Stress is known to be one of the things that reduce productivity and efficiency. Numerous reasons are responsible for stress, and stress can affect anyone. As a business person, productivity and efficiency are important for you to succeed in business. Hence, to ensure that you stay productive and effective, we will guide you on how to reduce stress at work.
The information we will share with you will enable you to curb stress at work.
Therefore, we advise that you carefully read this blog to the end.
Let’s begin by looking at the definition of stress…
What Is Stress? – How to Reduce Stress at Work.
Stress is defined as a state of being emotionally or mentally strained or tensed due to demanding or adverse circumstances.
People experience stress differently.
For some people, stress makes them sick.
Some other people become incapable of handling situations they were capable of handling before they got stressed.
Stress can either be long-termed or short-termed.
Sadly you cannot avoid stress; however, it is possible to reduce stress.
Before we go any further in seeing how to reduce stress, let’s see some of the symptoms of stress.
Symptoms of Stress – How to Reduce Stress at Work
These are some of the common symptoms of stress:
- Mood Swings
- Grinding teeth
- Digestive problems
- Low sex drive
- Sweaty or clammy palms
- Difficulty sleeping
- Frequent sickness
- Racing heartbeat
- Low energy
- Physical pains and aches
- Muscle tension
Types of Stress – How to Reduce Stress at Work
When you understand something, you will be capable of handling it better.
Hence, to make you understand stress better, we will discuss the types of stress that exist.
With this knowledge, you will be able to identify what type of stress you suffer.
Chronic Stress – How to Reduce Stress at Work
Chronic stress is when a person has a high-stress level that goes on for a long time.
This type of stress is long-termed and can have negative effects on a person’s health.
It may cause or contribute to:
- Weak immune system
- Cardiovascular disorder
This type of stress can also cause frequent illnesses such as upset stomach, sleep difficulties, and headaches.
Acute Stress – How to Reduce Stress at Work
Acute stress is experienced by everybody.
It occurs when the body immediately reacts to new or challenging situations.
An instance when a person experiences this sort of stress is when they narrowly escape an accident.
It can also occur as a result of something you enjoy doing.
For example, you can experience this sort of stress from skiing or going on a thrilling fun ride on roller coasters.
Hence, acute stress can be somewhat frightening or thrilling.
Acute stress incidents are not known to cause any harm, so it is sometimes good for people to experience them.
It helps your brain and body to practice developing better responses to any future stressful circumstances or situations.
With acute stress, the body returns to its normal state when the danger is over.
However, when acute stress becomes severe it can cause a mental health problem.
Acute stress can be severe when a person experiences life-threatening situations.
Episodic Acute Stress – How to Reduce Stress at Work
This type of stress happens to people who experience frequent acute stress.
For people who go through this type of stress, it becomes a normal occurrence.
They are often worried and anxious about things that are yet to happen.
These people sometimes may feel that their lives are chaotic and a non-ending circle of crisis.
Episodic acute stress can happen more to people in certain professions.
Good examples of those professions are firefighters or law enforcement.
Unlike acute stress, this kind of stress can have negative effects on people’s physical and mental health.
Stress at Work
Now that you have a general understanding of stress, we will now focus on stress at work.
It can be very difficult to work under stress.
Stress at work destroys a person’s ability to be creative, productive, effective, and successful.
When stress becomes a normal thing for a person, it causes more damages.
It is even worse when those damages become long-termed.
Hence, you have to learn to reduce stress caused by work.
Cause of Work Stress – How to Reduce Stress at Work
Before we share with you some tips that will help you reduce stress at work, let’s see the cause of work stress.
The workload is the amount of obligation and task assigned to a person.
Most times workload comes with a specific timeline within which the work should be completed.
One’s workload is usually one of the obvious and major causes of work stress.
A person can be given an overload or under-load of work.
Overload is when a person is assigned a large amount of work.
While under load is when a person is assigned too little work.
This can cause stress for people in different ways.
When a person is given an overload of work, it can cause pressure which can then lead to stress.
This is especially true when such a person has never been assigned such a workload and has a short time to complete it.
