Workplace stress is one of the leading causes of low 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, which help combat some of that stress we feel building up throughout the week.
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1. Give the coffee machine a break. Less coffee might lead to reduce stress at workplace
This seems counterintuitive. I’m not suggesting you give up caffeine. I’d lose my job too. But there are other sources that promote 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. Those who have made the switch claim to feel less ‘on edge’ and more neutrally focused. If you’re a manager, try offering this as an alternative for your team.
2. Get better with time management
The biggest probable cause of workplace stress and anxiety for me is feeling like I don’t have enough hours in the day. In reality, I have 16 hours in a work day, which is plenty for 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 to combat workplace stress
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 getting distracted every five minutes. Both are far from ideal. To find a happy medium, force yourself to take a break 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 not 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 of it due to 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 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 workplace stress for your 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 the uncertainty that causes stress. Even when you’re clear about goals and expectations for yourself 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 team members, whilst 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 30 minutes off, 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 workplace stress for me was my email. Like a lot of professionals, I have about 6 accounts open 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 ‘snail mail’ anyway.
These are simple tips to implement to help you feel less stressed and more in control at work. Hopefully, these technqiues will work for you like they work for me!