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Dealing with Stress in the Workplace

Woman holding her head on a desk with stacks of papersStress on the job is not new to the American workforce. However, recent events, such as a pandemic, remote employment, juggling work with personal lives, and a poor economic climate, have exacerbated mental stress. Combine these with workforce downsizing and even the most tempered employee may feel extreme workplace stress on occasion. 

Recognizing and treating stress is a complicated process. Everyone has their own level of pressure that they manage on a daily basis. When this level increases it can motivate an employee to focus and be organized or it can lead to distractibility and depression. Stress is one of the leading causes of health issues and illness in the workplace.

Employers can minimize the effects of stress on productivity by:

  • Allowing frequent breaks and flexibility with work hours 
  • Addressing workplace and remote office space challenges
  • Sponsoring an employee fitness program
  • Recommend counseling/therapy

Employees can reduce stress levels in many ways, including:

  • Learning relaxation and organization techniques
  • Asking for help when needed
  • Participating in employer-sponsored wellness programs

Accommodation ideas to deal with stress include:

  • Using deep breathing exercises
  • Reducing distractions in the work area
  • Taking a break
  • Using a picture of a relaxing place (e.g., beach or hammock)
  • Playing soothing music or environmental sounds
  • Placing a small desktop aquarium or a lava lamp in the workspace
  • Using positive self-talk
 AskJAN for more information about Stress

Oklahoma WorksOklahoma Department of Rehabilitation Services, and Oklahoma ABLE Tech have collaborated to provide this information and advice to those seeking accommodation in the workplace.  

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