There are a lot of things that can cause stress in the construction industry during the holidays. There are job and personal factors to take into account, while there is the ergonomic and non-ergonomic element to consider as well. There are ways that you can manage that stress if you work smartly. However, before we can talk about managing the stress, we have to talk about the factors that contribute to it.
The people at work can be a major source of stress for you. This is because other people’s behavior can’t be controlled and some of them at least are guaranteed to rub you the wrong way. This could be due to their behavioral style, their emotional or mental state and their willingness to communicate appropriately and effectively.
As a construction manager, all of these things can come to a head and affect you in myriad different ways.
Everyone has a peak or optimal temperature at which they feel comfortable working in. Any deviation from that temperature or excess cold or heat can prevent people from working at their optimum level. This can affect their efficiency. Other things such as noises, odors and disturbances can also affect a person’s ability to concentrate.
These are almost a given at any construction job. Identifying hazards and having to work around them can cause a lot of mental stress, causing you to be concerned about the physical safety of others as well as yourself. These can include heavy equipment, heavy machinery, flammable equipment, fire hazards, faulty wiring, caustics, and lifting heavy equipment around.
Physical stress can be the result of non ergonomic work environments in which chairs, tables, stools, computer equipment, and other tools don’t conform to the industry standards for comfort.
Stability at the organization you work can be a major factor behind your stress levels. If the organization is undergoing some sort of restructuring or changes in management, then you’re bound to be concerned and won’t be able to focus on your job. There could also be a general technical overhaul as the equipment could be undergoing upgrades and software updates.
Any structure that requires you to work overtime and make you stay late or work extra shifts to complete a certain project is detrimental to your physical and mental health.
Most employees go through a period of job insecurity when people are being laid off or when their job performance has been affected. This can also be due to improper communication from the upper management positions.
At times, the organization you work at or you yourself can set unrealistic goals for yourself. At times your supervisors can set goals without your personal input and just mandate a certain project to be done.
Doing the same thing over and over again is bound to have a detrimental effect on your mental health and has been known to cause stress for people in multiple jobs, not only in the construction industry.
These can include a rocky personal relationship, your physical condition, and any financial problems that you’re having due to overworking. All of these can separately, or in a combination, cause high levels of stress.
Tips to Manage Stress in the Construction Industry During the Holidays
1. Positive Psychology
This involves looking at any difficult situation with a pragmatic mindset and trying to find a positive aspect to it. The approach helps one to gather their thoughts and to deal with the situation in a logical manner so as not to let the stress pile on and find a way out of the difficulty. It shifts the focus from the emotional center of the brain to the cognitive, problem-solving center of the brain where things are much more likely to be solved by logic rather than emotion. You are less likely to make mistakes in that situation.
2. Cognitive Behavior Strategies
This involves conditioning yourself to approach any situation from a logical point of view and to view every situation as it is, rather than relying on your emotional intelligence to take the reins.
3. Problem-focused Strategy
This allows you to get to the bottom of what is causing the stress. If there is a certain situation that you feel you cannot handle due to any reason, this approach allows you to get to the bottom of that reason and to tackle it rather than dealing with peripheral problems that surround it.
4. Emotional-focused Strategy
This is focused on handling the emotional triggers that causes stress. While it doesn’t address the actual problem, it makes coping with it much more tolerable and possible. While this strategy is in direct opposition to the cognitive strategies discussed above, it is effective in calming you down and makes a world of difference to the stress you have to deal with.
5. Time Management
This is a simple tactic to leave yourself enough time to deal with the important stuff. If you notice that once you’re focused on getting enough tasks done on time, you’ll have more time to deal with the difficult ones, you will find stress automatically declines. This is, of course, not true for everyone, but it does help put some distance between you and the stress just because there’s more time to deal with a situation.
6. Overcoming Fear of Failure
This is a deep analysis of the situation at hand. If you’re swamped with a lot of work or a particularly difficult problem that you don’t think you’ll be able to solve, you need to write it all down and rehearse some scenarios. That’ll help put things into perspective. That way you can outline exactly what you need to do in order to finish the job. That’ll put your fear at rest.
This allows for better communication between you and your team. If you learn to empathize with people more and more, you’ll see things from their perspective and start seeing how they’re being reasonable, when you originally you thought they weren’t. Better communication will help you handle the situation better.
Stress is something we all deal with, it can get at us during the holidays even more if work has piled up. However, these 7 tips to manage stress in the construction industry during the holidays can get you through the holidays if you follow them to the letter.
Are you feeling the stress of having to do everything on your own? Do you need help with construction administration but can’t afford a full-time in house employee? Contact me today. So you can work smarter, not harder.