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  • Publish Date: Posted over 2 years ago

Today (Wednesday 3 November 2021) is National Stress Awareness Day. Set up by the International Stress Management Association, National Stress Awareness Day aims to raise awareness of the effects of psychological distress in the workplace and strategies to address it.

It is important to recognise the signs of workplace stress; if left unaddressed, workplace stress can have a huge impact on both employees and employers, and it is vital that steps are taken. Understanding the cause – which may stem from work or possibly something occurring outside the workplace – is essential.

It can be difficult to recognise when you or someone you work with is feeling stressed; the signs can manifest themselves is different ways however commonly, a person may be irritable, unmotivated, become unproductive and seemingly unable to manage tasks or communicate effectively with their colleagues or interacting differently with their friends and family away from work.

Try to understand what triggers the feelings of being overwhelmed – is your workload too heavy, are you trying to manage a difficult team member, do you have a poor relationship with your manager, do you feel that the culture of the company is not a good fit for you? Once you understand the triggers, you can look to adopt tactics and strategies to try and manage the situation.

Here are our tips and suggestions to dealing with stress in the workplace:

Speak up: Arrange a time to speak with your line manager if you are finding that your workload is unmanageable. If it is a particularly busy period at work, look at which tasks need to be prioritised and if there are any areas of your work that can be handled by a colleague whilst you deal with the most pressing matters. If it is an on-going issue, revisit your job description and highlight key areas which may have become more challenging and have suggestions to put forward on how these can be better resourced or solutions to address the issues that have arisen.

It's OK to say no: You may be keen to show that you are a willing and capable employee and a good team member, but that doesn’t mean that you should always say yes to every request that is asked of you. If it is not feasible for you to take on additional tasks or meet the deadlines put forward, be honest and outline the reasons why and offer a time-frame when you would be able to look at the request.

Take a step back: Take time out to speak to friends, family or a colleague about the way that you are feeling and try to put things in perspective. Often talking through a situation can help you filter out which parts are the most important and allow you to focus your attention more clearly.

Take regular breaks: During the working day, make sure you are taking regular breaks away from your desk to refresh your mind. It is important to take a proper break at lunchtime and eat a healthy, nutritious meal that will set you up for the afternoon. Also make time to get outside and take in some fresh air. It is important to schedule in regular holidays and ensure that you use your time outside of work to relax and look after yourself.

Consider making a change: Is it time to look for an alternative role? If the things that are making you stressed cannot be addressed, then it might be time to think about whether a different role or organisation may be a better fit for you. Stress can be damaging to a person’s confidence, so it is vital that any move is considered very carefully to ensure the opportunities available and culture of your potential new company is right. Work closely with a specialist recruitment consultant who will be able to give you great advice on which roles are available and insight into which companies will be a good fit.

Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment of finance and accountancy professionals. With offices in Leeds and Sheffield our highly experienced team of consultant’s recruit for temporary, interim and permanent roles across the full spectrum of positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond. CONTACT US today and speak to a member of our team about your next career move.