As we move into the second quarter of 2013, stress is a growing concern. Not just for workers, but for businesses too.
We live in a world that has been overwhelmed by stress. The situation, if not handled well by both employers and workers, could mean a drop in productivity and low morale.
If we can manage it better, we can all become far more productive.
Firstly, identify the causes of stress. According to a recent survey by Regus, the primary source of stress is the environment at the workplace.
However, a lot can be done in relieving workplace pressure, which Regus calls flexible working.
In the study that involved some 16,000 workers, six in 10 of those interviewed identified this as a desirable way to cut stress. Doing exercises can also be of great relief. “Going for a short walk, doing stretching or breathing exercises, or just getting away from your desk would have a greater impact,” says Neil Shah, the director of the Stress Management Society in the United Kingdom. Exercise also produces endorphins, the body’s natural opiates, which boost mood.
One also needs to avoid acts that could expose them to stress.
As Regus chief executive officer Mark Dixon explains on his blog, in the age of ‘permanent’ connectivity, we need to learn to switch ourselves off. So turning off mobile phones would be a smart thing to do at certain hours.
Take time out. It may seem obvious, but few employees make time to relax. Do you use up your leave allowance? And when you get away from the office, do you spend too much time running around organising your family?
How much time do you actually spend switching off?
Causes of work-related stress
Different situations and different factors can cause stress. There are a number of factors that cause work-related stress, including:
Poor working conditions, such as noise or bad lighting, long working hours and relationships with colleagues.
Also, having too much or too little to do, lack of control in the working environment, not feeling valued for the work you do, bullying at work and being under pressure to meet deadlines all contribute to pressure that causes stress.
You may feel stressed if you are in the wrong job for your skills, abilities and expectations. Sometimes there is no single cause of work-related stress. It can be caused by a build-up of small things over time.