9 Tips for Managing Stress at Work

Posted by

Lynne Callister

on 10 May 2021

Only executives or C-suite managers experience stress at work, right? Wrong! Work-related stress can occur in any job, at any level and in any sector.

Tips for Managing Work-related Stress

It may be caused by factors that are within your control - such as a failure to prioritise your workload or things beyond your control - such as crisis events. While you can't always avoid stress, it's important to find strategies to manage it.

Contrary to myth, healthy working isn't just about protecting people avoiding physical injury. Work-related stress, depression and anxiety are soaring and usually arise as a consequence of someone being unable to cope with undue pressure and demands placed on them at work.

According to statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there were 602,000 cases of work-related stress, depression or anxiety between 2018 and 2019, resulting in 12.8 million working days being lost.

The added pressures of the pandemic and its consequences caused these numbers to soar. In 2019/20 work-related stress, anxiety or depression led to 17.9 million days lost- almost a 50% increase on the previous year!

Free Workplace Stress Training Presentation

How to manage stress at work

1. Watch out for the signs & symptoms of stress

Some signs to watch for include emotional changes (mood swings, aggression or sensitivity, loss of confidence or motivation, etc), mental changes (such as indecision, loss of concentration), and behavioural changes (for example, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, increased smoking or drinking, changes in attendance etc.).

2. Be aware of high-risk situations that add pressure

Teams experience higher stress when they don't feel that they have personal control, such as in times of crisis. Whether it is the Coronavirus pandemic, missing key project milestones, or high staff absenteeism - all add pressure on the team, causing increased stress levels. But, if you're aware of the pressure points, you can arrange extra support.

3. Establish boundaries

If you take on too much work out of fear of saying 'no' that can lead to stress building up. If work is piling up, talk to your manager to set your priorities so they can arrange more help if necessary.

4. Get the balance right

A good work-life balance is essential for your personal wellbeing. Remember, if you are working at home, no one expects you to be glued to a keyboard 24-hours a day. It's important to keep work and personal time separate. Downtime is vital and will help you stay productive.

5. Manage your time better

Stress will never be far away if you don't meet your deadlines or if you fail to organise your work. There are some simple steps you can take to manage your time more effectively, whether you work remotely or on-site. Prioritise your workload, arranging tasks in terms of deadline and importance.

6. Raise grievances promptly

Don't let work-related problems build up. If you experience anything which contributes to stress at work (such as conflict, bullying or harassment), tell your manager so it can be resolved.

7. Develop healthy responses

Fast food, alcohol and drugs are not healthy coping mechanisms - they endanger your health and that of your colleagues. Instead, make sure that you take regular breaks as this improves your concentration and productivity. To wind down, try exercise, family-time or one of your favourite hobbies.

8. Use virtual opportunities for socialising and support

If you are working away from the office, arrange virtual coffee breaks and hangouts, phone calls and video conferencing. They will allow you to keep benefiting from social interactions and boost knowledge sharing with your team.

9. If stress affects your ability to do your job, tell someone

In the first instance, speak with your manager. If you don't feel comfortable with that, don't be afraid to reach out to HR or other colleagues. By concealing the problem, you will likely make matters worse. Added resources, training and support are only possible if your employer knows you need help.

Workplace Stress Training Presentation

Want to learn more about Health & Safety?

If you'd like to stay up to date with health & safety best practices, industry insights and key trends across regulatory compliance, digital learning, EdTech and RegTech news, subscribe to the Skillcast Compliance Bulletin.

To help you navigate the compliance landscape we have collated searchable glossaries of key terms and definitions across complex topics including GDPR, Equality, Financial Crime and SMCR. We also regularly report key learnings from recent health & safety fines.

You can follow our ongoing YouGov research into compliance issues, attitudes and risk perceptions in the UK workplace through our Compliance Insights blogs.

And if you're looking for a compliance training solution, why not visit our Health & Safety Microlearning Course Library?.

Last but not least, we have 60+ free compliance training aids, including assessments, best practice guides, checklists, desk-aids, eBooks, games, handouts, posters, training presentations and even e-learning modules!

If you've any questions or concerns about compliance or e-learning, please get in touch.

We are happy to help!

Compliance Essentials

Compliance Essentials Library is our best-selling comprehensive corporate training solution.

100+ e-learning and microlearning courses that help companies from SMEs to multinationals achieve compliance success.

Start a Free Trial