Dealing with a high stress workplace | How to cope when you’re stressed at work
Have you been dealing with a high stress workplace? High stress workplaces are the ones that leave you feeling emotionally, physically or mentally drained – or all three. The not-so-good news is, people are now more stressed in the workplace than ever. According to an HR magazine, “One in four [people] has felt moderately to severely distressed during the past year, says a new report.” The publication mentioned that “…participants in the survey also reported lower levels of satisfaction with their work-life balance than in previous years, and lower levels of interest in their job.”
Stress in the workplace is becoming more prevalent. Compared with previous generations, we’re doing longer hours, for less pay, for more years of our lifetimes. Personally, I spent a very stressful decade in the “entertainment” industry, working in broadcast media. Every single day was stressful: it was competitive, badly paid, long hours were expected and everyone had to and deal with big egos. You can read about my time in radio here.
Practical ways of dealing with a high stress workplace
The fact is, many of us have demanding jobs that push us each time we enter the workplace. Far too often, there are times when things at work can go too far. When that happens, you might find that you pay the price with your general health and safety. The good news is – there might be more you can do to deal with a high stress workplace; and stay on top of it.
Do you feel ‘defeated’? Do you look at your situation and simply view it as unchangeable? Well, don’t! There are actually lots of ways to make your working life better. Often, simply managing things in more intelligent and diligent way at the macro level, and that’s something that we’re going to look into in more depth right now.
Keep reading and learn more about what you can do to take action regarding your health and wellbeing as you go about your job on a day to day basis. It might be the best thing you do all year!
Speak about your problems openly
Talking to your boss when you have a problem is definitely worth doing if you’re someone who often shuts off the rest of the world. Simply opening up and being honest about the difficult situation you find yourself in can do a world of good. Putting on a brave face and pretending everything is fine is the default setting for a lot of people, but it certainly shouldn’t be.
Don’t accept stress as inevitable
Stress is often seen as one of the inevitable byproducts that you have to deal with if you want to do a high-powered and important job, but maybe that’s not the case. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy your work and even do a high-powered job without having to deal with the stress that many people think is unavoidable. There are actionable steps that can be taken to reduce your stress, so make use of them.
Make use of your support networks
Just because you’re not really aware of them or haven’t use them yet, that doesn’t mean those support networks in your workplace aren’t there. If you seek them out and head to the HR department, you might find people who can help you with your situation and the problems you find yourself dealing with on a day to day business. Sometimes, you just minor changes or a little more support in your work, so don’t be afraid to seek that support out.
Work on getting the right work-life balance
For many people, the stress of working arrives because work doesn’t end when it’s supposed to. You may have read my post How to achieve a work-life balance in 7 steps. If you’re one of the millions of people who take their work home with them at the end of the day, it becomes almost impossible to achieve a sustainable and workable work-life balance. And that will not only impact your own wellbeing but also the wellbeing of your partner and kids too. That should spur you on take real action on this issue.
Push your employer to strengthen safety regulations
Every business should have a SWMS in place that’s capable of summing up what the health and safety aims are inside the company. If they don’t have one of these in place, it’s more than acceptable for you to push them in the right direction so that they know you’re serious about making the workplace safer. If you think there are any serious breaches of health and safety laws, you could even push forward with legal action. You’d be within your rights to do so.
Avoid procrastinating when you’re working
Procrastination can often cause you more stress at work because you end up doing nothing up to the point at which you need to work fast to get all your work done before the deadlines. It’s an unhealthy way for you to work and it only makes you feel more stressed and strained than you should ever need to feel in the workplace. If it’s something you struggle with, you need to work on it ASAP. A high stress workplace can actually seem worse when you’re procrastinating.
Find your way of focusing until the working day is done
Focus is a big part of staying safe at work because even a momentary lapse of concentration can cause accidents that should never happen. It’s up to you to find ways of holding your focus throughout the working day. Sure, you can forget all about your work once the clock strikes 5, but if you’re doing a manual job that carries some degree of work, you can’t take that lightly during the working day.
Make use of your paid holidays
No matter how many paid holidays you’re currently entitled to, you should make the most of every single one of them. Doing so could really help you to rebalance your mind and get back on track after all that stress and frustration at work. Some workers are “guilted” into not taking the time of that they’re entitled to, but don’t be one of those people. When the paid holiday is done, you’ll be able to come back to work refreshed.
Don’t allow yourself to feel trapped
If you’re in a position where you genuinely believe that the company you work for is putting your health and safety at risk, you shouldn’t be afraid to move on. There are plenty of other options out there to explore, and if you believe in your talents, you should have no problem finding gainful employment elsewhere. It’s certainly something that you should consider because the longer you put it off, the worse the situation will become for you.
A high stress workplace doesn’t need to affect you negatively
Your health and safety are the most important things of all, so don’t ever lose sight of that fact when you’re doing your job each day. Keep in mind each of the things that’s been highlighted above, and take action if you ever feel like your demanding job is becoming a little too demanding.