Posts Tagged ‘workplace stress’

Problems at work: I am being bullied or harassed

March 1, 2009

Abusive, threatening or humiliating treatment is unacceptable in the workplace, regardless of who the person is. There is a growing awareness of workplace bullying and harassment, but it doesn’t help the person affected unless it is reported and dealt with. Often, being treated this way can rob you of the power to act and may make you feel like you are not worth much anyway. If you feel put down, it can be hard to maintain a positive attitude and self image.

But this is not true. It is important to remember that you are worth more than this, and that you will not continue to allow bad treatment.  

What can you do about these situations?

 

You need to focus on the areas you can actually control as this is where you can make changes. It is difficult to change someone else’s behaviour. But you can alter your own behaviour by avoiding that person, refusing to engage with them and not reacting to situations. You can also report them through the appropriate channels if the problem is serious.

What can you control about the situation you are facing? What is within your power to change?

You have the following options:

·         Talk to the person involved. Ask them about their behaviour and involve a third party as a witness if you are uncomfortable with this. Put it in writing if you like, but make your feelings known. However, this is easier said than done as many of us avoid conflict and painful situations.

·         Don’t respond in kind. You will keep a stronger position if you do not resort to tactics that put you in the same category as the other person. It can actually be more powerful and disarming to be positive and kind to the other person and demonstrate that you are not bothered by them. By reacting, you give them power over you.

·         If you are not sure how serious the situation is, or if you just want to know your options, you can talk to someone else in your HR department. Be careful to make the situation hypothetical so as not to jeopardise your position, especially if the person involved is senior. You can also try talking to friends, Employee Assistance programs, use anonymous phone help-lines or go online for support. It is important to discuss the situation with somebody as you will feel more stressed if you don’t have emotional support.  

·         If the situation is serious, report the person to your direct manager or HR manager. This will involve talking about the details as making a complaint like this can be a serious move, so take any emails, or notes on situations that have happened. You need to be calm and rational and not overly emotional in your approach. Find out whether anyone else has been treated in this same way. It is likely that this person has behaved in the same way before which will help your case. Before you give any details, make sure the conversation will be kept confidential.

·         You always have the option to leave this position or the job entirely. If things are very bad at work, it is better to walk away than continue to be subjected to a situation that will wear you down with stress and anxiety. The majority of work situations are not like this, so move on and you will find somewhere more to your liking. You may need time to evaluate your options and look for different work, but this may be the best option.

 

What are the three steps you will take to address your situation at work? 

Advertisements

Problems at work: I hate my boss/Manager

February 21, 2009

People do not work or live in isolation. Even if you are in a dream job, it can be marred by the presence of someone who upsets, frustrates or bullies you. This conflict can dominate your work life and spill over into your private time. The situation can be intensely stressful and can make the working days hell. 

Everyone has ways in which they like to work and there are different styles of management for different types of people. However, some managers use the same approach with everyone, so there will inevitably be conflict. I have been in situations like this before for the following reasons:

·         I feel my work and decisions are undermined by my manager who questions my abilities 

·         I am micro-managed and have to account for all my time, making me feel like I am not trusted

·         I don’t respect my manager or the way they works or treat people

What are your specific problems with your manager?

Don’t be put off though! There are some fantastic managers out there who know how to look after and appreciate their people. They manage to the individual’s style and not with a broad brush approach. If you are a manager yourself, or if you want to be one, consider how you would like to be treated and appreciate individual differences in styles of work.  

How do you want to be treated by your manager? 

Stress Management: Relaxation Ideas

February 1, 2009

Relaxation is important as it helps prevent and control the overwhelming panic that can occur when you are stressed. Relaxation may be a different experience for everyone but common themes are peace, quiet and calm. You need to be able to relax regularly in order to manage your stress. Give your mind and body some time off. It doesn’t have to cost you anything, but you do need to commit some time for relaxation. Here are some suggestions.
   

·         Sleep more. Your mind is powerful and can work on problems when you are asleep. As well as feeling refreshed when you wake up, you may also have the answers to some of your problems.

·         Turn off the TV and stop the constant noise and stimulation. Be silent or read a book.

·         Listen to some relaxation or meditation CDs. These are often available in your local library if you don’t want to buy any.  

·         Learn a relaxation technique like progressive muscle relaxation or visualisation. Again, there are books and CDs available on these topics.

