Thanks to the likes of our Royal Family appearing on TV to reveal their challenges and Mental Health Awareness week, May is often a time when companies and employees alike begin to think more carefully about how they care for more than just physical wellness.
Employers are under a great deal of pressure to look after their teams, with 70 million work days lost each year due to issues like anxiety, stress, and depression. However, it’s essential to think carefully about what individual staff members can do to protect their wellbeing too.
The best tech stars know how to push themselves when the occasion calls for it, but also when they need to step back and give themselves a break for the sake of good mental health.
Whether you’re a Business Intelligence Consultant or Data Analyst, here’s what you need to know about staying “Zen” at work.
1. Give Yourself a Break
This is perhaps the most crucial piece of advice for a tech star to consider if they’re in an executive or senior role. People often assume that when they’re in a leadership position, they need to practice a “stiff upper lip” and show strength to the people that they’re working with.
When you’re leading a team, suddenly the welfare and growth of others are your responsibility. You’re not just looking after yourself anymore. You need to keep challenging yourself and reaching the goals in your roadmap while taking the needs of others into account.
Leaders in the tech space are under a lot of pressure, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. When you’re starting to feel as though things are getting on top of you, give yourself a break. Remember that you’re only human and that mistakes happen.
Take a deep breath, and ask yourself what you can do if the worst-case scenario does happen. How can you protect yourself and your team? Finding a plan B is a great way to give yourself some peace of mind.
2. Get some Workplace Support
As a tech employee, you’re probably part of a diverse and dynamic team. Just like you, those people may have stress and anxiety issues to overcome, and they might like knowing that they have someone to reach out to talk
Consider creating a group in your business environment that accepts anyone that needs to come and talk about the challenges that they’re facing at work. You don’t have to be from the same department or team. Welcome, everyone in your business to a safe space where they can unwind and unload their emotional baggage. Ask your manager for a place where you can hold regular meetings for this support group.
Speaking of talking to your manager – don’t forget that he or she can assist you. If you’re struggling with the amount of work you’re being assigned, or a particular project is leaving you overwhelmed, ask for help. Confiding in your business leaders is the only way to make sustainable changes to your work experience.
3. Know When You Need to Stay Away from the Office
If you’re having a severe problem with your mental health, then pushing yourself to go into the office might not be the right strategy. Depression, anxiety and other conditions can be just as debilitating as breaking a bone or having the flu.
Speaking to your manager in advance is an excellent way to prepare them for the days when you might need to call in sick for mental health reasons. You might find that being unable to go to the office doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t work.
If you feel comfortable logging in from home, you may be able to do a lot of your regular tasks from cloud-based software on your computer. Many modern tech companies are now offering remote and flexible working opportunities to attract and retain talent.
4. Manage your Work/Life Balance
When you’re striving to get ahead and develop your career, it’s challenging to know when to stop.
You may be pushing yourself to work longer hours, and even complete tasks from home, which means that you have no time to rest and recuperate at home. A recent study found that 36.7% of UK employees work for an extra 13 days more than they’re supposed to, each year. Another 64% said that they often work over their contracted hours.
Going above and beyond for your career is an excellent way to accelerate your growth as a professional and open yourself up to new opportunities. However, it’s essential to know your limits. If your extra work is harming your mental health and making it harder for you to perform at your best during your day-to-day tasks, then you won’t be able to accomplish much.
Find the right balance between your work, and the rest of your life by ensuring you always:
- Eat three healthy meals per day
- Finish work on time when you can
- Setting time aside for family and friends
- Getting plenty of sleep (8 hours per night)
5. Declutter your Desk
A tidy workplace creates a tidy mind. Sometimes, organising your workspace is enough to reduce the feelings of stress and overwhelm you feel at work. Studies have shown that the links between anxiety and clutter are genuine.
Even if you’re convinced that you don’t have time to clean up your office, set aside some time for organising your space as much as you can. Add a plant or a photo to brighten things up, and if possible, try to angle your desk towards the window so you can soak up as much of the environment as possible.
If you can’t see any greenery from your office, consider going for a walk during your lunch breaks too. Research shows that walking through a green space like a forest or a field improves mental health and eliminates stress.
6. Do Something You’re Good At
Finally, whenever possible, make sure that you’re working in a job that you’re good at.
Many people end up stuck in roles that aren’t right for them. If you’re not putting your specialist tech skills into practice each day, then you might feel unsatisfied and under-utilised at work.
Speak to your manager about whether you can take on some extra projects that are aligned to your particular interests. Maybe you want to get involved with the latest digital marketing trends. Alternatively, perhaps you’re a big data analyst that’s interested in working with AI and machine learning too.
If you can’t adapt the role that you’re in to suit your career roadmap, then it might be time to look for something new with the help of a tech recruitment agency like ROD. Remember, you spend most of your life at work – the only way to be truly happy is to do something you love.
About Resource on Demand
Resource on Demand is Europe’s first specialist Salesforce Recruitment Company, now also focusing on growth Cloud markets.
We assist innovative and disruptive organisations to grow their technology teams, supporting companies to fill Cloud roles that span across Digital Marketing, Marketing Automation, Human Capital Management and the growing Salesforce.com suite of skills.
The team at Resource on Demand have access to an extensive database of key talent, registering over 8000 Cloud professionals each year.
To find out how we can support you call us on 01322 272 53