• Atul Holkar

5 Ways to Manage Stress in a Highly Demanding Corporate Organisation




Abhishek has been in the corporate world for nearly 14 years and has been a star performer much before he had even completed his MBA from a top-rated business school in India. He has been a role model for his batch mates and juniors alike and is someone whose life they all would love to just Photostat. However, it’s only Abhishek who knows as to far is from the truth. Of late, he had even started feeling as though he was trapped in the bait of a rattrap. The plush apartment, a luxury car and a corner cabin no more excited him. Working in a highly demanding MNC was now taking its toll. The recent medical reports though not very bleak has started ringing the alarm bells in his head.

Even before the medical tests, Abhishek knew something was just not right, frequent arguments in office, slipping off the targets, an exhausted team, and frayed relations at home were tiring him down to the core. Frequent headaches, perpetual anxiety irritation at the smallest of discomfort, insomnia, irritable bowel movements, persistent fatigue and loss of libido were few of the warnings shrieking towards only one thing, THE WORK STRESS!

What is Work stress?

According to the World Health Organization, Work-related stress is the response people may have when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to cope up with. It is one of the most harmful conditions that the employees have to face, in their day-to-day work life. This stress type is observed and noted to be growing throughout the organisations across the world. It does not only affect staff health and comfort, but also the production capability of the enterprise.

A research done by Jukka Takala, Director of European Agency for safety and health at Work says "The changing world of Work is making increased demands on workers; downsizing and outsourcing, the greater need for flexibility in terms of both function and skills, increasing use of temporary contracts, increased job insecurity, higher workloads and more pressure, and poor work-life balance are all factors which contribute to work-related stress.

Studies suggest that stress is a factor in contributing 50% and 60% of all lost working days. This represents a considerable cost in terms of both human distress and impaired economic performance. Now it has turned into a silent epidemic. https://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/osh-figures-stress-work-facts-and-figures.

As per some estimates, the financial impact on the US economy may be as high as $300 billion a year, if one accounts for reduced productivity, employee turnover, work assentation and related costs.

Familiar Sources of Work Stress

There are various sources of work-related stress at the workplace, few of which are

· Intense competition both in out of the organisation

· Challenging targets bordering corporate greed.

· Unrealistic expectations

· Layoffs and resultant increased workload

· Job insecurity

· Toxic environment and too many times a difficult boss

· Own requirements and untamed ambition.

Though some of the large corporates have now started focusing on stress at work, however, a majority of them still consider work stress to be an individual's problem and most of the time label it as capability issue.

Therefore, the onus of responsibility lies on the employee's shoulders to manage the work-related stress.

Now that we know that the first step to reducing stress has to be taken by the employee, it is, therefore, pertinent to start working on these before the stress begins working on you.

5 steps to reduce the Work stress

Here are 5 steps to be stress-free in the work environment yet grow in a demanding corporate;

Stressors at Work and their management

. Identify the source Boss, colleague or you

. Be forthright in discussing issues leading to stress with the concerned person

. Don’t withdraw in a shell, In fact,

become more visible and communicative.

. Actively seek support in resolving issues from friends and family.

. Talk less, listen more; Follow 1:5 rule for every word spoken listen to 5.

. Empathize with your boss, he has a boss too.

. Not every question or a mail requires a reply.

. Back off in a tense situation.

. Loose arguments, win understandings.

Exercise Regularly

As per Harvard Medical School, Aerobic exercise is vital for your head, just as it is for your heart. You may not agree at first; indeed, the first steps are the hardest, and in the beginning, exercise will be more work than fun. However, as you get into shape, you'll begin to tolerate the activity, then enjoy it, and finally depend on it.

Regular aerobic exercise will bring remarkable changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart, and your spirits. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. It has been experienced among many endurance athletes and has been verified in clinical trials that have successfully used exercise to treat anxiety disorders and clinical depression. If athletes and patients can derive psychological benefits from exercise, so can you. Exercise does not mean only the gymnasium; it can be aerobics, Zumba, cycling Yoga or just plain simple walk of 20 minutes.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax

Step out of Conflicts

Interpersonal clashes can affect your mental and physical health severely. Conflicts among co-workers can be frequent, therefore avoid any chances of getting into arguments or fights with your peers. Also, make sure you stay away from the gossips and back talks. Make sure you stay clear of any toxic and negative people. However, if you still find yourself in such a situation, then face it in a calm and composed manner. Loose arguments and win understandings.

Remain Orderly

Always pre-plan your upcoming day & desk, with tiniest details, so that you don't miss out on your essential meetings/ deadlines or your favourite meal hours. Being ahead of time can help you avoid potential roadblocks, it will also foster time management ability in you; a quality appreciated by the professional seniors. Staying organised will prevent an early morning rush and keep your morale high.

Get Adequate Sleep

Stress has deeper links with sleep disorders like insomnia. While there are numerous factors in the workplace that might affect your mental state, getting less sleep can also be one of them. It has been scientifically proven that lack of proper sleep is a contributing feature of work stress. This happens because inadequate sleep restricts your coping ability; it also has harmful effects on your mood and cognition.

To conclude, it is pertinent to mention that stress in modern work life cannot be wished away, in fact, a little stress called Eustress is needed for motivation and improved performance. Don’t survive but thrive in stress.

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