It's National Stress Awareness Day this week so we’ve pulled together a few easy ways to cut down undue stress experienced in a workplace setting. The good news is that as a contractor, you're in a pretty unique position to combat work-related stress already.
1. Non-traditional work hours
As a contractor, you’ve got much more choice in when you work so if you’d rather miss the rush hour traffic or if you know you’re a night owl, you might be in luck.
2. Opportunity to work from home
Some assignments will give you the option to work from home. Just make sure your workspace is set up with no distractions so you still get through everything you need to.
3. Take charge of your workload
Just because you’ve been brought in to work on a particular project doesn’t mean you need to do everything by yourself. Delegate work to other people so that you’re not stuck in the office until midnight by yourself.
4. Manage your time
Your specialist skills might make you invaluable but it also means you might never hear the end of: “Can you just have a look at this...” Be firm with co-workers and let them know when you’re in the middle of something.
5. Create a better work-life balance
We refer to work-life balance as WorkStyle. It's something unique to contractors, and one of the benefits of choosing your working hours and sometimes even your place of work is that you’ll have a better work-life balance. Whether it’s being around to do the school run, or reducing your hours during school holidays, you’ll be better off than people in permanent employment.
If you’re still struggling with stress at work, you might want to try a few more tried and tested methods to improve your wellbeing:
- Exercise – get regular exercise, even if it’s just a 30 minute walk at lunch time. You’ll feel energised we promise
- Eat properly – try and keep your diet as healthy as possible so you don’t feel too sluggish
- Sleep – get a good night’s rest. Try writing down anything that’s worrying you or things you’ve got to remember before you get in bed so you can switch off
- Set off earlier – leaving the house 10-15 minutes earlier might keep you out of the worse of the rush hour traffic and mean that you’re not panicking that you’ll be in on time
- Take breaks – don’t be a martyr and sit in front of your screen all day. You’ll find that you’re less productive and more prone to distractions. Take regular breaks throughout the day