Managing Workplace Stress 
Try for More Work/Life Balance

Managing stress working in an office cubical

A lot of time, managing workplace stress depends on perspective.  Think about it.  You go to work to earn the money you need to pay bills, invest in your living space and provide for your family.

In my opinion, work should not dictate your life. As you start your career, you may spend extra hours carving a niche and building your resume, but it shouldn't be long term. 

Keep Things in Perspective.

You may need to prove your abilities by completing projects, handling accounts, and/or overseeing job activities.  But such time commitment to your work should be temporary and not habitual.

My best advice is that you learn to work efficiently during your work hours with a high level of concentration.  Discipline yourself not to waste time, and if necessary, keep a record of how you are spending your hours so you can identify things that are consuming your time and distracting you from completing your work.  Read our article on Time Management Strategies for more advice on this subject.  Your life legacy is more than your work.

Go Home.

You are paid to work for a specific amount of hours per week.  Keep it that way and leave your workplace and go home.  Yes, there are times when you may need to stay at work late to complete a project, but keep this to a minimum.  You are not going to produce better work by putting in longer hours.  Actually, the reverse may be true.  You may find that you produce less quality work because you are tired and have lost your ability to focus.

Working long hours can be damaging to your health, detrimental to your family relationships and cause increased tension and anxiety with office co-workers.  You may start to resent that fact that you are the one putting in long hours while others leave at 5pm.  Then, managing workplace stress becomes more necessary because you are tired, your ability to concentrate is compromised, and you are irritable with your co-workers.

One important thing is to develop an appreciation for the other 8 hours of the day.  Those hours are between the time when you are working and the time you are sleeping.  What are you doing with those hours?  That allotment of time can provide you with the most meaningful activities and provide you with the most purposeful aspects of your life.  Use these 8 hours by enjoying family, pursuing a hobby, or finding ways to enrich the lives of others.  You will find you are a more content individual and less likely to let the office conflicts bother you as much.

Believe in Yourself.

You have talents.  Use them wisely.  If this job is not working because you are not able to utilize your talents well, start looking for something else.  Managing workplace stress includes making certain that you and your job responsibilities are a good match.  Stress often develops when your skills are under-utilized or when you have no control over decisions made in your organization.  This is a very challenging job market currently, but you can find managing workplace stress easier when you are happy going to work in the first place.

Everyone wants to be appreciated for what they contribute.  This is certainly true in the workplace.  It may be that your current employment is a temporary position until you find something more suitable for your talents and skills.  That’s understandable.  But move on when you can.

Managing workplace stress becomes easier when you can keep life in perspective and realize that working at your job comprises only part of your waking hours.  If you focus on other aspects of your life, the stressors that crop up in the workplace won’t seem so overwhelming.  Don’t let the drama at work ruin your perspective on life.  Just do your work and move on.

Stress Management in the Workplace

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