The regular 9-to-5 is becoming a thing of the past and flexible working hours are on the rise. But with this newfound flexibility comes a constant need to be switched on. We’re replying to emails before having our morning coffee, answering calls on our “relaxing” weekend getaways and feeling stress-induced panic if we’re not contactable 24 hours of the day.
Stress in the workplace is extremely prevalent, especially for business owners according to StartUp Donut,
“One in ten small business owners say the stress of running a business has had a negative impact on their mental health” and has caused issues such as, “sleepless nights, drinking more alcohol, and arguments at home.”
As a small business owner, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work that goes into creating and maintaining a successful business, and stress is a growing problem for entrepreneurs. Causes of stress include feeling responsible for the success of the company, managing employees, long working hours, admin, paying overheads and expenses, time pressures and keeping up with compliance… just to name a few.
It’s easy to get stressed about every aspect of your business and in small doses stress can spur you on to get the job done. However, too much stress over a prolonged period of time can lead to burnout, an increase in sick days and a decrease in productivity. So, taking the time to recognise what’s causing you stress and finding ways to manage it is crucial. Doing so will not only keep you healthy and happy but will filter down to the rest of your business as well. If you’re not sure where to start, check out these 5 tips for small business stress management, which contains advice and techniques you can use to lower your stress levels.
If you can work 12-hour days every day, then great, but it’s important to know your limits and recognise when you’re feeling overworked. Common signs of increased stress include sleeping problems, sudden weight loss or gain, difficulty concentrating and agitation.
Taking measures to reduce your stress levels is vital, such as making sure you get a good night’s sleep, (a bad night’s sleep can increase stress levels by a third) or taking time out of your day to meditate or exercise. Something as simple as tidying your workspace can also drastically decrease your stress levels, as a clear workspace makes a clear mind!
Entrepreneurs love the phrase “time is money”. Therefore, taking time out of your day to focus on something other than work, even for a short amount of time, can often feel pointless, cause a sense of guilt and convince you that you’re not being productive enough. This isn’t the case; productivity is not increased by working for longer but by working smarter and doing more with the time you have. According to a study by Stanford University,
“productivity per hour decline sharply when a person works more than 50 hours per week. After 55 hours, productivity drops so much that putting in any more hours would be pointless.”
It’s no secret that there’s a direct relationship between long working hours, and mental health related issues and according to The Centre for Mental Health, stress, anxiety and depression are the biggest cause of sickness absence in our society, and mental health is responsible for 91 million working days lost every year.
Your business will never be completely stress-free but if you’re taking the time to recognise and manage your own stress, others will follow your example. Unfortunately, there’s still quite a lot of stigma around mental health and a lot of people suffer in silence, so ensure that your employees know they can reach out for vital support, if and when they need it.
Take the time to focus on health and wellbeing in your business, whether there’s one person or a hundred people in your business. Getting a wellbeing programme or policy in place from the start will ensure that you have a culture where everyone feels supported. You could also consider organising for your team to attend events designed to teach you how to set clear, manageable goals that help you to work smarter and not harder.
This is why we’re super excited to introduce our sub-brand FitBiz, which will be running wellbeing courses especially for small business owners and entrepreneurs. Our retreat in January 2020 is directly focused on small business owners and entrepreneurs finding that essential work-life balance and learning how to set healthy goals.
Ensuring that both yourself and your employees are happy and healthy will have a huge impact not only on productivity and efficiency but also commitment levels and the success of your business.
We really understand the importance of mental health when it comes to running your own company and stress in business is not to be taken lightly. At BYOB, we work with world-renowned mindset and wellness coaches to help our members reduce stress and become more productive.
Please get in touch if you want to be connected with the right sort of people to help get you on a stress-free path to business success.
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