Stress at work is one of the major economic losses for employers and the economy. Often what starts as a small issue can get blown out of proportion and can, if left unchecked lead to members of staff being off on long-term sick. This in itself can lead to a loss of confidence for the employee and a major financial loss for the employer in terms of employing a replacement to cover lost hours and expertise.
Stress Doesn’t Occur Overnight
Quite often, stress is something which builds over time and can ultimately be avoided if it is recognized early. Doing so can save companies millions in lost hours to the business, and can avoid unnecessary psychological damage to employees in the long term.
Dealing With Unmanageable Workloads
Heavy workloads and lack of support from line managers are major causes of stress for employees and put tremendous strain on teams. To avoid stress, managers and employees should ensure that deadlines are challenging but achievable. If you have a heavy workload, you need help to prioritise your work so that you can ensure that the most important tasks are done first. Always ask for a deadline so that you can decide which tasks should be done when.
Give Staff More Freedom To Manage Their Workloads!
Allowing staff to plan their own workload and giving them a degree of autonomy is a vital part in helping your staff to manage their stress at work. Being approachable and having an open door policy is very important in helping your staff to flag up issues before they get out of control. It’s also important to train staff so that they are able to actually do the job that you are requesting them to do. Often staff who procrastinate are not able to carry out the tasks which you need them to and some mentoring or support from other members of staff can give them the confidence to get the job done quickly.
Don’t Be A Control Freak – Delegate
It’s important to have the confidence in your fellow colleagues so that you can delegate tasks. Often those people who experience most stress are those who are perfectionists and find it hard to let go and let others share some of the burden of meeting deadlines. Don’t fall into the trap of being a control freak let your colleague help you. Ultimately you will still be responsible for the task being completed, but many hands make light work and two heads are better than one when it comes to solving problems. Often junior staff members are just waiting for the opportunity to get involved and prove their abilities. Give them the opportunities that they are waiting for in controlled environment where you are able to monitor their progress.
Stress Has Long Term Physical Manifestations
The effects of stress can be debilitating and can manifest themselves in physical health issues such as heart palpitations, high blood pressure, weight gain and general malaise like headaches or eyestrain. It’s important to visit a general practitioner to evaluate your symptoms if you do feel that you are experiencing stress, this will help you highlight any issues before they take hold.
Make A List
It’s an old adage but it still one of the best. Fail to plan and you’ll plan to fail. The very act of writing something down means that you will organise your thoughts and it will prompt you to start thinking about how to tackle each task. Ticking things off your list is incredibly satisfying when you finish something and also helps you to gauge the time it takes to finish similar tasks.
Take A Break
Sometimes your brain gets into overload mode and you just can’t absorb any more information or perform any better. Taking a break and taking time to “smell the roses” wil give your senses time to recover and will refresh your brain ready for you to start over and make a final push to finsh that project in time for your deadline! Going for a walk outside will give you vital fresh air that will help to clear your head and is not wasted time. Having a coffee or cup of tea will
When you’re under pressure and stress is building, that is the time to take a step back and get things into perspective. Are you pushing yourself beyond your limits unnecessarily? It could be that your deadline that you are working towards is not the actual final deadline. It could be that your manager has given you a dummy deadline to ensure that you will meet the
When your brain and body is dehydrated you are not performing at the optimum level. Water is the best way to rehydrate and get rid of the effects of dehydration. Energy drinks are full of sugar and caffeine and cause you to get hooked on the buzz they give your body. They’ll also cause a sugar rush and a sugar crash, so you’ll actually feel worse about an hour or two after you’ve drunk one, so proceed with caution! For a quick pick me up a banana smoothie is a great way to stave off hunger pangs and give yourself a sweet treat at the same time. Bananas are a great source of energy as they containcomplex carbohydrates which can give you a longterm boost perfect for completing that final piece of work when the Friday evening deadline is looming!
When you’re away from work, make sure you make the most of your downtime and relax. This will help you get a good night’s sleep and you’ll be in fighting form ready to take on the world the next morning. Don’t leave home without breakfast though, as this will help to fuel your brain for the busy day ahead!