that you sense are adding to your stress – conversations with superiors, the annoying habits of a coworker, glances at a backed-up inbox, etc. – you should write them down. This will enable you to look back at a picture of the problem and perhaps identify any particularly harmful patterns you can then look to address or avoid.
Discuss Appropriate Boundaries
If, as is usually the case, your workplace stress is partly due to a feeling of being overworked, it may be necessary to discuss appropriate boundaries with your employer or direct supervisor. As a result of the aforementioned competitive nature of the modern workplace, employees are often expected to be available at all times – to put in extra work, respond to communications no matter what, and put in all sorts of other extra effort, without the promise of extra pay. It can be difficult to bring this up, but a responsible manager or employer will hear your concerns and respond appropriately. Remember, you don’t need to suggest you’ll be less productive – rather, that a more ordinary work schedule within reasonable boundaries will actually alleviate stress and allow you to do your job better.
Trust Digital Evolution
Digital evolution is changing workplaces fairly rapidly, but this can actually be a great thing for an employee looking to avoid stress, because it can automate tedious or difficult processes. Consider something like digital marketing as an example. Historically speaking a company might have held all employees accountable for how their work contributed to a company’s overall presentation, from a marketing perspective. Naturally, this could lead to people being burdened by efforts that don’t really relate to their jobs. Writing on this topic, Ayima states that technical SEO can remove the headaches; individual strategists employing data analysis can determine marketing goals and put them into action, using technology to drive the process and allowing other employees to simply concentrate on their actual jobs. This example suits many companies, given the widespread necessity of digital marketing today, but it also speaks to how technical processes and data integration can lighten the workload on the average employee.
Socialise With Coworkers
It’s important to maintain a social life beyond your working environment; friends and family outside of work can be some of your best outlets for personal wellness. However, if you create an opportunity now and then to socialise with people from work, you may find it easier to coexist with them on a day-to-day basis. We’ll put it simply: If you’ve had a pleasant conversation over tea with the person who works one desk over, you may be less inclined to let that same person’s aggravating habit of clicking his or her pen become a legitimate stress factor.
Take To The Apps
This doesn’t relate specifically to work, but we should also note that today, one of the most popular means of alleviating stress is to take to the apps! Fast Company presents a list of apps that can help you “keep your cool in every situation,” and the bottom line is that they tend to be quite effective. To be clear, it’s still necessary to address specific workplace stressors. But for everyday wellness, establishing a routine with an app like Headspace or Calm can be very helpful.
Post solely for the use of stress.org.uk by Sav O’hara