5 ways to handle workplace stress [Poll]
No matter what position you are in, your job can be stressful. A recent Monster poll highlighted the most stressful aspects of a job and gives some indication on how to improve work-life.
Here are the some of the most common reasons to get stressed at work - and how to deal with them.
Workload and being overworked - Get your priorities straight
When it comes to stress, no matter if at work or at home, it is always best to deal with it and reduce the source of your stress. According to the poll, the most stressful part of Malaysians’ jobs is being overworked (35%).
The easiest way to deal with your workload is to reduce it. However, this isn’t always possible, especially if it doesn’t depend on you. A different way of dealing with it is to prioritise your work. Categorise all of your workload according to priority or deadline. That will give you some breathing space.
If that still doesn’t work, you can try to not accept additional work. Inform your superior or colleague (whoever gives you these tasks) that you won’t be able to finish it on time. Simply rejecting the work probably won’t get you anywhere. However, giving an alternative, such as postponing it or using freelancers to complete the task, will often be met with understanding.
Sense of job security - Get a clear picture
Especially when having to support a family, job security is paramount. Besides doing your work as best as you can, in most cases, one won’t have much influence on the issue. 30% stated the sense of job security to be worrying and the most stressful part of their jobs.
If you feel like your job’s at risk, it’s time to confront the issue. Instead of worrying in silence, it is better to talk to your boss about it. The uncertainty of it all will only worry you further. Once you know the reality, you can make plans accordingly. If you need to expect the worst, you can at least look for other job opportunities and try to remember that old adage ‘whenever one door closes, another one opens’.
Navigating office politics - Get acquainted
Politics at work are not always due to power plays in the office hierarchy but can be caused by miscommunication or low work ethic. 30% have stated that navigating office politics is their biggest source of stress at the office. Although you can’t avoid getting in the middle of these office politics, you can try to turn the ‘negative’ into a ‘positive’.
A common reason for friction in the office is people not knowing each other well enough. Getting to know a person that causes conflict can often help to resolve the issue. This will also help you learn about their motivations, ambitions, and goals as well as how to navigate through your work without getting into people’s way.
Meeting deadlines - Get organised
There is hardly any office that doesn’t have deadlines - and honestly why would you want to get out of one? Only 5% of the polled people stated meeting deadlines as the most stressful part of their jobs.
Trying to push deadlines might work in some cases, but won’t always be possible. One easy way to get a handle on deadlines is to get organised. Deadlines are often related to being overworked, which means they can be tackled in the same way - by organising and prioritising. Develop a system (perhaps visually at your desk) that helps you to keep an overview of your projects and deadlines. This will not only help you to work more efficiently, but will also make you feel less stressed.
Getting work done within existing budgets - Get creative
Budget constraints can be restrictive for some, but can be the source of creativity for others. Another surprising outcome of the poll is that budget constraints are not a reason to get stressed at work. Small companies and start-ups are confronted with budget limitations on a daily basis.
Depending on what your business is and what your expense priorities are, there are ways to reduce costs or even use free alternatives. The digitalisation of the workspace offers plenty of free solutions for communication, organisation, storage or even image sourcing.
You won’t always avoid stressful situations, but you can definitely can certainly minimize them. Once you know what causes your stress, you can try to deal with it and ideally resolve it.