Employers should provide a stress-free work environment, recognise where stress is becoming a problem for staff, and take action to reduce stress. Stress in the workplace reduces productivity, increases management pressures, and makes people ill in many ways, evidence of which is still increasing. Workplace stress affects the performance of the brain, including functions of work performance; memory, concentration, and learning. In the UK over 13 million working days are lost every year because of stress. Stress is believed to trigger 70% of visits to doctors, and 85% of serious illnesses (UK HSE stress statistics). Stress at work also provides a serious risk of litigation for all employers and organisations, carrying significant liabilities for damages, bad publicity and loss of reputation. Dealing with stress-related claims also consumes vast amounts of management time. So, there are clearly strong economic and financial reasons for organisations to manage and reduce stress at work, aside from the obvious humanitarian and ethical considerations. If you are suffering from stress yourself the stress management guidelines here are just as relevant. See the workplace stress research articles below.
Stress and stress management are directly related to personal well-being and specifically to workplace well-being. See the separate article on workplace wellbeing for a detailed explanation of wellbeing and its relevance to modern work and management.
If you are stressed, do one or all of these things, in whatever order that takes your fancy. These ideas can also be adapted for team development exercises.
The key to de-stressing in the moment is getting away from or removing yourself from the stressor. Developing new habits which regularly remove you and distract you from stressors and stressful situations and pressures is essentially how to manage stress on a more permanent basis.
In this modern world it is difficult if not impossible to change stressful situations. What we can do however is change and reduce our exposure to those stressful situations.
These stress reduction ideas and techniques are based on that simple principle. These tips won't change the situation causing the stress, but they will, more importantly, enable you to change your reaction and relationship to the stressful situations. Read more...