Stress has become a very normal part of our lives, and this is especially true in the workplace. It has almost become an expectation that we will feel stress while at work. Some people even make the mistake of thinking if their jobs are not stressful, they aren’t worthwhile.
Studies of IT and accounting workers by researchers at the University of California at Irvine found that employees switched their focus from one project to another about every 10.5 minutes. Plus, they were interrupted during more than half of their 10.5-minute project segments. Could you imagine how frustrating and stressful the multitasking and interruptions must be?
Most companies and manufacturers strive for efficiency and cost-effectiveness. For instance, the ICEraQ system has helped many satisfied customers build out data centers for as much as 60% less than traditional air-cooled data centers, plus continually provide them with significant costs savings on energy and maintenance.
That’s great, but do you know what’s not cost-effective? High turnover due to employee stress.
How your work stress is negatively affecting you
So, employers care about their machines not over-heating, but what are they doing to help their employees? Stress takes a serious toll on the health of employees all over the country. For example, stress actually increases your risk of a car accident. This is because you are much more likely to be distracted while driving when you’re stressed. Plus, the three most common causes of car accidents in the United States are distracted driving, drunk driving, and speeding.
Physically, stress can lead to headaches, fatigue, sleep problems, upset stomach, muscle tension, and chest pain. Emotionally, stress can induce anxiety, restlessness, irritability, anger, sadness, and depression. Behaviorally, stress can cause angry outbursts, social withdrawal, a change in eating habits, and even drug use/abuse.
This probably sounds like a lot of gloom and doom, but luckily, there are some things you can do to manage your work stress to prevent these horrible health challenges from happening.
Focus on things you can control
Often times, we stress about things that are completely out of our control. That’s incredibly problematic because there’s nothing we can do to make the situation better. Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist and author of just-released Success Under Stress advises that we be “impeccable for the 50%” of things you can control and let go of the rest.
Remember what we mentioned earlier about switching back and forth between projects and “multi-tasking?” Well, it doesn’t actually help you. Trying to do multiple things at the same time will just add to your stress. Your accuracy will decrease, making you more frustrated than you ever were before. Instead of multitasking, try chunking.
Know your requirements
One of the biggest things that contribute to job burnout is unclear requirements. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing or what’s expected of you, you might find yourself falling into a trap of never knowing what you’re doing is good enough. You should talk with a supervisor to get a clear outline of your expectations, as well as strategies for meeting them.
Stress is often called the silent killer, and that’s because it affects us negatively in so many different ways. Try these tips to get ahold of your stress and get your life back.