Whether you are commuting to your place of work or working remotely, the Covid-19 pandemic has added another layer of stress to our daily lives. While pressure at work can be beneficial by motivating us to perform better and keeping us alert, unrelenting pressure can lead to chronic stress. Pandemic or not, chronic workplace stress can lead to burnout. Chronic stress not only affects our productivity and performance, it can also be detrimental to our mental and physical well-being.
Encountering stressors in the workplace is an unavoidable reality of the contemporary world of work. However, stress at work does not have to overtake your ability to perform optimally or become harmful to your health. Here are 5 tips that can help to alleviate workplace stress:
The pressure to be online and available outside of your working hours may feel unavoidable in our digitally connected world. Working from home during the pandemic has blurred the boundaries of work-life even further. Set and communicate clear boundaries between your work and home life. Finding this balance will differ based on your individual priorities, but clear boundaries will reduce the potential for work-life conflict and the stress this causes.
Be clear about your capacity
According to the World Health Organization, work demands and pressures that are not matched to the knowledge and abilities of an employee will challenge their ability to cope. Additionally, a lack of clarity about the requirements of a specific task, or role, will impede your ability to work efficiently and will cause stress. Ensure that you clarify expectations and discuss strategies to stay on top of your work.
Free yourself from perfectionism
You may think that being a perfectionist will guarantee that you excel at work, but it is often the opposite. The mental toll of expecting perfection of yourself in a fast-paced environment only adds self-inflicted stress to an environment that already has its own unique stressors.
Know when to seek help
Workplace stress may exceed levels that are manageable with lifestyle changes or problem-solving strategies. You may already be burnt out or approaching a breaking point. It is important to be able to assess yourself and the level of your stress and seek the help you need. This may be with a mental health care provider made available by your employer, or a private provider. It may also require taking time off to tend to your health.
Hold your organisation accountable
You can take it upon yourself to manage the stress you experience at work. Your employer also has a role to play in creating an environment that does not cause excessive stress, and ensures your overall well-being. Advocate for employee wellness and assistance programmes that provide channels for employees to resolve the issues that adversely affect their performance at work.
Coping with stress in the workplace takes time to master. How do you deal with stress at work? Let me know!