In a case where a person is assigned under-load work, such person might start doubting their capability.
Consequently, it can make them start feeling stressed.
Job Insecurity – How to Reduce Stress at Work
Job insecurity is one important factor that leads to work stress.
The current economy is quite uncertain and competitions are very high.
As a result, some companies may seek to reduce costs by laying off some workers or by increasing their workload.
The fear of workers losing their jobs can ultimately lead to undue stress.
Most times, companies keep employees that are performing excellently.
In such situations, there will be pressure on the employees to do better than what they are expected to do.
The high expectations and pressure on the employees can lead to work stress.
Style of Management
Management style can also cause stress at work.
This is especially true for a controlling managerial style.
Autocratic managers hardly give the employees a chance to share their ideas or opinions concerning any issue.
As a result of the high restrictions and little control in doing their jobs, the employees will get stressed.
Working Hours – How to Reduce Stress at Work
Another cause of work stress is working hours.
When a person works under extended or odd hours it can cause several physiological problems.
This can consequently cause stress as they work.
Yes, technology can cause work stress.
You might wonder how because technology is renowned for improving things.
However, as much as it improves things, it can be a headache trying to figure out how to use it or using it for prolonged periods.
This is especially true with new technologies that seem to come out every day.
Hence, it can cause a strain on people and lead to stress.
Changes in Organization – How to Reduce Stress at Work
Change is one thing that can cause stress in our everyday living.
Not everybody is capable of adapting and accepting change.
Hence, when there is a change in an organization, it can affect the workers in diverse ways.
Some workers will accept the change and get comfortable with it, while others will find it very stressful.
When an organization undergoes any little change, it can create stress and fear if there is ineffective management or communication.
Work challenges help to make workers better at what they do.
It also ensures that workers do not get bored with having to do the same task every time.
Work challenges are not bad, they help to increase productivity.
Thus, it should not be seen as work stress.
However, work challenges can cause work stress.
This is in cases where the challenges are not proportionate to a worker’s capacity.
The challenges determine the level of stress.
For instance, when a highly qualified or educated worker is assigned a lower task, he might get bored and stressed.
This is because he will feel like he is doing the same thing continuously with no push to do more.
Stress will come as a result of him wanting to do more.
Almost the same thing happens to someone who is assigned a task that is way above their qualification.
The pressure on them to perform that task well will ultimately lead to stress.
Conflict at Work – How to Reduce Stress at Work
Conflict is any heated argument or disagreement between two or more parties.
When there is conflict in the workplace, it will be difficult to get along with colleagues or managers.
This can ultimately result in stress because there will be little or no cooperation.
The problems a person goes through at home, in the family, or personally can cause tension in such person.
It becomes worse for such a person if they are overburdened with the workload.
Personal problems plus work overload will cause work stress for a person.
Also, the personal problems a person is going through will make it difficult for such a person to concentrate on their tasks.
Hence, when they cannot focus and concentrate on their work, they will be unhappy with their job, and stress will kick in.
Harassment or Bullying at Work – How to Reduce Stress at Work
People who are often bullied or harassed at work can become stressed.
The fear of being bullied or harassed will make them uncomfortable at their workplace.
In recent times stress that comes from being harassed or bullied has become rather rampant.
Unhealthy Work-Life Balance
As we earlier discussed, personal problems can cause people to be stressed at work.
Since personal issues affect work, one has to be sure that they handle them well.
However, that is not enough.
When one’s work-life spheres are not balanced, one will find it hard to handle personal issues.
Work-life balance is said to be the separation of one’s focus and time between family and work or relaxing activities.
When there is no balance between personal and work life, it will put pressure on a person and cause stress.
This stress will affect not only one’s work but also their personal life.
Poor Communication – How to Reduce Stress at Work
Communication is very important in an organization.
Free flow of communication ensures that information is passed effectively.
However, where there is poor communication in an organization it can result in stress for the employees.
This is because poor communication will make it difficult for them to get the right information or instruction.
As such, it will be difficult for them to know the right thing to do.
