Strategies for Managing Personal Stress in the Workplace
Personal stress can have a powerful influence over our performance in the workplace. Even when we don’t directly recognize the connection between the two, or when we think we’re holding it together and hiding our stress from our peers and managers, the secondary effects of stress like lost sleep, poor eating habits, and minimal exercise can undermine our ability to focus on our work and deliver results.
What are The Causes of Damaging Workplace Stress?
According to survey data, workplace stress comes from a wide range of factors, but some of the top culprits across every industry include the following:
- Unrealistic expectations. A demanding boss can be a strong motivational force, but a demanding boss who also tends to be unreasonable and unrealistic can have the opposite effect.
- A lack of resources. Employees who lack the tools and resources required to complete their jobs typically report higher levels of stress than those who have access to everything they need.
- Isolation and a lack of strong workplace relationships. The culture and social structure of a workplace can also contribute to chronic stress.
Managing Stress in the Workplace
We can’t always control all of the factors listed above, and some workplace cultures and demands are naturally more stressful than others. But there are a few stress management strategies at work that can keep the negative effects of stress from spiraling out of control.
- Speak up. Don’t be afraid to stand up to unreasonable demands or ask for the tools you need to successfully complete your work.
- Take physical breaks. Don’t just stop working during your breaks; actually remove yourself from your workstation or the building. Stand up, stretch, and rest your eyes at least once every hour.
- Change the culture. Try to cultivate an atmosphere of trust and respect. If you can’t change the entire workplace, at least make some adjustments to the climate surrounding you.
I will discuss more on this topic in the class tomorrow at Manhattan College. See you there!