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STRESS MANAGEMENT IN THE WORKPLACE

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If you ask people where their stress mostly comes from, almost all of them will most likely say that their stress springs from the workplace. While other stressors also come from strained familial and social relationships and other tense situations and failures, work always takes a top spot in stressors’ big three.



This is probably because most adults spend at least eight hours in the office, doing the same tasks every single day and dealing with all sorts of people without really much of a choice. True, we can’t choose who we work with or what kinds of office tasks we are made to do.



At the workplace, while our job descriptions are consistent, what we do exactly is not often determined by us. They are dictated by our bosses and by the needs of the job.



Thus, the workplace is one the most common sources of stress. These stressors include the tasks themselves, which are subjected to time, speed, creativity and autonomy factors, supervision, ergonomics or relaxation opportunities at the office, coworker attitudes and participation in decision making.



One of the reasons why managing stress in the workplace is becoming more and more important right now is because more businesses are starting to be mindful of employee welfare. A lot of offices nowadays already require their staff to attend at least one stress management seminar once a year to help give them reprieve from their daily tasks. Because of the growing interest on corporate social responsibility, the interests of employees are becoming an area of importance.



Staff morale is important to boosting and maintaining productivity in the workplace, and stress management is the key to achieving the maximum extent of this goal. In the past, most employers focused only the output, without really caring much how the job psychologically, physically and emotionally affects the workers.



Now, as people become more aware of their rights and spend more time at work, bosses are beginning to see how important stress management is to ensuring that employees do the best they can with every task they are assigned.



Stress management in the workplace need not always be in a group setting. Group stress management helps, yes, because staff are able to compare their experiences with their colleagues. Some work environments, particularly those that involve sales, marketing and advertising, are able to manage stress better if subjected to group settings. However, there are also some jobs that are done individually and are, thus, better managed singly.



Some of the more formal stress management methods in the workplace include supervisor meetings, union grievances, job redesigns, health and safety meetings, inservice trainings, quality circles and employee involvements in certain decisions. Informal methods include slowing down or speeding up, depending on the task at hand, redefining tasks to accommodate personal tolerances, worker support, or, more drastically, deciding to change or quit the job.



As said earlier, workplace stress is almost always mentioned as a key stress source because most people spend majority of their daily lives at the office. In fact, most studies show that people who perform repetitive tasks, like those that sit infront of the computer all day, are more likely to experience stress than people who are exposed to a social setting. Yes, even if you don’t stand up most of the time, you can also experience stress.



It is not easy to manage stress in the workplace, but it’s not difficult either. Most offices nowadays already offer opportunities for employees to air out their grievances before their stressors escalate into something destructive. Thus, if you’re feeling a little burned out with your work, you should seek to do something about it. Take a vacation, if possible, or take a short walk and enjoy a change of scenery if a certain job bothers you.



However which way you decide to tackle stress, keep in mind that nothing can be accomplished if you lash out at your stressors. Keep calm and clear your head. If it continues to bother you, maybe it’s time to talk to your human resources administrator.



Christine P. Gray is a recognized authority on the subject of stress management. Her website www.selfimprovementsguide.com provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on everything you will need to know about self improvement. All rights reserved. Articles may be reprinted as long as the content and links remains intact and unchanged.
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