Last year, 15.4 million working days were lost due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety, which is equal to 57%. It accounts for 44% of all work-related ill health cases and is a significant issue impacting today’s workforce. Reducing your caffeine intake, ‘unplugging’ and maintaining a regular sleep schedule have long been espoused as some of the best ways to reduce stress but they’re not always the easiest options to apply to working life. So, what can you be doing to bust the stress whilst at your desk?
Here are 5 things we find help the most in the whitehill pelham office:
Take a break from your screen
Completely ‘unplugging’ in the middle of a skype meeting or just before your crucial deadline probably won’t make you a favourite amongst the team but taking regular breaks from your screen throughout the day is important. Even if it is just to make a cup of tea, take a walk around your building or complete a more hands-on task, having time away from the screen (and your constant stream of emails) will help reduce the pressure of feeling like you always need to be ‘on’.
Connect with your colleagues
Whether it be to catch up on your weekend activities, work through a professional conundrum together or have a conversation about tasks you’re struggling with; open communication in the office is key. The 5-minute chats about the new Netflix show you’ve started are just as important as talking through your plan for the day. Ensuring that the office is a space where you can communicate openly will hopefully reduce any feelings of isolation and encourage your team to be engaged. Catching up over a team lunch always helps, too!
Incorporate exercise into your day (even if it means getting up earlier!)
Admittedly, this is not quite an ‘at your desk’ solution but you’ll no doubt feel the benefits throughout your working day. In our office we have early morning bootcampers, evening gym-goers and weekend runners. Despite the aches and pains, spending an hour focusing on physical activity is a great way to work out any frustrations from the office or to start the day with a rush of endorphins. It provides a beneficial distraction and a talking point for office conversations!
Support each other
Having regular team meetings to talk through any challenges or problems you’ve encountered throughout the week is something we find really helpful in our office. Whether it be sitting down with one or two colleagues or your whole team, taking the time to communicate anything you’re struggling with (as well as celebrating the week’s achievements) will help foster a feeling of teamwork and provide reassurance that no one is bearing the weight of the daily stresses on their own.
Find your favourite radio station
There is nothing worse than sitting in a silent office where all you can hear is the click of keyboards and someone muttering about how full their inbox is. Even though we have a few disagreements on whether we’re in an 80s hits or chart toppers mood, having music on throughout the day helps lighten the office atmosphere and puts everyone in a motivated mood. And best of all, every now and then someone’s karaoke (usually mine!) will undoubtedly provide some light relief when we need it most!
We know these things aren’t always easy, but we have found what works for us. As with everything, it is about finding what will suit your company, team and yourself best to help make your work week as productive and stress-free as possible. However, we don’t have all the answers and if you’re struggling or want a little more support with stress or other mental illness please do talk to your friends, family or colleagues or find confidential, practical support through Mind: https://www.mind.org.uk/
If you are looking for an extra pair of hands to help relieve some of the general day-to-day stress in your business, or you think a change might be in order, whitehill pelham is here to help. Whether it be helping you find the role and environment that best suits you, or partnering with you to grow your team to provide you with the support you need, our talent partners will be happy to have a chat with you!
The statistics cited in this article can be found here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/causdis/stress.pdf