A GFI Software survey on the top sources of IT stress found that 28 percent of IT admins claim that management is the biggest source of their stress. Other common sources included problems with users, deadlines, and insufficient resources – but management took top prize.
The great part about being an IT business owner is that you're your own boss, which means you can avoid the stress that comes with following orders you don't agree with. Of course, your job isn't exactly stress-free, but it's important to remember how much nicer it is as top dog. That said, let's explore what triggers stress at IT jobs, ways to manage it, and how to get more fun from your life as an IT business owner.
For IT Employees, Stress Is More than Just a Headache
Stress is a part of every job, but it's rare we actually talk about its effect in the workplace. When an IT employee is stressed, what is really going on? WebMD explains that stress can actually lead to a host of physical and health-related problems, including…
- Upset stomach.
- Increased blood pressure.
- Chest pain.
- Loss of sleep.
To make matters worse, these problems can multiply because they often lead over-worked and stressed employees to "self-medicate" with alcohol, tobacco, and unhealthy eating habits.
While stress seems like it's purely a mental phenomenon, the truth is that it can have real effects on the body. In fact, WebMD estimates that 75 to 90 percent of all doctor's visits are over stress-related issues. Managing your stress is a key part of staying healthy and happy.
Avoiding Stress as an IT Contractor: Be Proud of What You've Done
As we saw above, conflicts with management are major source of stress. That shouldn't surprise you. Before you started your own IT business, you undoubtedly had days when you thought about how much better things would be if you were in charge. While running your own business certainly has its fair share of stress, don't forget to relish your freedom as a small-business owner.
On days you're worried about finding new clients and building your business, remember to appreciate all that you've already accomplished. Countless IT professionals dream about starting their own business, but you took the leap. You made it happen.
Final Thoughts about Stress: Help Your Employees, Help Yourself
Because management is a source of stress for 28 percent of IT employees, remember that you can make a huge difference in your employees' lives by maintaining a low-anxiety environment. To reduce stress for your workers, you can…
- Encourage breaks in your workday to give your office a "breather" from time to time.
- Stay organized and avoid schedule miscues that can lead to overworked employees.
- Offer some schedule flexibility so employees can work from home or come in at flexible hours.
- Maintain a positive work environment.
- Check in with employees who seem exhausted, overworked, or exhibiting bad body language.
- Avoid emailing employees after work unless necessary.
Forbes reports that stress can potentially harm your workers' productivity. A survey of over 20,000 employees found that over half of the stressed employees were disengaged in their workplace as a result. By reducing work-related stress, you can…
- Boost your business's productivity.
- Retain the best employees at your workplace.
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