·         Have a regular massage. Ask the therapist where you hold your stress in your body. This can help you identify which physical areas to focus on relaxing.

·         Take a yoga class. Breathe and stretch more.

·         Get a hammock and spend some quality time in it. There is something inherently relaxing about being in a hammock. You can get a stand instead of using hooks so you can put it anywhere.

·         See a professional hypnotist for relaxation and de-stressing.

·         Cry. Big sobbing bursts of crying can release tension and you will feel better when you are all cried out. This will only be useful if you find it socially acceptable but it does work!

·         Laugh a lot. Get some funny movies. Play with your children. Go to a fun park and go on the rides. Be silly. Check out a laughter club at www.laughteryoga.org

·         Get out into nature and walk. Go and look at something that is not the city.

 


“I find myself being mentored by the land once again. I too can bring my breath down to dwell in a deeper place where my blood soul restores to my body what society has drained and dredged away.”

Terry Tempest-Williams

 

Pets at work: there are benefits!

June 16, 2008

My cat Shmi helps me workAnimals are great – I love my cat Shmi and he makes working at my desk a joy. He comes and sits on my lap while I am typing and loves the printer.

It turns out there are actually benefits to having pets in the workplace.

An American Pet Products Manufacturers Association survey of businesses allowing pets in the workplace confirmed the benefits http://www.sfspca.org/advocacy/pets_at_work.shtml:

·         73% of the companies surveyed said pets create a more productive work environment.

·         27% reported a decrease in employee absenteeism.

·         73% indicated pets led to a more productive work environment.

·         96 % said pets created positive work relations.

·         58% of employees stayed late with pets in the office.

This site also outlines “petiquette” (for dogs) including:

·         Make sure your dog is socialized to people and other dogs before he goes to work.

·         Make sure your personal workspace can comfortably accommodate your dog.

·         Avoid squeaky toys and collars that jangle.

·         Keep your dog clean and well-groomed.

If you can’t take your pet to work, they can lower your stress levels at home by:

·         Pets improve your mood and make you smile

·         Pet owners have lower blood pressure

·         Dogs encourage you to exercise

·         Watching fish swim can be a form of meditation and help you sleep

·         Having a pet gives you something to talk about with like-minded people so can help build social networks

·         Pets are great listeners and some are very empathetic. Crying will usually elicit a lot of sympathy from your pet.

 http://stress.about.com/od/lowstresslifestyle/a/petsandstress.htm
Add to FacebookAdd to NewsvineAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to Ma.gnoliaAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Furl

Office worker goes absolutely insane

June 12, 2008

This movie clip shows just how stressful office work can become…
http://www.break.com/index/office-worker-goes-absolutely-insane.html

I bet you recognise this office…
Is this you in 6 months time? In 6 years time?
Do you still want to be in this office then?

If you are ready to make a change in your working life, then check out the free workbook at http://www.howtoenjoyyourjob.com/

 

Work stress and ways to change the workplace

June 3, 2008

A new study in Australia has shown that nearly one in five working women with depression can attribute it to their job and one in eight depressed working men have problems because of work stress.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/06/02/2262296.htm

 

One key contributor is high demands and low control within a job, with people in lower paid roles particularly at risk.

 

This is nothing new. Studies like this come out every week. But the attitude of the VicHealth organisation is encouraging. Todd Harper (CEO) states “I think one of the things that we can do is to actually convince workplaces that this information is important, that they actually stand to benefit out of this because in a time of workforce shortage, the most valuable employees are the ones that you already have, keeping them healthy is the priority,” he said.
“Simply increasing the demands on staff comes with consequences and I think workplaces are aware of that, they can start to design their work in a more efficient and productive way.”

 

Here are some ideas for making the change to efficiency and productivity in the workplace. These will provide more control to employees which should reduce stress levels.

 

·        Make teams self managing and autonomous. Adults are self organising and will achieve given deadlines and clear roles and responsibilities.

·        Trust people to do the job without micromanagement. Managers do not need to go to all meetings. Delegate responsibility and make people feel they are valued.

·        Back up your team members. Don’t overturn decisions made by others if delegation of authority has occurred. This undermines confidence and displays a lack of trust.  

·        Give people the opportunity and encouragement to act creatively without fear of recrimination or blame in case of failure.

·        Embrace new ideas and reward people for submitting them

·        Treat people well and respect individuals for their skills. Don’t try to put people in boxes. Their job description is not the end of who that person is. Give people an opportunity to shine.