Stress is common in the workplace and it negatively impacts the performance of employees. HR managers of small businesses often wear many hats and are placed in the position of recruiter, benefits administrator, payroll processor and more. Stress in the workplace makes a big impact. In fact, stress was the most common cause of long-term sickness absence for both manual and non-manual employees in CIPD’s 2011 Absence Management Survey (a global HR development organization.) Don’t let stress weigh you down. Here are 4 tips for HR managers dealing with stress.

Take a Deep Breath

Meditation or deep breathing breaks throughout the day can help you stay calm on busy days. Taking three deep breaths when things become too demanding can help quiet your mind for a happier state of mind when you get back to work. Getting up from your desk and moving around, either through stretching or a short walk, is a great way to refocus. When you begin to feel tense, use a relaxation exercise to get back to a more peaceful state. Lots of running around, from reporting to the boss to hiring a new intern, can add stress to your busy schedule. Take a walk around the office to recharge.

Rally for Redecoration

Add plants or items from home to your office. “Integrating plants in the work environment not only beautifies the environment but has been proven to reduce absenteeism, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase positive feelings, lower noise levels, decrease room temperature and lower humidity,” says Burton Ways, author of Feel Good Spaces: A Guide to Decorating Your Home for Body, Mind And Spirit. You can also look for ergonomic furniture and softer lighting options for a more comfortable workspace.

Reduce Interruptions

Interruptions throughout the day are distracting and can cause a sense of chaos. In order to cut down on distraction-induced stress, learn how to handle the interruptions. Some have found success in setting time frames for outbound and inbound calls on their business phone line, while others prefer to set all meetings in the morning. If you have employees coming in out of the office, make sure they are scheduled to reduce the disorganization and distractions.

Get Organized

A messy desk is a stressful desk. Start using your file cabinets for papers and get the clutter off your desk. If you struggle to reach your office phone because of the folders, office equipment and coffee cups that are in the way, you have too much on your desk. For many people, it is difficult to focus when their desk is a mess. Get organized and you’ll see communications improve while stress is reduced.

If you find yourself stressed out while at work or constantly worrying about work when you’re home, take steps to find a more peaceful state of mind. Deep breathing and relaxation exercises are a great place. Evaluate your workspace and what is causing the stress you experience. While some stress is common, you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed or burdened to the point that your productivity suffers. An organized desk and redecoration of the office can help you reduce your stress levels. If your stress is coming from interruptions or coworkers, analyze how you can reduce the interruptions or better communicate with your coworker. 

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