Stress in the Workplace
As business consultants we often see the effects of long working hours, cashflow trouble, personal problems and time management, to name just a few, have on a business and those that work in them. Some stress in the workplace is to be expected but excessive stress can affect your productivity and affect your or a co-workers emotional and physical wellbeing.
Learning to identify stress early and developing ways to combat or manage it will greatly improve your and your business wellbeing.
Some of the warning signs include:
- anxiety and panic attacks
- craving fatty, sugary or salty foods
- excessive weight gain or loss
- irritability, mood swings and insomnia
- physical breakdown, from a bulging disc to heart attack
- shortness of breath
- stiff neck and shoulders and rapid heart rate
- the 3-4pm slump and reliance on sugary drinks
- using alcohol or drugs to blow off steam
Once you have identified that you or a colleague is overly stressed then you need to take decisive action.
- Take care of yourself – try a combination of exercise, better eating, more sleep, scheduled timeouts and moderation of alcohol and nicotine.
- Implement time management techniques to help prioritise your work.
- Be realistic about what you can and can’t achieve – think of the old adage, under promise and over deliver.
- Thinking long term about your goals can help you ignore the current situation and help you drive toward your long term goals.
- Know your limits and seek assistance from your support team as soon as possible.
- Identify what you can and cannot control and just focus on the metrics within your control.
As an employer it is in your best interest to ensure that stress levels are kept to a minimum. Being a positive role model and managing your own stress levels will help create a calm environment. Apart from that there are a number of things you can do to reduce stress in the workplace, such as:
- Share information with employees to reduce uncertainty about their jobs and futures.
- Clearly define employees’ roles and responsibilities.
- Make communication friendly and efficient, not mean-spirited or petty.
Consult your employees
- Give workers opportunities to participate in decisions that affect their jobs.
- Consult employees about scheduling and work rules.
- Be sure the workload is suitable to employees’ abilities and resources; avoid unrealistic deadlines.
- Show that individual workers are valued.
- Offer rewards and incentives.
- Praise good work performance, both verbally and officially, through schemes such as Employee of the Month.
- Provide opportunities for career development.
- Promote an “entrepreneurial” work climate that gives employees more control over their work.
Cultivate a friendly social climate
- Provide opportunities for social interaction among employees.
- Establish a zero-tolerance policy for harassment.
- Make management actions consistent with organizational values.
Want to reduce the stress in your business life? If you would like to learn more about the appropriate systems, time management or cashflow improvement strategies for your business or undergo a Business Healthcheck then contact one of our business consultants today on 03 5382 3001 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Richard Kemp – Watts Price Accountants
The advice provided on this Article is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.