We’ve all been there and we’ve all nearly done it. Sitting on our hands so we don’t put our fist through the computer screen. Biting your tongue so hard your eyes water, to save you from verbally tearing a colleague to pieces. Some people just get up and leave the office for a few minutes; it’s easier to explain to your boss than assault charge. Stress plagues the nation’s workforce like Kerry Katona plagues our television sets. Whether you’re in an open plan, spacious office or a tiny cubicle, there’s no hiding from the daily tension that engulfs our workplaces.
If you think you’re the only one ready to snap, think again. Employers pay out millions of pounds a year on sick days, low productivity and workers’ compensation, all related to the stressful nature of the fast-paced, high risk and high paid jobs we all endeavour to get.
So, we need a resolution, and we need it now.
People need to let off steam in order to recharge and get back on that productivity train, whether its calling your gran for that yearly catch-up, checking your purchases on eBay or simply going to the toilet for a bit of rest and recuperation. Just remember to wash your hands.
The best way to release mental stress is to start with getting rid of the physical stress. Even if you can’t be bothered to move from your chair, take off your shoes and flex your toes, roll your neck across your shoulders and stretch your fingers across a cold surface.
The 20 Minute Workout
By providing cheap gym membership for employees, businesses have found a way to cut stress levels in the office and promote fitness. We’re not talking about a full body workout every time someone hacks you off, but a quick 20 minute session down the local gym during your lunch break will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. Remember to keep rehydrated too, as headaches are brought on by reduced water intake.
Step Outside the Office
This doesn’t mean going home and burying your head in a tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but go for a short walk once or twice a day – studies recommend it. Leaving your desk and providing different stimulation for your brain, even for the shortest of periods, will greatly reduce your stress levels and will increase your productivity. Happy days.
Wack on some Bach
There’s not a person in the world that doesn’t have a favourite song to relax to, so make sure you get a few tracks in whenever you take a break. From iTunes, to radio, to Spotify, there’s no limit to the choice of music you can take advantage of, whether it’s your favourite Beatles number or some classic Coldplay. Viva la Vida!
If you’re an IT contractor working 50 hours a week, or a top level executive working 60 hours a week, the tether you reserve for family and friends becomes non-existent when faced the brutal immortality of stress, and the effects it has on the people around you. That said, don’t feel bad about passing on some work to one of the many minions dotted around the office. Knowing how to use the people around you is a skill, not a weakness, so sift through the never ending pile of work that’s consuming your desk, and just pass it on. Simples.
If in Doubt, Get it Out
The stress ball that is. It may be an old remedy, but make no mistake; a couple of squeezes on the old rubber-tugger will leave you rejuvenated and ready to dive back into that Excel spread sheet.
Our guest poster is Zoe, a business blogger with a penchant for stress remedy and relaxation. Zoe is currently writing for contractor accountant specialists Brookson. Click here to find out more about their services.