Work is such a prominent part of our everyday lives, and consequently it's hardly shocking that stress can find its way in. Work-related stress is defined as a harmful reaction that some people have to undue pressures and demands placed on them at work.
The problem isn't a rare one either, as over half a million workers suffered from work-related stress, depression or anxiety in 2017, equating to 12.5 million working days being lost.
There are certain factors that can lead to work-related stress:
- The demands on the individuals such as their workload and environment
- The level of control that workers have when it comes to the way they work
- The encouragement and resources provided by managers for their team
- The relationships in the workplace between colleagues
- How change is managed, which has a massive impact on your team
Signs to look out for in an employee can be spotted by looking at their actions and behaviour, as well as their interaction with others. This could be apparent in arguments, mood swings, tiredness, unhealthy eating habits, a poor level of punctuality, and generally failing to keep up with the working days and expectations.
Workplace stress will always be present and can be a good thing when it comes to productivity, but there's a fine line between healthy stress through a bit of pressure, and too much stress that can lead to mental health problems. When employees become too stressed, it takes a toll on the company as well as the individual. To make sure you have a happy, healthy, and engaged workforce, stress management is a must.
Stress Coping Strategies
Mental health can often get forgotten about, whilst more attention is paid to our physical health. Both aspects of our wellbeing should be accepted as common sense, especially since they both affect each other.
Here are 10 positive ways to deal with stress:
- Attitude is an important factor. Once we start to feel resentful, cornered, or overwhelmed, it can become frustrating and debilitating. Sometimes it can help to take a moment and reflect on our position to advocate a more positive attitude.
- Taking responsibility for our choices can help us see the situation as a matter of choices rather than something to stress about, changing our perspective on things, and making us feel better about our position as a result. This realization can help us appreciate what we do have rather than dwelling on what we're without.
- Dealing with issues as they occur helps to avoid stress. This could be a tough piece of work, an argument with a friend, or an unpleasant meeting. Whatever it is – putting it off only makes matters worse.
- Prioritizing important matters avoids other people becoming demanding and constantly on our case. Leaving things until the last minute is stressful for everyone involved.
- Enjoy finding solutions to problems and treat it as an interesting opportunity to learn and problem-solve. Stressed people often worry about making mistakes and getting things wrong. Treating challenges as opportunities to learn from can turn stressful situations around into positive events.
- Taking personal time out helps to keep stress levels at bay by recharging our batteries, spending time having fun and establishing a good work/life balance. Personal time provides an opportunity to switch off from stressful situations rather than needing to remain constantly on the ball. Allowing yourself time "off" means that when you are at work, you are more efficient and proactive too.
- Allow friends to help by talking about your worries, sharing your problems to gain support from those around you. As the saying goes – a problem shared is a problem halved!
- Make sure your friends are associated with your relaxation time and not just conversations around your issues. If you fail to differentiate these times, then these relationships become an extension of the problem and everything is based on stress.
- Taking care of our bodies is important in avoiding stress too. Make sure that when it comes to your diet, everything is in moderation. Be aware of alcohol levels, maintain a good sleeping pattern, and exercise too; these are all ways of investing in our health and well-being.
- Stress can be avoided by taking pre-emptive measures. Learning to recognize the triggers that affect us and dealing with those situations as soon as they occur helps us to retain control over our health and well-being before problems can escalate.