More and more people are under the stress. What can employers and employees do to reduce the workplace stress?
While some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can interfere with productivity and impact physical and emotional health. And the ability to deal with it can mean the difference between success or failure. We can’t control everything in the work environment, but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless—even when we’re stuck in a difficult situation. Finding ways to manage workplace stress isn’t about making huge changes or rethinking career ambitions, but rather about focusing on the one thing that’s always within control.
One way to reduce workplace stress is to identify the actual source or sources of the stressor. Employees should be encouraged to share specific sources of stress, such as a defective piece of equipment, an unrealistic deadline, a lack of communication between departments, an under-performing co-worker or even an overly critical supervisor. Once a specific stressor is acknowledged, then someone could take tangible steps to correct it. Replacing a defective machine or changing a deadline would be much cheaper than replacing the stressed-out employees who regularly work under those conditions.
Another way to reduce workplace stress is to take full advantage of planned breaks throughout the day. Some workers use a lunch break to take a short power nap, for example. Instead of sitting at a desk or in a break room, taking a walk or performing light calisthenic exercises may help a worker destress. Some employees find doing something personal, such as checking emails or phoning a friend, gives them a sense of control over their time spent at work. Workplace stress can be triggered by feeling overwhelmed by the workload or overly controlled by unsympathetic supervisors.