The world of work is ever-changing, and its evolution has accelerated greatly in the last two years placing more demands on the physical and mental health of employees. The results of these demands are affecting everything from performance to behaviour to relationships with Deloitte estimating that poor mental health is costing UK employers an extra £6 billion a year.
Now more than ever it is essential that you look after your mental health by managing how you cope with stress in the workplace, you don’t need to cope alone or feel alone. Each workforce is unique and each individual is unique but here are some suggestions to better manage stress in the workplace:
- Understand your triggers – this takes some time and a bit of soul searching to recognise your triggers, if you know your triggers you can put measures in place to combat it
- Talk about it – “a problem shared is a problem halved” some people are naturally more open with their feelings, and some are more closed but please don’t suffer alone, talk to someone whether it be a friend, colleague, family member or a mental health professional
- Nail your morning routine – starting your day off right with a good routine with less stress can make a world of difference, it could be taking public transport to work removing any necessary “road rage” or frustrations from the drive-in
- Look after your physical health – this can make a world of difference, by looking after your physical health and the benefits it brings of feeling good through exercise can be huge. To become more active you could talk a walk during lunch to recharge the batteries and refocus, take up a new sport or use the gym more.
- Be organised – by planning effectively you will have clear deadlines, and requirements and can adjust your workload.
- Be a finisher – multitasking was such a buzzword and it was what employers looked for but if you are working on loads of different tasks or projects but feeling like you are not winning or completing anything it can have a negative effect on your mood. By concentrating on a manageable number of tasks your focus will not be split and you will not feel dragged in lots of directions.
The importance of workplace culture can have a huge impact on stress in the workplace amongst employees. By creating a culture that has shared values, belief systems and attitudes employees will feel engaged and connected. Workplace culture needs to be the responsibility of all employees and have a clear set of values by which policies and actions can be driven such as net-zero, championing equality, diversity and inclusion, supporting local schools etc. A positive workplace culture that is inclusive and supportive will make employees feel valued, and their ambitions, talents and skills nurtured so they can fulfil their potential.
A communicative workplace is a connected workplace with relationships positive. Now more than ever with the rise of hybrid and remote working, organisations need to be more sensitive to how we work with line managers being mindful of this with any events and communications including both onsite and remote employees so that everyone is included. The role of the line manager has a big part in how connected and engaged employees in the workplace will feel, by having a line manager that is sensitive to the feelings of their teams, approachable and aware of their role in managing stress in the workplace will mean you will feel comfortable confiding in line managers when you are stressed or under pressure as trust will have been built.
Don’t feel you need to suffer alone or feel you need to cope alone, reach out have that conversation and let people know what is happening as sometimes the smallest steps can make the biggest strides.