Picture this, you walk into your work thirty minutes late because you woke up at the time you actually had to be there. You have a large cup of coffee in your hand which is your substitute for breakfast, your shirt is dishevelled. Your colleague sitting next to you gives you an over enthusiastic “GOOD MORNING” and you mumble to yourself “yeah right.”
For the rest of the day, you spend it by checking your watch every ten minutes, but the time does not pass faster. There are no new posts on Instagram and Twitter, you have already scrolled through them a million times. Every day you go for lunch ten minutes early and come back ten minutes late. You can not wait to get home, but when you are home all you are doing is being stressed about work the next day. The night is spent stress watching Netflix.
If this sounds a lot like you, I think it is time to re evaluate your job situation.
In his book, Dying for a Paycheck, Jeffrey Pfeffer, Ph.D, a specialist in organizational behaviour at Stanford Business School, makes a bold statement “the workplace is killing us and nobody cares.” The Japanese have a word for death from overwork it is called “Karoshi”. In Japan over 10,000 managers, executives and engineers die annually from being overworked.
A hostile work environment is the number one cause for work related stress. One in four workers complain about their jobs being the most stressful part of their lives.
Being constantly exhausted due to work is a serious problem, it cannot be cured simply by getting a new job, Pfeffer explains. Also, finding a job is no small task. “If you are physically or psychologically drained by workplace stress, then you’re not going to have the capacity to go out and look for another job,” he says.
Even though all of this sounds grim, there are steps you can take to make your life less stressful and maintain a healthy relationship with your work.
Eating well is crucial, make sure you get in all the nutrients you need for your daily work day if your job needs more physical labour, eat accordingly. On the other hand, if your job barely involves any kind of physical movement, you need to make sure you get in some exercise before or after work. Exercise does not have to be hardcore, a light jog or some yoga can help you calm down while getting the exercise you need in.
In this world of go, go, go; people barely get any time to relax and get enough sleep. Sleep helps you rejuvenate and start fresh the next day. If you are not getting enough sleep it will make you feel lethargic the next day and therefore less productive.
It is very important for everybody to find ways they can wind down, some people read, meditate or even game. Everybody utilises different techniques to relax. It does not matter what it is, just make sure you have a way to relax.
Communication is proven to be very effective to reduce stress, you can have a meaningful conversation with your friends and family or just laugh and make jokes.
If nothing works, know when you can seek counselling and getting help from a professional.
In an interview, Pfeffer said, “I look out at the workplace and I see stress, layoffs, longer hours, work family conflict, enormous amounts of economic insecurity. I see a workplace that has become shockingly inhumane.”
There are various ways in which an employer can reduce stress in a work place environment. The employer can align workload with the capability and capacity of the workers. By making room for workers to grow and use talent in their positions, will help the employees stay creative and make them feel in control. If the workers have a say in the work they are doing, will help increase job satisfaction.
Not all work situations can be ideal, it is important to know, you have a choice, you do not have to stay in a job forever if you do not enjoy it. The opportunities are endless. Remember you always have the power to pave your own path.