7 effective ways to help stop the workplace stress problem
Workplace stress is one of the leading causes of productivity and “sick days”. We’ve all struggled with it in some capacity, but it’s not unavoidable. These are a few tips and tricks our office and employees have discovered help combat some of that stress we feel build up throughout the week.
1. Give the coffee machine a break:
This seems counterintuitive. I’m not suggesting you give up caffeine. I’d lose my job too. But there are other sources that support a less jittery energy. Coffee can cause symptoms similar to that of anxiety and make you feel less in control. Matcha green tea is a great alternative stimulant. Those who have made the switch claim to feel less on edge and more neutrally focused. If you’re a manager, try giving this as an alternative for your team.
2. Get better about time management:
Likely the biggest cause of stress and anxiety for me is feeling like I don’t have enough hours in the day. Honestly, I have 16 hours in a day which is plenty for much of what I want to get done. My own time management determines how stressed I’ll be feeling during those 16 hours. Being honest about your distractions and what kind of schedule you work best on can make a huge difference in the amount of stress you experience.
3. Plan regular breaks:
This is the best way I’ve found to combat both distractions and feeling overwhelmed. We tend to have two modes: working until we burnout or distracted every five minutes. Both are not ideal. To find a happy medium, force yourself to take breaks every 25 minutes or so for just five minutes. Allow yourself to do all the things you would to distract yourself, then get back to it. You’ll find yourself better focused and less burnt out at the end of your day.
4. Don’t over assign/over commit:
This is one is simple yet we’re all still guilty because of our competitive mentality. If you’re a manager, don’t over assign. Know what your employees can handle by first asking and then observing. Start slow with new employees and work up to a comfortable workload. If you’re an employee, don’t over commit to tasks you’re not sure you can handle. Know the length tasks take you and learn to put say “no” when you feel it will compromise your work quality or peace.
5. Be clear about expectations and goals:
Managers, one of the biggest sources of stress for employees is unclear expectations. When your reaction is unpredictable, people get uneasy- to put it simply. Being clear about what you expect in even the smallest tasks can help alleviate uncertainty that causes stress. When you’re clear about goals and expectations for yourself even and write them down, you’re 42% more likely to accomplish them. Accomplishment always alleviates stress.
6. Have lunch out:
Any environment for too long itself can have adverse effects. Getting lunch or going out as a group can help you bond with your office while taking a break from the same scene. When coworkers feel more connected, there’s less likely to be tension and problems in the workplace. With less tension and a more personal connection, the office environment feels lighter. Even if just you take off for 30 minutes, a change of scenery resets your mood.
7. Stop the email harassment:
One of the very little things I didn’t realize was such a source of stress for me was my email. Like many, I have about 6 accounts up on my desktop or phone that are constantly going off and reminding me of something else to worry about. Now, I just set aside two times per day to check them and turn all notifications off. Nothing that urgent would be in the digital snailmail anyways.
These are simple to implement and can help you feel less stressed and more in control where you spend the most time. Hopefully these work for you like they work for me!