This article comes from Entrepreneur.
We spend roughly one-third of our adult lives at work. It’s no wonder that workplace stress factors heavily impact both our physical and mental health.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has documented the impacts of prolonged workplace stressors in areas such as cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological disorders.
So, what can you do about it? Here are seven common workplace stressors and some tips on how employees can mitigate their effects.
Heavy workload and long hours make for over-tired and stressed employees. If you have too great a workload, you’ll want to focus on prioritization to start with.
Look at your projects and tasks, and order them by the deadline. Ask yourself: What can I stop doing, do less of or do more efficiently?
Communicate with your management about conflicting deadlines, responsibilities, and overload. Share how you will handle them. Ask for help when you cannot resolve prioritization conflicts.
Unrealistic demands create acute frustration and even anger. If you are stuck with demands you know you cannot meet, take a breath. Ask yourself what could make the demand possible.
Perhaps you need to reprioritize existing projects. Perhaps you need more time. Communicate your issues to your management, along with proactive suggestions for a different way to meet the end goal.
Finally, if you can’t budge the demands, do your best. Don’t beat yourself up for not meeting unrealistic demands. If you need to justify yourself, focus on the facts and not your feelings.
Ongoing organizational change is unavoidable, but moving people around and changing their management structure or job descriptions has the potential to create an uncertain environment. The need for certainty is one of five fundamental domains which activate strong threats and rewards in the brain, per the SCARF model.
When you are involved in an organizational change, seek to understand the change as completely as you can. Focus on what the change means at the organizational level, and then at your level within the organization.
If your management line has changed, seek out time with your new manager. Find ways to share your skills and a personal situation with your new boss. Ask your new manager about their expectations, style, and next steps.
Finally, keep an open mind and look forward, not behind. Change can be positive — look for opportunities instead of focusing on the threats you perceive in the new environment. Learn more about growth versus fixed mindset.
Not having a specific direction in your career can create uncertainty. A career plan can make all the difference in how you feel — not only about your career but about your current job.
Take the time to think about what your want to achieve in your career. Define a career vision. Evaluate your skills and build yourself a learning plan. Focus on building and maintaining a professional network.
Uncertainty can also result from badly-defined job roles. If you feel like your job role has not been clearly defined, reach out to your management. Share your understanding of the role and ask for clarification. Be ready with proactive recommendations.
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