Employees feel work-related stress when they are faced with work demands and pressures that challenge their knowledge and abilities. There are many possible causes for this kind of stress, including poor work organisation and lack of support from co-workers and supervisors. Around the world, there are about 35% of employees who experience daily work-related stress.
Stress may manifest physically through high blood pressure and even body pain in the shoulders, muscles, and joints, to name a few symptoms. Left unattended, stress can lead to burnout — which will leave you feeling physically and mentally exhausted.
To avoid this, you should aim to build healthy habits and minimise stress across all aspects of your life — especially work. That being said, here are a few ways you can make working less stressful:
Technology has made us reachable 24/7, which means it’s difficult to set boundaries between work and personal life. This can easily cause feelings of being overwhelmed, and setting boundaries is the easiest way to keep things under control. Ensure you still have time for your personal hobbies and interests. And don’t forget to communicate with your co-workers and even higher-ups about your schedule and personal matters — such as what times you are available for work conversations. Unless it’s absolutely urgent, you aren’t obligated to say yes to every task.
Being organised can greatly improve your mindset. Now, this doesn’t just apply to your to-do list, but your workspace too. After all, clutter can also make you stressed. Consider having a filing system or storage to make it easier to find important documents or items. On the other hand, to help keep your schedule from becoming overwhelming, personal task management apps like Todoist and Evernote are worth checking out. They’re more efficient than a pen-and-paper to-do list since you can simply tap to arrange tasks and access them across devices.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. In fact, attempting to do all tasks on your own when you are unable to can be counterproductive and cause you to work less efficiently. At the very least, be open to asking questions when you’re unsure about something. This can actually boost your productivity, since you get to learn from someone who is more knowledgeable — even if it’s just a clarification about how to do a task.
Have a dedicated workspace
An ergonomic environment is conducive to work, as it allows employees to work efficiently and comfortably. To optimise workplace ergonomics, you must use the right furniture and tools. For instance, an adjustable office chair ensures your back is properly supported and your feet are comfortably on the ground. You can also use ergonomic accessories, such as a laptop stand that ensures the screen is at eye-level — preventing neck or shoulder pain. All in all, these reduce the risk of injuries, stress, and other health conditions that can affect an employee’s productivity.
Being an over-achiever can help you excel at work. But it will create problems for you and your co-workers if this transforms to perfectionism. Not only is it bad for your mental health since you put unnecessary pressure on yourself, but it could also harbour self-doubt and keep you from improving. Dealing with perfectionism may be hard, but recognise that making a mistake will not define you. Instead, look at it as an opportunity for learning and growth.
Exclusively written for capitalea.com.au by Julia Burrows