Furthermore, workplace stress has become as a major source of stress in addition to economy since the 1980's. According to the 2012 Annual Conference on Health, Safety & Environment Department in the UK, due in part to work by unions that stress is now recognized as one of the main ill health concern in the workplace.
The study further reports that
- 98% of respondents have to work very intensively
- 73% can never decide when to take a break.
- 65% said there is friction or anger between colleagues.
Similar survey results were conducted in the US. In another study that focused on the correlation between stress and lack of sleep, stress and anxiety were cited as the top reason by 48% of the 1,008 adults interviewed by the polling firm Harris Interactive. In addition, 47% of those surveyed said they simply weren’t able to turn off their thoughts. (Karen Kaplan, Science Now, June 3, 2013).
Chronic stress can lead to several major illnesses, including high blood pressure and diabetes. Employees are afraid to take sick days due to fear of losing their jobs.
There are several key steps you can take to cope with stress in the work-place more effectively. Some companies now offer wellness programs for their employees, however most employees (at least in the US) are still left to their own devices.
- Make sure you get enough rest. Even though it varies, you should get between 7-8 hours of sleep.
- Eat healthy and don’t skip breakfast. Also, drinking too much coffee – while it can temporarily give you a bust - it also causes you to be more tired later in the afternoon and it can interfere with you sleep. Instead, reach for fresh fruit and peanut butter or even better, natural almond butter. Most of all, don’t forget to drink water.
- Make time to exercise. If you commute late hours, do a brisk walk in the morning. Instead of skipping your lunch break, walk around the premises or if you have a chance go to your gym for 30 minutes. Take the stairs whenever you can.
- Address conflicts with co-workers one-on-one. Refrain from having a conversation when you are angry. Take a break to relax and clear your mind. The same goes for addressing issues with your supervisor.
- Prioritize your tasks. At the end of the day, review what needs to be done the next day.
- Make goals for yourself and delegate as needed. Ask for help.
- Most of all, accept your imperfections. When doing yearly evaluations with your supervisor, bring up your progress that you have been recording during the year.