Getting Time on Your Side

Reduce Stress - How to manage stress in the workplace!

We've all been stressed out at work or know someone that is. Whether it's the pressure to do more, take on extra jobs, added responsibility, or working long hours on a project that's due - we've all felt the heaviness of stress. If you're feeling the pressure, you're not alone! We all need to find ways to reduce stress so that the workplace can be more efficient and productive.

Here are some interesting facts about stress:

There is no doubt that stress can cause adverse affects to workplace productivity: poor work performance, increased absenteeism, and diverted administrative and time management. Instead of taking a passive approach, we need be pro-active and take responsibility for our actions and limit the amount of anxiety a person can acquire in a given situation. If no action is taken, it will likely cause inefficiencies, health problems, and ultimate burnout of the employee in the workplace. Every employee has a different breaking point. Ken Seis, Senior Partner of Consulting Resource Group International states, "These things (stress) accumulate over time and erode productivity."

Since the causes of workplace stress can vary greatly, so too do the strategies to reduce it. Here are some strategies on how to minimize job stress so that you can be more efficient and productive in the workplace:

  1. Provide a Fun Working Environment - Sense of humor and laughter is the key.
  2. Give Employees Variety - Assign jobs to provide meaning, stimulation, and opportunities for workers to use their skills and talents.
  3. Don't Procrastinate - Procrastination only breeds stress! It increases the amount of work you need to do to at a given situation. Do the most important tasks first and eliminate the things that take less priority.
  4. Encourage - Encourage employees that they are doing a good job, encourage them to get enough sleep, and encourage them eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. Studies have shown that companies who encourage employees to take a "body break" will work more effectively than those who do little or no exercise.
  5. Don't Demand Too Much - The workload has to be in line with workers' capabilities. Pace tasks so that they are reasonably demanding but not based on pure endurance. The human body can only take on so much in a day!
  6. Promote Participation - Give employees opportunities to participate in decisions and actions affecting their jobs. Delegate responsibility if you have to and allow others to call their own shots. When they feel they are part of the decision, they are more likely to take responsibility, rather than grumble against their boss and their company.
  7. Define Employee Responsibility - More often than not we wear "too many hats". Our work roles need to be clear, understandable, and shouldn't be conflicting or uncertain. We need to encourage employees to take responsibility for their own job and for their contribution to the success of the company so that they won't be bogged down with too many responsibilities.
  8. Manage Your Time Effectively - A good time management tool will help you stay organized, plan and prepare, schedule in advance, and keeping good records helps get things accomplished on time, and thus reduces stress.

Reducing stress will allow for a better work environment and will promote mutual effort amongst your team, resulting in higher quality of work. As things get more efficient in your company you will soon notice an improved bottom line. Stress is inevitable, but there are ways in which we can lessen the load and make the workplace more manageable. Having a supportive management team, organizing your time effectively, and having fun around the workplace are effective ways to minimize stress. If you follow some or all of these examples above, you're on your way to being more efficient and productive!

(1) LLuminari® Landmark Study
(2) Training & Development Magazine, August 2000
(3) 2000 Gallup poll

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