It’s often said that stress in the workplace is on the rise, and it is estimated that it costs UK businesses up to £26 billion per year.
If this really is true then the question is, how do we deal with it?
Stress can manifest itself either physically or emotionally and a stressed workforce can seriously affect a companies morale and more importantly its performance.
It is important that employers support their staff who are suffering from low esteem, work related anxiety and stress. If they do not then it can lead to increased sick leave by employees, high staff turnover, increased mistakes by staff and poor relations between managers and staff. It can even be argued that employers have a legal duty to ensure that their staff are not made ill by their work.
Reasons for workplace stress:
- Fear of being made redundant or losing ones job.
- A increase in workload for you due to other staff being laid off.
- High or excessive workloads.
- Being asked to do a job for which you do not have sufficient training or experience.
- Workplace bullying or harassment.
- Having a very poor working environment, for instance not enough heating during winter months or excessive noise etc.
- Over management.
Emotional and physical symptoms of work related stress:
- Increase in alcohol consumption or even abuse and dependency.
- Increased smoking.
- Depression and loss of interest in work.
- Fatigue and feeling tired all of the time.
- Unable to concentrate.
- A loss of sex drive.
- Disturbed sleep.
- Digestive problems.
- Lowered immune system.
Below is a list of things you can do that will help you to reduce and manage workplace stress, increase your energy levels and also make you feel better:-
- Change your working hours and work less.
- Try not to over commit yourself, and learn to say no to people.
- Go to the gym and exercise.
- If you work at a desk in a office then clear away all the rubbish and make it more organised, ensure that at the end of every day it clear.
- Take responsibility for your emotional well being.
- Try not to be perfect in all aspects of your work.
- Talk to close friends about your feelings, get it off your chest.
- Eat small meals throughout the day to ensure a even blood sugar level in your body throughout the working day.
- Try to leave a little early for work in the morning, for instance by leaving 20 minutes earlier you can save yourself from having to rush around.
- If you are a supervisor or manager learn to delegate minor tasks and responsibility to other staff.
- Plan and take regular short breaks during the working day.
- Sit down and prioritize and organize your life and work commitments.
- Reduce your workload.
- Offer flexible working hours.
- Speak to your manager or supervisor about your problems.
- Go on either a short or long holiday.
- If you are in a union speak to them about it.
- Try to be realistic and not perfect.
- Try to complete one task at a time.