Workplace Stress: Is it getting all too much?
Some stress in the workplace is normal, but when does it cross the line when the stress is making you sick? Working long hours, bad management, too many ‘supervisors’, not getting to take your breaks, lacking resources, unrealistic deadlines, two-faced co-workers and an extreme lack of teamwork – sound familiar?
Do you go to bed dreading work? Tossing and turning all night while thinking about the deadlines you need to meet and worry about how you’re going to get it all done? Feel sick in the morning as you force yourself to get ready for work? This is a sign that you need to make some changes.
Have you ever thought to yourself ‘How did this person make it to management?’ or expect a film crew from Candid Camera to jump out when you’re told to meet an unrealistic deadline with no resources and already a full plate?
Management is responsible for a large portion of stress. How the company is run, how important teamwork is, how hands on and understanding the management team are and most importantly – communication. Lots of these are lacking in management and this is the root of stress related issues within the work place.
Along with bad management, you also have to deal with lower management like supervisors, 2IC and team managers who also give you things to add to your list and want you to do it ASAP. These ‘low-management’ people tend to act conceited because in the hierarchy order of things, they are above you. Often these people are younger then you, lack in life experience and judgment which can be frustrating. Add that to two-faced co-workers and not one single trace of teamwork in sight and you have a huge pot of ‘GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE!’.
Here are some traits of good management/managers:
- Think positive
- Are honest and communicate
- Balanced and delegate
- Encourage and inspire
- Give credit and praise
- Work as a team
Here are some traits of bad management/managers:
- They micro-manage EVERYTHING!
- They bully and play staff against each other
- They are very poor communicators and don’t listen
- They take credit for your hard work and ideas
- They are extremely controlling and stubborn
- You feel like you are always in trouble
- They are arrogant
- They blame
- No matter what you do, you are always wrong.
- You seem to always be in trouble
Here is a little survival guide:
- Know when it’s time to leave – if you have the bad boss, the co-workers, no teamwork and you feel sick walking into work, it’s time to look for another job. If your company has other stores or offices, apply to move.
- Feeling stressed? Make changes! – Stress is not something to be overlooked. On-going stress can lead to depression, anxiety and sleeping problems that can lead to disorders. Stress can disturb and upset your digestion and gut leading to serious health issues. A stressful and unhappy job can lead to alcohol and substance/drug abuse that comes with a list of problems on its own.
- Can you solve your workplace stress? – If you feel that you can sort out the stress by communicating to your boss or talking with that co-worker, then plan what you want to express and arrange a meeting. Know when you have done all you can on your part and don’t get stuck just putting up with the situation.
- Can you make your workload easier? – Even if management are asking ridiculous things of you and your co-workers spend more time gossiping in the break room leaving you to do all the work, take a look at what you can do to make your day easier.
- Stand up for yourself and communicate – You don’t need to be rude and arrogant to stand up for yourself, you just need to learn how to do it. Be clear and firm to your boss about what you need to do and what you already have on your plate so you can both come up with a plan to get everything done. Be honest and don’t back down if they just wave you away, be strong but polite. Be firm with co-workers who send tasks your way and don’t forget that it can be a two-way street. If they ask you for a favour, ask them for one.
- 6.Act rather than react – If you feel out of place, angry or upset about something, instead of bottling it up and then exploding, make a plan and calmly sort it out.
- Look after yourself – Eat well, get lots of sleep, drink water, avoid high sugary and fatty foods, get fresh air and sunshine on your breaks. Depending on how long your breaks are, go for a power-walk or some yoga studios hold lunchtime classes.
- Don’t have time for lunch time yoga classes? Learn breathing exercises and mindfulness to do at your desk.
- Be in control – This is your life and your health, so don’t let a bad boss control your work and personal life. Because a stressful job eventually will seep into your personal life.
- Make your work-time fun – In your life, you will spend a lot of time at work. That’s why people say you should do what you love, because it will take up a large portion of your life. Create your own little environment. If you have your own desk, accessorize it with items that make you happy. A Zen garden, or perhaps a plant. Photos or cute stationary, funny calendar and notes with positive quotes on them. Get some apps on your phone that play forest and nature sounds (If you are allowed that in your workplace). My favourite – treats. Always have treats either in your desk drawer or in your pockets in you don’t have a desk. Dress to impress yourself so that you feel great. Whether you work in a coffee shop or in an office, you can still create something that makes you feel fantastic whether it’s a brooch or flowers in your hair or a fragrance.
There are many horrid managers and workplaces out there, but there are also many great ones. Learn from the bad ones so that you can flourish in the great ones.
Written by Myra Glanford