The 3 R’s of Managing Workplace Stress

workplace stressStress or agitation can dampen an employee’s productivity and emotional well-being in the workplace. Learning the 3 R’s — recognition, reduction and rejuvenation — is essential to lowering stress levels.

Recognize

Workplace stress comes in many shapes and forms, and in order to beat it, you have to know what it is and how it affects the mind and body. According the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, three-fourths of employees think that people face more workplace stress than one generation ago.

Today’s workers encounter situations that trigger physical, psychological and behavioral symptoms. Some physical symptoms to watch for include headaches, fatigue, sleeping problems and gastrointestinal upsets. Next, it is important to recognize psychological symptoms, such as depression, anxiety and discouragement, and to notice changes in behavior that range from aggression to disinterest.

Having strong organizational networks to alleviate stress levels in the workplace is a major step in the right direction. Employers who show support for their people make it easier to recognize the pitfalls of stress.

Reduce

One way to reduce stress is to avoid taking the job home with you. When you leave your office, be sure to leave behind the hassles of the day. Doing this will help you wind down and adjust your mood for an evening at home. Taking care of yourself also includes watching what you eat and drink and devoting time for regular exercise. By the end of the day, a good night’s sleep will work wonders for stress reduction and preparation for the next workday.

Being organized is another way to reduce stress. By prioritizing your daily schedule and managing your time wisely, you will gain control during overwhelming situations on the job. For instance, instead of trying to tackle a big project, you can break it up into smaller tasks. Also, look for the benefit of task delegation and stop trying to do everything yourself. Asking co-workers to help is a big stress reducer.

Rejuvenate

Dispelling stress by rejuvenation is another key strategy. Basically, finding time to rest and relax will allow you to feel greater comfort. Then too, workers who share their on-the-job experiences with others are more likely to let off steam that can be destructive. When workers form alliances in the workplace, they help to buffer the devastation caused by stress.

Employers can rejuvenate their workers by communicating effectively. This involves listening attentively to what workers say about their jobs and the responsibilities they have. In addition, supportive employers offer employees chances to improve their working conditions. By rewarding workers with incentives and praising them for a job well done, employers cultivate a proactive work environment that alleviates stress.