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The Cubicle Syndrome: Stress Management at Work

 

In a report on stress statistics published by Wrike in 2019, 94% of people in the US and UK reported work-related stress.

Ninety-four percent.

Let that sink in for a bit. 

This simply means that almost all of the working population are stressed. It is evident that no matter where you are, stress at work is simply inevitable. It seems like it’s one of those things we can’t easily escape. Or can we?

For me, personally, work-related stress has some deep-rooted causes. To be able to establish a concrete stress management plan, one must first dive deep into why stress occurred in the first place. 

Work environment, colleagues, workload and remuneration are just some of the most common causes. 

You may be stuck in a job you hate, earning less than you should, working with colleagues that just can’t treat you as an equal or all of the above. It sucks, I know. The problem is, it doesn’t end there. 

Sometimes, you have to stay in that job because that’s the only income source that you have. Therefore, the stress just keeps on racking up blurring your vision to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

No matter how bad it sounds, there’s always a way to properly manage stress. 

 

Here’s a breakdown.

 

1. Acknowledge why you’re stressed

After determining the reasons why you’re stressed, acknowledge them. Don’t blame yourself. No one in this world can possibly get stressed right after starting a job. We always love it the first time. 

If you are stressed at work, it means that there was an accumulation of tension. Stress is a by-product, not a root cause. Being stressed at work is normal. If you think otherwise, read the first line of this article again. 

Over time, more and more people are experiencing stress at work. You are not an exemption. 

Acknowledge why you’re stressed and then move on to the next tip.

 

2. Talk to your HR personnel.

The Human Resource personnel of every company is there to help you out. You can talk to them about what bugging or stressing you. In most cases, they will be able to provide a solution. 

Do not fear that you will be judged. Even if you are, who cares? The most important thing to alleviate stress is to voice it out. 

Schedule a meeting with your Human Resource personnel and talk it over. You can list down your thoughts prior to it so you don’t miss anything. This leads us to the next tip.

 

3. Negotiate what you can

I have listed the possible causes of your work-related stress earlier. Since most of us are working from home during this pandemic, work environment may not be your main stress contributor. If you’re not working from home, check if it’s possible even for a few days a week. This depends entirely on the industry you’re working with. Or maybe you can take a vacation leave for sometime. It’s up to you.

If your colleagues are the problem, talk to them directly. Let them know that they’re giving you a hard time and see if you can somehow find a middle-ground. 

Issues on workload and remuneration go hand in hand. If you think you’re doing more and paid less, negotiate and ask for a bigger salary. List down the things that you have contributed to the company. Make them realize how vital your work is and why you deserve the raise.

Expect the best but prepare for the worst.

 

4. Have a backup plan. 

Not all employers are open to negotiations. Sometimes, companies will divert your attention to how lucky you are for having a job instead of how stressful your job is. You may prepare well for the negotiation and get nothing. It’s normal.

Despite the stress management plans that companies layout, the fact remains that not all of them supports the employees. It can be just that - a plan.

If all else fails, be ready to explore other options. Stress can damage you mentally and physically. You may not see it right away, but it can slowly devour you. Don’t let that happen. 

In this day and age, you don’t have to stay stuck in your cubicle. You can learn a lot of things online. The more skills you have, the more valuable you are. 

Stress at work is pretty common. If you’re feeling it now, start creating your own stress management plan. Above all, your overall health must be your priority.

 

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