There are lots of things you can avoid that can help you reduce stress at work, don’t drink too much caffeine, don’t over think about the things that are stressing you out. Avoid triggers. But what if work is a trigger, and the only way to avoid it is through time-off? This is the case for many employees, with over 11 million days lost at work in the UK each year because of stress at work, according to HSE statistics.
To tackle this, changes can be made to reduce stress levels at work. Managing stress at work doesn't just have to be about avoiding things. Sometimes taking action and combating stress head-on can help you to take back control. The things you do can be just as important as the things you don't do.
Often, it's not just one thing that causes work-related stress. Actions might be needed in multiple areas to reduce anxiety and target problems. Here are 24 tips for reducing stress at work across demands, control, support, relationships, roles and change management.
Prioritise demands. Work demands often cause stress. If your workload demands are too high, prioritise. Make a list and get the big demands done first. If there are not enough hours in the day for everything, then you need assistance. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Keep a good work-life balance, don’t let work take over your life.
Take back control. Come up with some ideas on how your tasks or activities at work could be better achieved. Could things be streamlines, are there other ways the work could be done, could cost savings be made or productivity be increased. Coming up with ideas could benefit both you and the business, and feeling in control is a great way to beat stress at work.
Accept support. Sometimes, it is hard to ask for help, or even take help when it is offered. However, most jobs are made easier with teamwork, and even just encouragement from colleagues can give you a boost. Use the resources available to you in the business, from management and colleagues.
Build better relationships.. Poor working relationships are a common cause of work-related stress. Unfortunately, we can’t always choose our boss or colleagues, so we need to learn to like (or at least tolerate) those around us at work. Try to think of one positive thing that they bring to the team and use their strengths to your advantage.
Define your role. We might start out with a clearly defined role, but as we grow into a position, we can often end up taking on additional responsibilities. This a great way to progress but make sure if you now have multiple roles that they don’t conflict or cause issues.
Manage change. The more stressful time can be during organisational changes, which can see roles, responsibilities and control go up in the air. Uncertainty and worry can creep in. Managing and communicating the change process is an important part of beating work-related stress.
Run for it. Exercise can give you a real boost, both mentally and physically, helping to combat stress in all aspects of your life from work to home. Whatever you enjoy, running, swimming, hitting the gym, yoga or a brisk walk, you will be amazed how much you better you feel after letting off some steam.
If you don't manage stress at work, it can have a dramatic impact on performance. Causing arguments, increased emotional reactions, complaints and time off.
Stress can hit anyone at any level. Get the FREE stress toolbox talk for further information, and use it as a regular refresher for your team.