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5 Ways to Better Manage Work Related Stress

February 03, 2016

For many, stress and work go hand-in-hand, but despite what you might think, stress isn’t always a bad thing. For example, the stress of an impending deadline can give you laser-like focus and help inspire a strong finish. In other words, stress, in the right dose, might actually boost productivity. Yet, does anyone have just the right amount of stress in their lives?

Experts report that chronic work stress can lessen productivity and contribute to serious health problems. Stressed-out employees can have a hard time concentrating, fall ill more often, and experience more irritability and anxiety, among other things.

When you think of workplace stress, you might conjure images of stacks of files being dumped on your desk, a superior barking orders about an impending report deadline, or the red flashing light of unanswered voicemails. Yet there are far more subtle causes of stress, for example: unclear expectations, limited decision-making capabilities, and few career advancement opportunities.

Managing workplace stress is critical for workplace productivity, and it is up to both employers and employees to tackle it effectively.

For employees, here are 5 ways to better manage work-related stress:

  1. Communicate with your supervisor about your job description and expectations. Whether you feel it’s excessive or lacking challenges, be honest about your workload.
  2. Develop healthy stress-management techniques. If a crazy day at work sends you straight to the bar for cocktails, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Finding a healthy way to blow off steam, like exercising or working on a hobby, leaves you more prepared to handle workplace challenges.
  3. Don’t be married to your job. Use your vacation days, and be home in time for dinner. It’s essential to have time away from work to recharge and take your mind off your job.
  4. Step away from your desk a few times per day. Take a walk, get some air, or have a non-work-related conversation with a co-worker.
  5. Don’t multitask. It will leave you feeling frazzled and is usually counterproductive. Instead, focus on two to three important tasks you need to accomplish on any given day.

Here are 5 best management practices employers can use to ease workplace stress:

  1. Don’t expect your employees to be accessible 24/7. Yes, you’ve given them a smart phone and a laptop, but that doesn’t mean you should expect them to be available at all hours of the day. Set the tone for healthy boundaries. Don’t call or email employees on the weekends or after hours unless it’s an emergency.
  2. Take a break. Hold meetings outside. Take your employees out to lunch when they’ve hit a goal or wrapped up an important project.
  3. Be a good communicator. Outline clear expectations and deadlines. Let employees know that they can come to you should something come up with a project.
  4. Offer support, but don’t micromanage. People should feel free to complete their assignment in the way that works best for them.
  5. Create an atmosphere of collaboration and employee engagement. One workplace study showed that 51 percent of people who reported high levels of stress felt disengaged from their work. Create mentorship programs, offer continuing education, and recognize each employee’s role in the company’s success.

Managing workplace stress should be a key part of your company’s strategy. Stress can come in many shapes and forms, so engage your employees and listen to their concerns. Your office will be a happier, healthier, and more productive place for it.

At Pacific Office Automation, our motto is “Problem solved.” That means eliminating the stress of malfunctioning printers or lost documents. Our workflow solutions, records management services, and managed IT services are just some of the ways we can help make your employees’ jobs easier. Don’t stress; get in touch with us today.

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