92% of working Singaporeans report feeling stressed, higher than the global average of 84%1. Although stress at work is common, we can adopt a more effective approach to alleviate its effects. Let’s explore some simple stress management techniques to help us maintain our well-being in and out of the workplace.
1. Cultivate personal hobbies
All work and no play makes for a stressful life. To prevent burnout, set aside time for activities you enjoy—such as reading, socialising or pursuing a hobby.12Personal hobbies infuse more fun and freedom to our lives that can help to reduce the impact of work-related stress.
2. Keep the desk organised
The desk plays a signiﬁcant role in the way we work. A disorganised desk can hinder productivity— workers lose up to two hours a week searching for misplaced documents, according to a survey.2An organised workspace facilitates access to resources, reduces clutter-related anxiety, and improves our ability to focus.
3. Take a coffee break
In today’s busy age, coffee breaks offer valuable opportunities to step away brieﬂy from work to relax and build camaraderie with colleagues. In fact, research indicates that coffee breaks contribute to employee happiness and lessen burnout faced by employees managing heavy workloads. 3
4. Try some “deskercise”
A quarter of adults in Singapore do not exercise enough, according to a study.4 What can we do to keep our personal activity levels up? “Deskercise”, or simple exercises done at the desk, is an effective option. Such activities break the monotony of a desk job, while providing something new to focus on—all while ensuring we stay active during the workday.5
5. Forget multitasking
Multitasking may give the impression of getting more things done, but instead, it splits our focus and could even reduce productivity by as much as 40%.6 Instead of trying to juggle multiple projects, we could devote more energy and time to prioritising the day’s tasks before tackling them, one at a time.
6. Listen to music
7. Talk to someone
When work gets overwhelming, talking to trusted colleagues or friends can help us to better cope with stress.9 Others might be able to provide insights or even offer suggestions. Even the act of simply talking to someone can be a source of relief.
8. Consume a nutritious lunch
Stress can have a negative effect on our health. Maintaining a balanced and healthy diet is an important way to help our bodies to manage the physiological changes caused by stress.10
9. Minimise interruptions
Interruptions at work may be inevitable, but there are ways to keep them to a minimum. For especially important projects, block time to work on it without interruption. Also, consider working behind closed doors if you need to focus.11
10. Adjust your standards
Many motivated individuals strive for excellence at work. However, when taken to the extreme, the motivation can lead to perfectionism and become a major source of stress. If this happens, take time to re-evaluate your standards. Rather than demanding perfection, set reasonable standards for yourself and others.13