National Stress Awareness Day

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Most people have stress in their life. Whether it be financial, relationship-oriented, work stress, or just stressing to get the kids out of the door with matching shoes in the morning, there’s always stress lurking there!

This week I’m focusing on Stress Awareness Day. While every job has a unique set of stress to go along with it, there are ways to combat it at work. Whether you’re the boss of an irrigation company, or a backflow tester for a large fire sprinkler company, here are a few tips to help you deal with stress.

Tips on Handling Stress in the Workplace

  1. As a boss or manager, it’s necessary to point out when things aren’t being done right. However, to reduce stress for your employees, remind them just as often the things they are doing great. For example, if your tech makes a mistake on a job, let them know–then follow up that it’s great they consistently arrive at jobs on time.
  2. Communicate. This goes for peer relationship, and relationships between supervisors and employees. Rather than assuming someone knows something, communicate properly to reduce friction and needless future stress.
  3. Don’t over tax your employees if you’re a business owner. If your competent workers can’t get their work done in an appropriate amount of time, it’s not their responsibility to work more hours–it’s your responsibility to find a way to cut hours later in the week. Free time is important to reducing burnout.
  4. Establish a “normal” routine. Allow time for proper breaks, and time to eat lunch (or dinner or breakfast if you’re a 24 hour emergency plumber.) If possible, avoid smoke breaks on the job. It’s easy to light up a cigarette between stops if you have your own work van and you’re having an exasperating day. Nicotine is a stimulant though, and is likely to increase your stress, not decrease it.
  5. Are you stressing from trying to get all your recent invoices out by the end of the day? Get up and take a walk! Five minutes of casual exercise will let you take some deep breaths, and clear your mind.  While you’re at it, grab a glass of cool water. You’ll be surprised at how revitalizing it is to have a crisp sip of cold H2O. (You didn’t expect me to not mention water…did you??)
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