Make us your home page

Follow these tips to avoid stress at work

"In this new era of the superjob, everyone does windows, and anyone who gripes about working too hard will hear an even hairier tale from the exec on the next bar stool."

That quote is from an article by Anne Kadet titled, "Superjobs: Why you work more, enjoy it less," in the Wall Street Journal on May 8.

According to researchers, more than half of employees report they've taken on extra roles at their jobs since the recession began. About 2008, employers began increasing employee hours, added responsibilities and started expecting 24/7 responses to calls, e-mails and text messages. Their reason? Efficiency and cost savings.

It sounds good on paper, but the result can cut into productivity. Many are becoming frustrated and fearful, believing they will be laid off or fired if they don't comply with the increased demands. Some are talking about leaving their jobs for greener pastures as soon as the recession lets up.

There are things you can do

There can be some benefits to a superjob. It can help you gain new skills. It can increase your visibility and put you in a better position for future promotion.

It can also put you under tremendous stress trying to impress your boss with your super-charged work ethic. It can adversely affect your home and family relationships. It can cut into free time. And, it can endanger your health. Both genders are in danger, but it is women, who often juggle their work and their responsibilities at home, who are especially prone to job stress-induced irritability, headaches and depression.

Here are some tips for taking back your life and achieving some work/life balance:

Set boundaries: Communicate the situation to your boss. Analysts say many managers don't realize how much work they are putting on their employees.

Prioritize your work load: Do the most pressing things first. That way if you don't get all the way down your "to do" list today, only small tasks will be waiting for you tomorrow.

Do the things you least like to do first: Get these onerous tasks out of the way, and the rest of your day can look like a reward.

Make sure you have time to yourself: Minibreaks are essential. Take a walk around your work area, find a reason to chat with someone in another department or just find some way to get away from your work area for a few minutes.

Eat lunch: If possible, enjoy your meal away from your work area and talk with other people while you eat.

Exercise: Physical fitness can keep you mentally sharp, leading to better productivity.

Spend time with loved ones: Set aside time each evening for yourself and your family and/or friends.

Reward yourself: Examples: massages, that special dessert, outings with friends and family, sporting events.

Take your vacations: Get away to recharge yourself.

If all else fails, start looking for another job in a company with a more employee-centered culture.

Marie Stempinski is president and founder of Strategic Communication in St. Petersburg. She specializes in public relations, marketing, business trends and employee motivation consulting. She can be reached at

Follow these tips to avoid stress at work 06/19/11 [Last modified: Sunday, June 19, 2011 4:30am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Tampa is 15th-most popular city to move to with U-Haul


    TAMPA —Tampa is undoubtedly a destination point, at least according to U-Haul.

    Tampa is the No. 15 destination for people moving with U-Haul trucks. | Times file photo
  2. Florida's economy growing faster than other big states and far better than U.S. overall


    When it comes to economic growth, Florida's running alongside the leading states and well ahead of the United States as a whole.

  3. Westshore Marina District project takes shape with another acquisition

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — One of Tampa Bay's prime waterfront areas took another major step toward redevelopment Friday as WCI Communities bought 2.35 acres in Westshore Marina District.

    WCI Communities, Lennar's high-end subsidiary,has paid $2.5 million for 2.35 acres in the Westshore Marina District for 35 townhomes. WCI is under contract  to buy an additional 9.5 acres.
[BTI Partners]
  4. Posh Guy Harvey RV park to open in Tampa Bay with $250,000 cottages


    HOLIDAY — Love those Guy Harvey T-shirts with the soaring marlins? In the not too distant future, you might be able to kick back in your own Guy Harvey cottage in the first-ever Guy Harvey RV park.

    Renderings of the clubhouse and an RV cottage site of the planned Guy Harvey Outpost Club & Resort Tarpon Springs.
[Guy Harvey Outpost Collection]
  5. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel


    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.