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Five Top Tips for Avoiding Workplace Stress

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It is now estimated that Mental Health related absences cost the UK employer £26 billion per year – over £1000 per employee according to Mental Health England.  

Local FSB members Construction and Management Training (CMT) Limited
suggest five top tips to help yourself and your employees avoid becoming part of the statistic:

1. Set realistic goals.  Often, we become stressed due to our own expectation of ourselves.  Learn that it is ok to say no to something if you already have a busy desk and tight deadlines to meet.  On occasions where you feel like you cannot refuse the work, notify your line manager of your current workload and negotiate a reasonable deadline for completion with this in mind.

2. Use your annual leave.  In some cultures, not taking holiday time is something to boast about.  Holiday entitlement is there for a reason.  To prevent burnout, utilise your holiday entitlement and make sure you take a rest from the workplace.  A week out of the rat race can do the world of good and provides people with a much-needed break from the routine.  Employees often come back refreshed, more positive and clear headed.

3. These boots were made for walking.  Taking breaks from our desks and workstations can sometimes be a chore in itself, particularly mid high-concentration task, but those small breaks are needed from the VDU.  Believe it or not, prolonged periods sat at a desk increase the risk of developing a number of health problems. These include: visual fatigue, headaches, upper limb musculoskeletal injuries (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome), and back pain.  Take a walk, stretch those legs, rest those eyes and uncurl your mind at the same time.

4. Turn the phone off.  We all need a “finish time”.  To get that work/life balance we need to know when to stop looking at work mobile phones and emails.  Give yourself a cut-off point.  You need to feel part of the family at home as much as you need to feel part of the team at work.  Most, if not all, issues can wait until the next day.

5. Spend as much time building relationships with your colleagues as you do customers. On average, we spend over 1/3 of our entire day at work.  It is so important to show one another respect and consideration.  

Finding time to ask a colleague how they are and looking out for those around you (and visa-versa) goes a long way to making work a happier environment and in turn, reduces the risk of stress; knowing that there is someone to listen and talk to when needed is a lifeline for some.  

Sometimes sharing a joke can brighten the day; laughter is the best medicine, as they say!