Avoiding stress in the workplace

Prepare for 1:42pm – Countering stress in the workplace

I recently read an article based on findings by Groupon which highlighted stress in the workplace. One of the more outlandish comments I picked up on was that, according to the survey, at precisely 1:42pm employees are at their most stressed!

(Probably like you right now, I had to re-read that comment several times for it to filter). The participants of this survey then went on to explain how levels of stress experienced at work crept into the home and effected personal relationships.

It got me thinking, if this were true, what could companies do to eradicate the fears of 1:42pm or any other form of stress creeping into the workplace.

I looked at how I was managing my staff’s time and asked myself what else could I do to ensure they were avoiding such lows and remaining focused.  I’m tend to disagree with the old fashioned message of “I pay my staff to work, not to enjoy themselves. In fact, that’s nonsense. As a company owner it’s my prerogative to ensure my staff have everything they need to succeed in their role. Not just materials but emotional support, awareness, strategy, timing. I could go on. Your staff play a vital part in the success of a business so it’s important you are able to manage them effectively.

Time out of the seat!

So let’s say, the Groupon survey’s results were true for us all, by the time 1:42pm arrives most people would have been sitting at desks for well over 4 hours. I have always championed my staff to be out of their seats, we have the luxury of working in a scenic environment so fresh air and time outs are available in abundance. I speak to friends in business who go steps further and bring in the occasional masseur to offer Indian Head Massages, then there are others who include Yoga into their weekly plan. This may seem extreme, yet from speaking with them, results within their businesses and staff productivity has been affected positively.

It appears a gentle shot of adrenaline will be just what your team need to kick on during those longer, tougher days.

Pre Planning

Employees tend to feel overwhelmed with uncompleted tasks later in the day. It’s at this point when they realise how much of the admin mountain they still have left to climb. Chances are they will feel defeated by the sheer size. One thing we introduced earlier this year was ‘Plan tomorrow today’. Our consultants spend the final 15 minutes of every day drawing up their ‘to-do list’ and ‘action plan’ ready to come in knowing what needs to be achieved the following day.

Eat your frogs

If you haven’t read it, read Brian Tracy’s Eat That Frog In a nut shell, it teaches you to avoid, avoiding the difficult, scary tasks. Putting things off will never work, so by eating a frog first thing in the morning means your day really can’t get any worse.

Avoid multi-tasking

According to the WrikeWork Management Report, Multi-tasking had a detrimental effect on productivity. It makes sense, but I also think the term ‘multi-tasking’ appears more than any other, when a client describes a job spec to me. “They must be a multi tasker”, “Multi-tasking is key for this role”. My response is always the same, Why?

Overlapping deadlines, constant emails, impromptu meetings, it all has an effect and can leave even the most focused of staff members feeling overloaded and fatigued.

Perhaps instead of promoting multi-tasking, a much more effective term is to get them all to prioritise tasks. Completing tasks one at a time is more effective than rushing around and keeping everyone happy. Work to deadlines, aim for completion and start the next one and continue in that fashion.

These are just a few tips that we as business leaders can incorporate in our workplace to ensure we are giving our staff the best possible foundations to succeed in the job they are employed to do, and do well.

Thanks for reading,

LM