26th April, 2023
Stress can hit anyone at work - at any level. But with some small changes, you can reduce work-related stress, creating a happier and healthier work environment. Here are 24 tips for reducing stress at work across demands, control, support, relationships, roles, and change management.
There are lots of things you can avoid that can help you reduce stress at work, don’t drink too much caffeine, don’t overthink the things that are stressing you out, and 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, according to HSE statistics.
That's a huge number of people suffering from work-related stress in the UK.
If stress is a problem in your workplace, ignoring it won't make it go away. To tackle the problem, you can make changes 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. So action might be needed in multiple areas to reduce anxiety and stress levels for your team.
And by fixing the problems with work-related stress, your workplace can become happier, healthier, and more productive.
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. And remember, if everything is a priority - nothing is a priority.
Seriously, make a list from most important to least important. And get the big demands done first, the ones a the top of your list.
If there are not enough hours in the day to get everything done that needs to be done, then you need assistance. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
Managing demands will help you keep a good work-life balance. Don’t let work take over your life.
Take back control. Feeling in control over your day-to-day activities can help reduce stress. If you feel like you could do things better another way, or could be made easier for you, make a suggestion.
Come up with some ideas on how your tasks or activities at work could be better achieved.
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, and if you can create better relationships with your team, you'll gain a support network at work.
Unfortunately, we can’t always choose our boss or colleagues, so we might need to learn to like (or at least tolerate) those around us at work.
For people you have a difficult relationship with, 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 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.
Evaluate your role regularly, and make sure any changes to your role are recognised, and you have the time and resources to carry out your duties.
Manage change. The more stressful time can be during organisational changes, which can see roles, responsibilities and control go up in the air.
Managing and communicating the change process is an important part of beating work-related stress.
Uncertainty and worry can creep in. But asking questions, understanding the reasons for the change, and becoming part of the change can help reduce anxiety.
Get moving! 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 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.
This article was written by Emma at HASpod. Emma has over 10 years experience in health and safety and BSc (Hons) Construction Management. She is NEBOSH qualified and Tech IOSH.
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