How to Deal with Stress in the Workplace
Workplace stress is a mental or emotional strain on an individual due to specific work circumstances. Most individuals feel stress during their daily work. There are many techniques that can be used to help deal with stress in the workplace.
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Harold Bittner is the human resource manager of Maim & Hurt Video Games. The company has had a tremendous year resulting in Harold having to recruit over 50 new employees. Harold has worked 70 hours a week and is totally stressed out! Workplace stress is a mental or emotional strain on an individual due to specific work circumstances. What’s left of Harold’s hair is falling out, and he is physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted. The CEO of Maim & Hurt feels that Harold needs some help. He has booked a week long de-stress boot camp in Florida for Harold to learn some basic techniques to deal with stress in the workplace and also save his hair!
Identify Signs of Stress
Harold arrived at the Florida de-stress boot camp and signed up for the first class on identifying signs of stress . He was already feeling better physically, but knew he needed to learn what the signs were to avoid stress in the future. Sergeant Relax was the instructor for the class. He started the lecture by telling everyone that there would be a 20-mile run, followed by 100 push-ups, and then a 100-question quiz at the end of the class. Everyone in class started to stress and panic. Sergeant Relax asked the students how they felt. He listed their responses on the board as:
After the class exercise, Sergeant Relax told the class he was just kidding about the entire end-of-class activities. He wanted the class to identify the stress signs. He told them that there are many ways to handle stress, and that on Tuesday, the next class would teach them how to learn to take better care of themselves.
Good Health Habits
Harold Bittner knew that he had been neglecting his health and mental well-being. He was very excited to start Sergeant Relax’s next class. The class began with Harold taking a survey regarding his diet, exercise, and sleep. Harold stated that he gets about three hours of sleep a night and relies on fast food dinners. He also never has time for exercise. Sergeant Relax explained to Harold that it is important to develop good health habits . He suggested that Harold get at least eight hours of sleep a night and join a gym (or buy a treadmill.) Even 15 minutes of exercise a night will help relieve Harold’s work stress. In addition, he gave him tips on quick meals to make and healthier fast food choices. Harold knew that most of his stress came from his inability to prioritize and organize at work.
Prioritize and Organize
Wednesday’s class with Sergeant Relax was teaching employees how to prioritize and organize at work. Harold’s desk is a mess at work, and he never is able to complete his work in the time allotted. Sergeant Relax explained that this is causing enormous stress on Harold. He provided Harold with some quick classroom tips that he can implement at work.
Set a daily schedule.
Do not over-commit to your boss.
Start early in the day and take frequent breaks.
Prioritize which projects should be tackled first.
Delegate easy work to subordinates.
Learn to compromise on work.
Harold even purchased a new app for his work phone that provides reminders and helps with scheduling.
Increase Emotional Intelligence
The theme of the last day of boot camp is about increasing your emotional intelligence . This is the ability to adjust emotions and behaviors to how individuals are acting at work. In addition, having good emotional intelligence would allow Harold to build relationships with his co-workers by resolving conflict. Harold knows that he has helped many employees, but he needs to be able to provide follow up to show that he cares. This will help Harold’s stress level as his workers will show him respect. Managers need to become nurturing and supportive to their coworkers. This can be done by listening to workers and identifying when issues develop. Managers who recognize that an employee is having difficulty - whether work or personal - is able to be supportive and offer help. This in turn will make the manager’s job less stressful because now the employee’s problem is solved and productivity increases. Sergeant Relax awarded Harold a De-stressed Certificate and sent him home with a guidebook to follow.
Workplace stress is a mental or emotional strain on an individual due to specific work circumstances. Most individuals feel stress during their daily work. Identifying signs of stress, learning to take better care of self, prioritizing and organizing, and increasing emotional intelligence are the ways to help deal with stress in the workplace.
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