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Stress Management at the workplace

, February 8, 2013, 0 Comments

These days we often hear the word ‘stress’ in all walks of life …media, medicine, books… A lot of companies have flourished developing stress management tools. Stress at the workplace is experienced by many and has consequences on health and employee wellbeing, employee productivity and general culture of the organization.

There is good stress and bad stress. Good stress can be channelized for our benefit. Bad stress must be managed if it cannot be avoided.

Some amount of stress is needed and is quite good for us. Good stress includes events such as anticipating the birth of your baby, or riding on a crazy roller coaster, where adrenalin is released and life becomes exciting! Bad stress induces the release of cortisol where your body is always in ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. Chronic stress eventually leads to health problems and a dull life. Which stress is preferred? Of course, the good one but some stress is unavoidable like a crazy deadline or a bad boss.

Stress management thus becomes an important tool in your arsenal to lead and conduct your life! Here are some stress buster ideas that we can use:

De- clutter your work space: – we all have a tendency to collect things, some of us collect and keep everything while others only keep the stuff that’s necessary. It’s important not to hoard printouts, paper, files or other knick knacks that clutter the workspace and eat into your valuable time while searching for papers or other things.

Manage your time: – this is critical to avoid stress and attempt an eight hour work day. Follow the 4 Ds of time management – Do it now, Dump it, Delegate it or Defer it. Choose your response to every situation and/or task.

Plan your day: – the usual work day in Mumbai and surely other cities in India are 12 hour days. In Australia, people work eight hour days following the adage “Do your eight and get out of the gate”. While work culture in India is different and an immediate change to shrink work hours is not possible, attempts can be made to change work culture. Employees can meticulously plan their work to maximize hours spent at office and leaders can help employees with time management and encourage employee attempts at working eight hour days.

Use productivity tools: – with smartphones, tablets and apps ruling the tech world and our lives, we should make use of productivity tools e.g. Evernote, Toodledo or Seize the Day.

Practise breathing: – when the works gets you down take a couple of deep breaths or count 1-10, whatever works. When the work gets too overwhelming and if you do not get the appropriate support to reduce stress it might be a good idea to evaluate your options before deciding to move on. Your health and peace of mind is more important, no job is really worth the stress!

These are simple suggestions that can help make a change for good.  It might help you change your outlook in life making you stress free, increase your peace of mind, help life at work, reflect on life outside work and finally help work life balance.

What do you do for stress management at work? Share your stress buster ideas.