The 21st century workforce is resilient, adaptable, confident, collaborative, innovative, engaged and able to face the future. But poor wellbeing and poor productivity are often the result of overwork, low trust in organisations and mental health issues.
Stress is reported to be more common in workers aged 25+ and more than 25% say their health has been compromised because of stress and they are less productive at work.
Why are millennials feeling more stressed than older workers? Perhaps because they are carving out their career path and wanting to make a good impression in their first job? Maybe the employers’ expectations are that they can handle any amount of work and the pressure that comes with it?
The truth is that younger workers are dealing with multiple pressures including long hours, difficult relationships at work, financial worries and bullying.
Resilience is something we all need and there have recently been comments in the media that millennials don’t have it. But what does resilience actually mean? It is the ability to recover quickly or ‘bounce back’ from a difficult situation. It is not being able to put up with an unlimited amount of pressure. No person can or should have to do that.
How can millennials manage stress at work?
Individuals need to take control, be able to step back and ask what is important to them?
Balancing work, family, social life and personal activities is important for everyone and no less for younger people. It is essential that millennials don’t lose sight of their career and life goals when the pressure of work is mounting. If there is a problem you need to be able to talk about it with your manager.
Identifying where the pressure points are, and, importantly, offering solutions to issues, are all part of working life and something which most of us have to deal with at some point. Your age should not be a barrier to being able to speak up. You have a voice, so use it.
5 things you can do to minimise stress at work:
- Use technology mindfully – use apps and tools for reminding you to take breaks and tips for time management and dealing with stress – and then don’t use it in the evenings for checking emails etc.
- Have regular check-ins with your manager to talk about how things are going and give any early indications if you feel pressure or stress.
- Start a lunchtime walking group or powwow at your workplace to talk about any issues affecting you and your peers at work.
- Print off the Address your Stress poster from a campaign run by Mental Health First Aid and stick it up in your staff room or kitchen.
- Request a ‘buddy’ if you don’t have one at work, someone older who has been there for longer than you and may be able to give you some insight into how to deal with your work, your manager or other colleagues.