Management Matters: is a New Article series dealing with the issues that arise when managing personnel and how to optimize your current staff in a company.
The Stressful Workplace
December 1st, 2010
Unfortunately, the majority of people today wake up in the mornings and dread going to work. This is the case even more today because of the recent economic crisis and due to the fact that people are settling for jobs they are overqualified for. This emotional rollercoaster caused by layoffs and budget cuts has also instilled uncertainty and fear in many people. Addressing these issues immediately is imperative. A change in attitude is a critical way to begin the workday. Because different jobs have various amounts of stress attached to them, it is crucial to figure out the best ways to cope with these anxieties and pressures. It is important to not focus on the downside of each interaction at work. The reality is a positive shift in attitude can happen, but will take some work.
Stresses can also lead to health issues ranging from the common cold and flu to more serious diseases like heart issues and metabolic syndrome. According to the CDC’s National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, studies show the number of Americans who are “extremely stressed at work range between 29% to 40%.” This does not always have to be the case, as a person’s mindset can make all the difference in whether they choose to have an optimistic or pessimistic attitude. Staying busy at work and feeling as though you are contributing to the company is essential in feeling valued. Managing stress is the key to living an all-around enjoyable lifestyle.
Humor is an important way to alleviate stressful situations. Appropriate workplace jokes can help relieve stress when people are taking everything too seriously. Humor does not always facilitate every situation ideally, so another tip to alleviate the build-up of stress is to remove oneself from the situation for a couple of minutes or however long deemed necessary. Taking a walk or talking to someone about the circumstance, whether it is a co-worker, boss, family member, or friend, can make any situation much more manageable. Exercise and sleep can also clear one’s head and create a more enjoyable and less stressful day.
How managers can reduce stress
Employees can only do so much in reducing the stress they feel at work. Both employers and employees need to be involved in order to generate a more positive work environment. Social interaction is extremely vital for the workplace because this gives employees time to form bonds with each other. Once people get to know one another better, they will feel more comfortable and will most likely excel in productivity. Along with providing opportunities for more social interactions, communicating effectively is critical. Today, many people are afraid of losing their jobs and by communicating more with their employees; employers will calm these nerves and share information whenever needed or necessary. Lastly, employers can offer incentives and rewards like bonuses or small raises, which will instill confidence in their employees. By providing avenues for career development, managers will create a harder-working and more optimistic work climate.
As mentioned earlier, the self-defeating issues of negativity can takeover a person’s life if they are not careful. If someone is aware of their negative attitude, they will most likely have a much easier time eliminating it. Avoid hanging around negative co-workers because this frame of mind can spread easily. Get excited about accomplishments during the workday, whether large or small. Keeping busy leads to productivity, which helps most people stay optimistic about their work. Overall, the majority of the population dedicates a large portion of their lives to work, so by making time spent in the office a more positive experience, employees and employers will face even less stress throughout their daily lives.