How often do you find yourself stressed out because of work? Statistically speaking, it’s likely that your answer is often. The American Institute of Stress cites job pressure – whether co-worker tension, bosses, or work overload – as by far the number one source of stress in America. Their study also found that 77 percent of the population regularly experiences physical symptoms caused by stress.
These widespread stress-related issues cost employers $300 billion a year. This means that stress is not just a problem for employees, but a giant, expensive hurdle employers must overcome as well.
Why Is Workplace Stress Getting Out of Hand?
The modern workplace has you tied to work no matter where you are. While technology has certainly increased efficiency and freedom, expectations of being available 24/7 blur the ever-so-important lines between work and personal time. Thirty five percent of people cite their jobs as an interference with their family or personal time as a significant source of stress. As the workforce shifts to an increasing number of people working remote and freelancing, the challenge of blurred boundaries becomes even more of a challenge.
How to Reduce Workplace Stress?
Working long hours and being passionate about what you do does not have to correlate to workplace stress. If you find yourself stressed at work to the point that it’s affecting your personal life, take heed. The following tips and infographic will give you some motivation to put yourself first for the sake of your sanity, well-being, and the quality of your work.
1. Set Boundaries
You don’t have to be available 24 hours a day. Setting work-life boundaries (and sticking to them) is one of many ways to reduce workplace stress and protect your time. Not only that, but when you have clear boundaries and time away from work to reset, you will also boost your productivity and performance at work. It’s a win-win!
2. Develop Healthy Stress Responses
Instead of turning to fast food, alcohol, or other unhealthy options, learn a new recipe, try a yoga class, or learn other ways you can react to stress in a healthy way.
3. Set Clear and Realistic Goals and Expectations
Work with your manager to set specific goals so you have a benchmark for success. Make sure those goals are attainable so you don’t consistently fall short (which can lead to more workplace stress.)
4. Continue Learning
Whether it’s on-the-job skills or an unrelated hobby, make time to learn something new.
5. Use Your Paid Time Off
When was the last time you took a vacation? Take some time off, even if it’s a staycation. Half of Americans don’t even use all of their PTO.
6. Take Breaks
Taking breaks replenishes mental resources and boosts creativity, resulting in more “aha” moments.
7. Adopt a Pet
Pets are great for stress relief, especially when they’re allowed in the office!
8. Celebrate Success
When you reach a goal or score a win, don’t forget to celebrate, even in a small way, for the progress you made.