stressed out woman

The #1 Thing to Do When Work Feels Chaotic

In today’s workplace, stress is rampant. About 27 percent of Canadians report “high to extreme levels of stress on a daily basis,” stated Statistics Canada. 46 percent claim they feel “a bit stressed” every single day. Not only can long-term stress diminish one’s ability to focus and perform his or her job well, but it can also have serious health ramifications such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Asthma
  • Obesity
  • Headaches
  • Depression

Additionally, prolonged stress can lead to missed work. This creates great financial losses for companies. For example, in 2016/2017 in the UK, about 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related anxiety, stress, and depression. Imagine how much money this cost all the companies that were affected by the absenteeism.

Stress in the Workplace Is Inevitable

Work can be anxiety-provoking. For some, work is the key source of stress in their lives. Since there is no escaping work-related stress, arm yourself with a powerful coping mechanism that makes work feel less chaotic: proactive learning.

Does Work Feel Chaotic? If So, Start Learning!

When things get crazy at work and you start feeling stressed, that’s your cue to start learning. Learning is powerfully effective at helping you regain a sense of control over yourself and your work environment. It also channels stressful energy into something productive. A contributor to Recruiter.com wrote,

When people embrace lifelong learning, assimilating new skills isn’t a source of fear or stress — it’s just another part of the career journey. Learning shouldn’t be limited to those hard skills. The good news, even if you weren’t a fan of traditional schooling, is that learning can now happen on your schedule and on your terms. For example, affordable options exist for on-demand online courses you can take at your own pace, whenever, wherever, and however you choose.”

This author also suggested that learning is an antidote to technology addiction that is causing 69 percent of Millennial employees to spend hours a day gazing at their smartphones.

How to Engage in Learning at Work

Most companies offer some type of employee training. Many use learning management systems to deliver training. If your firm offers an LMS, make it a habit to log onto the platform and engage in a microlearning activity (read an article or blog post, watch a 3-5 minute training video, etc.) every time stress rears its ugly head.

If your employer hasn’t implemented an LMS, you can still learn on the job when stress hits. All you have to do is communicate to your boss that you want to learn/train more while at work. Ask if there is an employee development program you could join. Your boss may even be willing to pay for a specific type of training for you. You never know unless you ask.

At the very least, your manager may allow you to participate in free, online, on-demand eLearning courses during the workday. Explaining that you want to learn to combat stress may convince management to work with you on this. If all else fails, pull out your employee handbook and review policies and procedures during times of chaos.

Learning doesn’t just upskill you and develop you professionally. It also helps you cope with stress in the workplace.

What new hard or soft skill would you like to learn?

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