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Actionable ways to manage stress at work

Veronica Veselinova - Tenth Revolution

As wellbeing and reducing stress becomes a priority for  Stress Awareness Month, cloud talent creators Revolent have looked into ways to reduce stress across the industry.

Although reports show that overall, a whopping 73% of tech workers are satisfied with their job, there are still concerns over stress levels and burnout in the sector at large. After a significant rise in demand for digital services throughout the pandemic, the same report revealed that 50% of tech professionals have experienced burnout since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis.

Moreover, it also highlighted that 21% of employees are looking to change roles would do so due to high stress and being overworked in their current role.

“While ‘Stress Awareness Month’ is a great way to raise awareness of an important issue, it’s important to remember that stress can affect your overall wellbeing and attitude towards your job all year round, and it can affect anyone,” said Nabila Salem, President of Revolent. “Tech can be an incredibly high-pressure environment, which is why prioritising wellbeing and minimising stress should be a major part of your working life, not just for a month, but 365 days a year.”

What you can do to support wellbeing

Take breaks
Collaborating with Revolent to help combat stress issues in the workplace Sarah Lee, Psychotherapist at Explore Your Mind, advises that there are some quick wins professionals can implement themselves. ‘Make sure you take your lunch and breaks as well as your holidays. Maintain open communication with your employer and ask for help when you feel overwhelmed.’ She also underlines that, for this to work, it is vital that management are able and willing to help. ‘Many people grow up without a basic understanding of emotions or how to handle them, so teaching managers how to take responsibility for their own feelings and how to communicate in a calm, non-aggressive way can have a massive impact on morale. Emphasis should be put just as much on employers to create a safe and healthy work environment,’ she added.

Don’t let your life revolve around work
“Finding fulfilling activities outside of work can help you base your self-worth on more than just your professional achievements, and help you live a life according to your own values. Employers can support this balancing act by allowing workers to tune into what matters to them, beyond the workplace,” says Hilary Sims of Life Balance Counselling.

Speaking about her experience as a tech CEO, Genevieve Leveille of Agriledger, advises “Set out clear boundaries and time to recharge. I have found that creating concentration time on my calendar gives me the time to recharge and take time away from my computer.

“Create the time for doing things outside of your home, be it taking time to walk or go to the gym, or even taking up a new hobby. Doing this forces us to use our brains for another activity unrelated to our work and allows us to come back refreshed and revived.” 

Change in mindset
Celebrating achievements can go a long way too. Sims suggests that “you need to learn to focus on the things that you have achieved, rather than what you haven’t. You need to learn self-gratification. It is ok to tell yourself that you have done a good job. Attempting to be perfect can lead you to feel that nothing you do is good enough.”

For employers, support needs to be available to staff and marketed to them properly. From Employee Assistance Programs to access to qualified mental health practitioners—the process doesn’t just involve culture changes to avoid it happening but requires a support system in place for when individuals are feeling the strain.

The end result, according to Salem, is mutually beneficial. “While supporting your employees and encouraging better physical and mental health is fundamentally the right thing to do, the benefits for anyone who take notice are wide-ranging. Businesses have more productive staff who enjoy their day a lot more, while those professionals who’d previously been under pressure live happier, healthier lives.”

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