To be blunt, you cause stress where you work. As a leader, as a coworker and even as a subordinate. You cause someone stress where you work.
Just to be clear, that’s okay! It’s perfectly normal to cause stress at work because work can be a stressful place. Something you do—whether it’s completing a task, asking a question or joining a project—will likely cause stress for someone else. That’s because many work roles are interdependent, and many projects are impacted by multiple people.
The problem with stress, though, is that it makes tough situations even more difficult. Stress in the workplace can damage relationships, but it can also negatively impact mental and physical health. In stressful situations, productivity takes a hit and problems become much more difficult to solve.
It’s very unlikely that you can rid the workplace of stress altogether—that’s just the nature of work. You can help manage the stress in your workplace, though, by reducing the stress you cause for your subordinates, coworkers and managers.
Being a good communicator is essential for being a good employee. Communicating clearly, completely and in a timely manner are great ways to ensure you’re not causing extra stress for the people you work with.
Every aspect of your job requires communication. You need to communicate about the things you need, the things you have to offer, the things going right or wrong, deadlines and schedules, details and even about the communication taking place. You will make everyone’s jobs—yours included—easier by laying it all on the table and communicating at work.
Being prepared is another tactic you can use to be a stress-free employee. When it comes to working with others, you need to make sure you have all of your ducks in a row. Be sure you have things organized, you stay on schedule and you take care of the details.
It’s also important to have this information—as well as the processes you used to gather it—at the ready to share with your team. The more prepared you are, the easier it will be to explain something difficult to a coworker. The easier you can explain it, the easier it’ll be to understand and utilize the information you’re working with.
A crabby coworker causes stress. It’s simple. Nobody wants to work with the Negative Nancy who is always bringing the group down. On the flipside, nobody wants to work with the annoyingly peppy coworker either.
It’s important to keep a positive attitude and outlook on your work environment. But it’s also incredibly important for that attitude to be authentic. Your coworkers pick up on how you feel from more than just the words you say. Your positive attitude needs to start inside of you. Buy in to positivity and bring that to your workplace interactions.
It’s stressful to work with an unpredictable coworker. Will they be five minutes late to the meeting? Or half an hour early? Will they talk too much? Or provide too little information? You just never know, and it’s always a guessing game. So don’t be that coworker!
Be an employee your coworkers, managers and subordinates can depend on. That might mean sticking to a schedule so you’re at your desk at a certain time each day. It might mean responding to calls or emails in a certain way. It might even mean directly laying out what others can expect of you. Be consistent in the work you do and how you do it.
Stress happens at work—and that’s okay! You need to come to terms with the fact that you’ll face stress, but you’ll more than likely cause it as well. The best way to manage stress in your office is to limit the stress you cause for your coworkers, subordinates and managers. Communicate and prepare, and be positive and consistent.
How do you help reduce the stress in your workplace?