An unfortunately common fact about work is that many workers find their job extremely stressful. Regardless of what work you do, stress can impact people greatly when companies downsize, workloads and hours increase, and much more. This stress can make people physically sick, cause depression if the employees don’t have good coping strategies, reduce productivity, and seriously affect their work and personal lives. 

If you’re feeling stressed about work, there are some things you can do to reduce and manage your stress healthily. Here are some of those strategies.

Address Conflict

No matter how great your workplace is, there will eventually be conflict. Whether this is between employees, management, or employees and management, it will eventually happen. How you handle said conflict will determine whether this will become a stressor or not. Once you learn of conflict happening, don’t let it continue—address it using conflict management solutions in your employee handbook so it doesn’t get bigger. When addressing this conflict, make sure to avoid negative reinforcement; punishing people will only create fear in the workplace, which adds to stress rather than resolving it.

Avoid Irregular Schedules

While salaried employees don’t need to worry about this, hourly employees often have to deal with irregular work schedules. This can be a huge stressor for people; roughly 30% of employees with irregular schedules have serious work and family conflict over this. Irregular shifts, on-call work schedules, shift changes and more put an employee’s work-life balance into a constant state of limbo since they never know when they need to work with much notice. This makes it difficult to make personal plans, appointments, or even set aside time to decompress. 

To help reduce this stress, create schedules that hourly employees can count on; sudden changes to schedules should happen as rarely as possible. Giving your employees a schedule they can rely on will allow them to have a personal life without fearing work will cut into said time. This will lead to them returning to work feeling refreshed.

Good Stress vs. Bad Stress

Not all stress is bad stress. Good stress—deadlines, tests, public speaking—can actually motivate people to do their best. This stress tends to be short-term and can improve brain function during that period of time. On the other hand, bad stress is chronic and can harm your health while negatively impacting your daily life. Learn to differentiate between good and bad stress so you can figure out which is helping you the most and which is causing you harm.