Workplace stress isn’t just, well, stressful. It can also do a number on your health, decrease your performance at work, and negatively affect the lives of those you love. According to a study by the CDC, 40% of American workers believe they have a job that is “very or extremely stressful.” And because the effects of stress in the workplace can be so detrimental, we believe its time more people start learning the tools for stress management in the workplace.
What is Stress in the Workplace?
Stress in the workplace can take on many forms. You may experience muscle tension and headaches after a long day in the office. You might have trouble switching into “off mode” and worry about work long after you walk out of the building. You may even feel excessively tired, have chest pain, or experience episodes of fast and shallow breathing.
How Do You Manage Stress at Work?
So how do you manage stress at work? Many different techniques can minimize stress and help you be more focused, productive, and relaxed while on the job. Here are five stress management techniques to help you better manage stress at work:
1. Learn Relaxation Techniques
You’ll feel happier and more relaxed by engaging in activities like massage, yoga, aromatherapy, and more. These activities can take place outside the workplace, or you can try them in your office by bringing in a massage chair, scented candle, or soothing soundtrack.
2. Polish Your Problem-Solving Skills
Many of the stressors at work come from feeling helpless and overwhelmed. Learning the right problem-solving skills can drastically reduce these feelings, so take time to learn how to handle problems that may come your way during work.
3. Practice Mindfulness
If you’re still wondering, “How can I relieve stress and tension at work?”, mindfulness may be the key. Mindfulness is the art of training your mind to be present, aware of your surroundings, and more in control of your thoughts. Practice mindfulness to stay focused on the now and avoid spiraling into worries about the past or future.
4. Identify Triggers
Look out for patterns in your workplace stress. Does it usually happen at a certain time of day? Do you feel more stressed after interacting with certain people? Identifying triggers will help you develop a plan for better handling stress.
5. Find a Stress-Relieving Outlet
Finding a hobby outside of your typical work hours can help you feel better equipped to handle stressful situations at work. Consider biking, group workout classes, taking art classes, or regularly meeting a friend for lunch.
How Can Employers Reduce Stress in the Workplace?
Sometimes the causes of stress at work come from things like an overly competitive culture, a lack of health insurance, or even too much time sitting in front of a computer screen. Luckily, employers can do a lot to minimize these issues. Here are some tips on how employers can reduce stress in the workplace:
1. Provide Benefits
Employers can take a significant load of stress off of their workers by offering generous benefits that elevate the lifestyle of their employees. Such benefits might include health insurance, a 401k, student loan repayment, and paid time off.
2. Create a Positive Company Culture
Company culture can have a huge influence on stress levels at work, so employers should be paying great attention to the type of culture they’re fostering within the business. Company culture is reflected in the core values of the business, the type of people who are hired, the design of the office, and more.
3. Encourage Physical Activity
Many people who work a desk job end up sitting for hours on end, leaving them sluggish and in poor health. Employers can combat these effects by offering workout classes during lunch, paying for employee gym memberships, or conducting meetings on a walk.
4. Teach Time Management Skills
When employees don’t have enough time to get things done, their stress levels can easily skyrocket. Employers can minimize this common stress trigger by teaching time management skills during trainings, employee retreats, and other meetings.
Reduce Stress with EddyHR
There are many strategies for managing stress in the workplace, and we encourage you to brainstorm some creative ways to relieve stress at work. Learn more about how EddyHR can improve your company culture and reduce stress among employees today.