With career pressures causing higher stress levels for Australian workers, it’s vital employees implement tips to lessen stress triggers in the workplace.
According to the Bupa Stress Survey, 73 percent of Australians are stressed and unhappy at work, ranking the top three stressors as pressure from themselves, long working hours, and hating what they do for a living.
Bupa Head of Clinical Advisory Dr. Stan Goldstein suggests we need to become smarter about managing stress to ensure we don’t sacrifice our long-term physical and mental health.
“Rather than looking for short-term fixes, Australian workers should focus on learning how they can alleviate the stress and cope better, which will make them healthier and happier overall.”
“With 70 percent of respondents saying stress caused them to have trouble sleeping, and half saying it either made them feel unwell or gave them a sense of feeling overwhelmed, this is a potentially serious health issue”, Goldstein added.
With this in mind, Goldstein has the following stress busting tips for the workplace:
- Work smarter, not harder – Good time management skills could help you avoid becoming one of the 7 million Australians spending up to a third of their waking lives at work. Being organised, planning ahead, knowing your limits and learning not to over-commit are essential stress-reducing skills to help you get a better work-life balance.
- Give your desk a check-up – Ask yourself, is your workspace working for you? It should be comfortable and suitable for the work that you do. Bad posture and sitting for extended periods of time can cause or worsen muscle and joint problems. Stand up and stretch out those legs every now and then – unwanted stress on your body deserves the same attention as unwanted stress on your mind.
- Get enough sleep – Lack of good quality sleep impairs our work performance by up to 30 percent as it affects our mental performance and our mood. Bupa research shows that sleep-deprived people report feeling more stressed, sad, angry, mentally exhausted and less optimistic about their lives on the whole.
- Practice self-awareness – We all react differently to stress, but if you’re not feeling like your normal self, stop and take note. Some of the tell-tale symptoms of work-related stress may include a drop in work performance, fatigue, headaches, an increase in sick days or lateness and feelings of anxiety.
- Get healthy – Exercise has been proven to help reduce anxiety and exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day may help to combat stress as well as keep you in good shape. Nutrition can also have a big impact so don‟t skip breakfast, do cut back on the caffeine, and stock your desk drawer with healthy snacks.
He also encourages managers to be conscious of the fact that reducing workplace stress would deliver benefits to both the bottom line and to staff morale.