You need to earn a living, but does it have to be so stressful?
Workers around the world said they felt more anger, sadness, and worry than in previous years, according to Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2021 report.
In a Straits Times article published 12 June 2022 – https://www.straitstimes.com/opinion/onmymind-be-more-kiasu-forget-4-day-work-week-lets-go-for-3 – International surveys tend to rank Singapore’s workforce as among the most stressed, most overworked and the least happy.
Some of the major causes of tension include heavy workloads, long hours, and interpersonal conflicts.
In recent years, you may also be dealing with increased health anxiety and job insecurity.
On the other hand, there have been some positive developments too, partly due to the transition towards hybrid and remote work.
A survey by Mental Health America found that staying home reduces stress and increases productivity by limiting distractions and office politics and creating a more comfortable and personalised environment.
Learn how to keep job stress from taking over your life.
Try these suggestions for coping with common challenges.
Making your working conditions less stressful.
Job stress costs American companies an estimated $300 billion each year in health care expenses and lost productivity.
Your employer may be eager to support you in introducing positive changes.
These tips will help you reduce stress on the job …
- Clarify expectations
Uncertainty can make you anxious.
Try to meet with your supervisor one-on-one at least once a week to review priorities.
Let them know that you appreciate regular feedback.
- Take breaks
You accomplish more with less effort when you pause to relax and refresh.
Do stretching exercises while you’re on hold.
Drink a cup of tea in between meetings.
- Use vacation days
It’s important to take time off.
If you’re on a tight budget, arrange a leisurely trip where you stay extra days at a destination to enjoy yourself after your business is completed.
- Shorten your week
The 4-day work week is becoming more popular.
It could help you reduce your carbon footprint, along with finding more balance.
- Clear away clutter
While your company has to approve of Fridays off, you can decide for yourself to get more organised.
A tidy desk and office will help you to feel calmer.
Redesign your space with dividers and shelves.
Cut down on paper and items you rarely use.
- Set boundaries
Save enough time and energy for your personal life.
Designate a specific stop-work time each day and stick to it as much as possible.
Let others know what hours you’re available for calls or checking emails.
Avoid excessive overtime.
Changing your response to workplace stress.
Massage therapists and astronomers have some of the lowest levels of job stress.
If you’ve chosen a less peaceful path (or job), you’ll probably need to accept some rough spots, but you can change the way you deal with them.
Try these strategies …
- Reframe the situation
Try to view challenges as opportunities rather than hardships.
Focus on what you can gain from the experience.
Maybe you’ll make new contacts or increase your self-awareness.
Maybe you can work at becoming more flexible and innovative.
- Advocate for yourself
You can prevent many conflicts by standing up for yourself and your principles.
Remember that your needs are valid.
Rehearse what you want to say and speak tactfully and directly.
- Find a buddy
Develop a support system at work.
Treat others with respect and appreciation.
Take advantage of group projects and social occasions where you can get to know your colleagues.
- Make healthy choices
Your lifestyle can make you stronger and more resilient.
Eat nutritious foods and exercise regularly.
Sleep well and spend time doing things you love.
- Change jobs
In some cases, you might discover that your position or the company culture isn’t a logical fit for you.
It may be time to move on or at least explore your options.
Be healthier and happier.
Chronic job stress can undermine your physical and mental wellbeing.
Take steps on your own and with your employer to make your work life happier and healthier.
When there’s Will, there’s a way!