Stress affects millions of people. One of the most common types of stress is workplace stress. Even if you love your job, it’s normal to experience some stress at work. The problems begin when that stress becomes chronic, however. Excessive stress can hurt your productivity and impact your physical and emotional health. High levels of stress at work can lead to poor decision-making, increased mistakes, more absenteeism and illness, high staff turnover, poor collaboration, and a host of other issues.
It’s not possible to control everything in your work environment, but that doesn’t mean you’re powerless. Workplace stress can spiral out of control if you don’t address it early on. There are various steps you can take to improve your situation and reduce stress levels. The following are some effective ways to manage workplace stress.
1. Avoid Taking on Too Much Work
Give yourself enough time to get your work done and avoid taking on more than you can handle. Set realistic deadlines for yourself. When you’re under pressure to meet deadlines, turn off email and text notifications so that you can concentrate better.
2. Keep Your Workspace Uncluttered
Having a clean, uncluttered workspace can help you focus and think clearly while you work because it minimizes distractions.
3. Take Regular Breaks
Take breaks throughout the workday to clear your head and prepare yourself to complete your next task. Giving yourself a break in between tasks allows you to breathe. During breaks, you can stretch, take a walk, or do some relaxation exercises.
4. Exercise Regularly
Exercising releases endorphins, which reduces stress and anxiety. Aerobic exercise is very effective in sharpening your focus, lifting your mood, and increasing your energy levels. For the best results, try to exercise for 30 minutes each day. You should get your heart rate up and break a sweat.
5. Stop Multitasking
In the digital age, we are bombarded with tasks and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by various demands. As a result, workers often find themselves switching back and forth between tasks of varying complexity. Multi-tasking is less efficient than focusing on one task at a time, however. The cerebral cortex can only pay attention to one thing at a time, and quickly shifting your attention from one task to another reduces the quality of your work.
6. Make a To-Do List
Making a to-do list to relieve your stress might seem cliché, but to-do lists are one of the most effective time-management tools out there. Create a master to-do list that serves as your primary list. This to-do list contains all the tasks that you want to complete. Create a will-do-today list for tasks you want to complete today and a will-do-later list for tasks that you need to complete in the coming weeks or months. All of these different to-do lists will work together to help you better manage your time.
When you schedule bigger tasks, try breaking them up into smaller tasks so that you can focus on one piece at a time. Avoid making your to-do lists so long that they are unrealistic and overwhelming. Don’t overcommit and realize that you will probably be less efficient than you expect to be.
7. Adopt a Flexible Work Arrangement
Flexible work arrangements reduce stress because they help workers achieve a better work-life balance. Flexible working options allow staff to work from home and other convenient locations, doing away with long commutes. Flexible working options also provide workers with greater scheduling freedom. For example, an employee might work from 10am to 6pm instead of the standard 9am to 5pm. Flexible schedules enable employees to devote time to other commitments and interests.
8. Implement Collaboration and Resource Scheduling Tools
Coordinating dates and deadlines can be a hassle, and even more so if you are working with multiple groups of people. Collaborative solutions like team calendar software bring your team together and boost efficiency. You can share your schedule and view your colleagues’ schedules in one place while easily managing meetings, deadlines, and appointments with just a few clicks.
Employees are also faced daily with the task of finding a place to meet. Meeting and resource scheduling software makes it faster and easier for employees to find appropriate meeting rooms, invite participants, and book meetings. Meeting and resource scheduling software helps you effectively schedule activities and maximizes the use of your organization’s resources.
According to Forbes, workplace stress is responsible for up to $190B in annual US healthcare costs. Collaborative software solutions can help to alleviate workplace stress and its associated problems. Sign up for a free trial of Add-On Products’ productivity and collaboration tools for Microsoft Outlook® and Exchange if you’d like to take steps to reduce workplace stress and increase productivity.