We often think about physical illness when we think about health and productivity at work, but mental health is just as important – if not more so.
Studies have indicated mentally-healthy staff members are more effective, more creative and more dedicated than stressed-out staff members. Furthermore, mental health issues in the workforce cause a whole host of issues for businesses, including heightened turnover and lower productivity.
Not only does stress lead to poor performances and higher turnover, it can also increase the risk of physical health issues, like heart disease, stroke, depression, alcoholism, and drug abuse.
The following six tips are ways you can minimize lasting stress related to your job.
1. Form alliances
A well-known strategy in the reality game show Survivor is to form alliances with other contestants, and the same technique can help you overcome the various challenges you face at work.
Try to find co-workers you have something in common with, like a love of sports or a similar sense of humor. Then, invest some time in forming strong bonds with these people, both at work and outside the workplace.
2. Exercise regularly
The physical and mental health benefits are well documented. If work has you feeling pent-up and stressed out, you need to release that frustration through exercise.
Try to get some kind of exercise in every day, for at least 30 minutes each day. Even if you can’t hit the exercise bike or weights, a medium-paced walk is better than nothing at all.
3. Know what’s expected
One major contributor to work stress is unclear expectations. If you don’t know what’s expected of you, or if the objectives keep shifting without much notice, you may find yourself more stressed than you should be. If you find yourself not knowing if you’re doing enough, talk with your supervisor and review expectations, as well as techniques for meeting or exceeding them.
4. Think about ergonomics
You might not realize the physical stress you are experiencing when you’re in an uncomfortable position or sat in an uncomfortable chair for a short period of time. However, if you spent hours at a time in that chair, the physical stress will add up and lead to mental stress.
Make sure you’re doing your job as ergonomically-correct as possible to avoid this unnecessary stress.
5. Forget about perfection
Doing a thorough job feels good but being a perfectionist will drive you crazy. A better approach is to know your expectations, do your best to meet them and ask for guidance if you’re having trouble. If you’re meeting or surpassing expectations, then congratulate yourself on a job well done.
6. Get enough sleep
People who regularly don’t get enough sleep are much more prone to mental and physical illness. If you get enough sleep on the other hand, you’re better equipped to handle what the workday throws at you. Strive for 8 hours a night and the occasional night of tossing and turning won’t be enough to throw you off your game.
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