Working under such conditions will consequently cause the employees to be stressed.
In a work environment, it is essential to develop and groom good working relationships.
Several benefits come from having good relationships with co-workers, colleagues, bosses, and customers.
However, when a person has poor relationships with the people they work with, they would not be capable of relating with them.
This, in turn, will make their work quite difficult and this will cause them to be stressed.
Tips on How to Reduce Stress at Work
Now that you know some of the causes of stress at work, you will identify them better.
Also, it will enable you to know how to curb them.
As we stated earlier, we will share with you essential tips on reducing stress at work.
The following tips will help you reduce stress at work when you practice them:
Promote Good and Open Communication
We already shared with you how poor communication can cause stress at work.
It does not only affect your employee, but it affects you as well.
This is because once your employee cannot do their work properly due to poor communication, you will get stressed.
Your stress will be a result of decreased productivity and effectiveness.
Therefore, you need to ensure that you promote good and open communication.
Once communication flows freely and properly, your employees will work accordingly, and this will promote productivity.
Consequently, this will help curb the stress from poor communication for both you and your employees.
Provide Physical and Mental Health Benefits – How to Reduce Stress at Work
When you notice that you and your employees are prone to stress, you can reduce it by providing certain benefits.
Stress at work can be due to mental or physical strain; hence you can provide benefits that will improve their health.
Do not think of this as a loss because you and your business will benefit from it.
When you provide these benefits for your employees, they will be less stressed.
Also, your employees will become more loyal and committed to your business, thereby improving their performance.
Develop Strong Positive Relationships
Another thing that will help to reduce stress at work is building strong positive relationships.
Therefore you have to learn and teach your employees to develop better working relationships.
This way, they will find it easy to work and cooperate.
As a result, this will reduce stress and increase productivity.
You can develop this sort of relationship by appreciating your team and providing constructive feedback.
Also, positive working relationships are formed when you learn to understand others and help them out.
Practice an Effective Management Style – How to Reduce Stress at Work
Management style can cause stress if it is not healthy.
Thus, you have to ensure that your management style is the sort that will promote better working conditions.
In a situation where you have managers, you have to ensure that their management style is also good.
When you do this, your employees will be less stressed and become more productive.
Get Better at Resolving Conflicts
Unresolved conflicts can cause damages and stress in the workplace, so you have to learn to resolve disputes between your employees.
Also, learn to resolve conflicts that might break out between you and others.
In cases where you cannot reach all your employees, teach your team leaders and managers how to resolve conflicts.
Create Time for Fun Activities – How to Reduce Stress at Work
To relieve tension and reduce stress at work, you can create time for fun activities in the workplace.
Numerous fun activities can help to reduce stress at work.
All you need to do is have a fixed time or special occasions where you and your employees can have fun.
This creates diversity in the workplace and helps make people more creative and productive.
Fun is a social lubricant; it can help to make socialization a lot easier.
When you and your employees can easily socialize with one another, it will make working together easier.
Examples of fun activities for the workplace include:
- Dart Board
- Video games
- Basketball hoop
- Board games
- Ping Pong
These activities will also create bonds and make working together easier and more effective.
Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance
When one does not have a balanced work-life, it can result in stress.
You, therefore, need to learn to divide your time between your personal life and work properly.
When you do this, you will be capable of handling your work better and enjoying your life.
Additionally, consider more flexible working schedules for your employees.
This will help them to better manage and balance their work-life.
Allow Vacation and Breaks – How to Reduce Stress at Work
Give your employees free time to go on breaks and vacations.
These free times will help them to relax and come back renewed to do better at work.
It will also reduce whatever stress they are passing through.
When you give your employees time to enjoy themselves, you should also give yourself time to relax and go on vacations.
Conclusion on How to Reduce Stress at Work
Stress at work can be harmful in a business environment
Some of the harm caused by stress can become permanent or hard to fix.
So, to ensure that this does not occur, you need to take precautionary action to reduce stress at work.
We shared some vital tips that will help you reduce stress at work.
We hope you find them useful and practice them.