How bad is workplace stress & what can you do to reduce it?
If you’re having a bad day, you’re not alone. Well over half of the UK’s working population experience workplace stress. In fact, almost half of all sick days taken are due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
Whilst there are many factors that contribute to stress becoming debilitating, long working hours, other people’s underperformance and worry about our own performance seem to be the top three causes of negative stress in the workplace.
No two situations are ever the same but there are some clear patterns in what recent surveys have revealed.
“The data shows that being overworked was overwhelmingly the most common reason for them feeling this way, with one in five (21%) citing that long working hours result in stress.
More than one in 10 (13%) cited that their own performance at work caused them stress – suggesting many experience stress in the workplace that is fueled by insecurity, a lack of confidence or even perfectionist thought processes.
Meanwhile, unfortunately it was office politics and disputes directly relating to work and caused by those immediately around them – such as superiors and colleagues – which caused stress for 9%.”
In the same way, there are certain industries which appear to carry higher levels of stress than others. The top five careers for negative experience of workplace stress are;
- Local and national Government
- Professional Services
A massive 81% of us say the stress has a negative effect on our lives with most of us losing sleep as a direct consequence.
So, what can you do to help yourself manage workplace stress?
- Take active steps to give yourself space to recover lost energy, especially at work
- Take breaks during the day, even if only for a few minutes. Too many of us rush headlong from one meeting to another or from one crisis to another. It’s important to give yourself time to refocus and catch your mental breath
- Whenever possible, take your meals away from your desk. Working lunches have become the norm for many of us trying to keep on top of our day. In reality, all this does is rob you of recovery time and make your afternoons far less productive
- Learn to meditate. Even a few short minutes can make all the difference
- If meditating isn’t for you, practice this breathing technique:
- Breathe in for a count of 7 / breathe out for 11.
- Breathing should be gentle and relaxed.
- After a few minutes, you’ll notice that you feel less stressed
- Find a way to exercise. Running or the gym are great if it suits you but even taking the stairs or brisk walking for a few minutes are enough to help.
- Finally, find someone to talk to. Whether this is family or friends or a qualified therapist like me, it all helps you regain your balance. It can mean the difference between coping and becoming overwhelmed.
It just might make all the difference you need.
Take a look around the website whilst you’re here. You might find this page useful next: self-care downloads
Book a free 20-minute telephone consultation with me here: https://tonyburkinshaw.as.me/
Health and Safety Executive (HSE)’s latest Labour Force Survey*, 49% of all working days lost in 2016-2017 were reported as being due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
The Labour Force Survey (LFS), November 2017 www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/tables