Stressed: Out of Office


This year, "Workplace Stress: a collective challenge" is the theme for the World Day for Safety and Health at work campaign.

Stress at work

Work related stress affects workers in all professions, in all countries. We spend more than 50% of our waking life in the workplace, so the impact of this can be quite significant.

What Are The Main Causes Of Work Related Stress?

There are the more well-known factors of high workloads and the feeling of not being able to meet deadlines, not being able to deliver targets and generally feeling over worked and out of control.

Other factors however include the stress caused through work relationships. Not just the demanding boss, but poor relationships with colleagues. Employees who feel isolated at work may feel unsupported and not part of team, and suffer just as much inwardly as the stressed out employee who vocalises their issues.

Deeper stresses tend to focus around job security; this could be the threat of redundancy, the fear or concern around job changes, management re-structuring, and the like. Pay is also often a significant factor. Not getting paid as much as other employees – who you see yourself as equal to can cause resentment, and makes the individual feel undervalued, unappreciated, and unworthy in terms of what they deliver.

So What Can We Do To Reduce Stress In The Work Place?

If you are a manager, you should aim to spot the signs of stress before they escalate and become a much bigger problem.

As individuals, we need to learn to speak up about our issues. If you feel you are not coping speak to someone and let them know. Learn to look after yourself and create a better work–life balance. Take things one step at a time and always focus on exercise and getting moving. Sitting at your desk all day long with mere comfort breaks is not good.

Six Ways To De-stress At Work

  1. Take your lunch break every day. Get out and have a walk – even if it is just 20 minutes, it will make you feel better.
  2. Eat healthily. Surround yourself with fruit, and eating small meals at regular intervals will help maintain blood sugar levels, keep you focussed, and ultimately bring your mood up.
  3. Don't forget the importance of getting enough sleep. If you are tired and fatigued due to insufficient sleep you are more likely to be prone to stress.
  4. Plan your work and prioritise tasks by urgency. There is no use doing low level work when you have a huge project to complete. Implement a diary system and actually use it. If a task is large and complex – break it down into smaller parts.
  5. Delegate work where appropriate to do so; if someone around you is willing to help – make use of them! Do not feel that asking for help shows weakness or failure.
  6. Finally, learn to laugh... There is nothing like humour to keep spirits lifted!

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