July 12th, 2013 | 6:00 am

4 Tips for Reducing Your Stress Level at Work

filed under Work-Life

Businesswomen drinking coffee.By Michelle Hendelman, Editor-in-Chief

Moving your way up the corporate ladder undoubtedly comes with a lot of reward, but increased responsibilities and a heavier workload can also result in elevated stress levels as you learn how to manage your new role. In order to continue to be an effective team member and leader within your company, you need to figure out how to reduce the amount of stress you experience at work.

Whether it is your own or your colleagues’, workplace stress can act as a huge barrier to productivity. Although some stress at work is expected as deadlines loom and clients constantly keep you on your toes, it is essential for you stay organized, focused, and motivated. If you feel overwhelmed every time you open up your email or your meeting calendar, you need to figure out how you can bring your stress level down a few notches without affecting your output.

Don’t let stress get the best of you at work by following a few of these helpful tips:

Be direct when you communicate with colleagues and clients

How often do you feel like you articulate your point clearly and concisely at work? If you find that you are continually repeating yourself and explaining your emails, you might want to take a look at your communication style to see whether or not you are being direct enough when you give instructions, summarize a project, or ask for answers. Being direct will save you a lot of time and energy, which you can apply to other projects.

Take five minutes to read over emails you are ready to send and always have a quick agenda outlined for meetings and phone calls. These simple things will help you and your team enjoy a streamlined and efficient workflow.

Take advantage of flexible scheduling if your company offers it

If you are stressed at work, one of the best ways to alleviate some of that tension is to remove yourself from the environment. The upside is that with the increase in mobile technology, it is easier than ever to connect to your office from anywhere you are. Working remotely will help you zero in on your workload without dealing with all of the distractions that accompany a day at the office.

Flexible scheduling makes sense, especially if there are things happening in your personal life that make you feel even more stressed at work. Just remember that when you are working remotely, time management is critical. Don’t let flexible scheduling backfire on you because you did not effectively balance work with life.

Work Smarter, not harder

There is a big difference between increasing your responsibilities and taking on every single project that comes across your desk with a full head of steam. Piling on the work will not make you look like a superstar if you fail to meet deadlines or turn in a sub par result. Instead of bogging yourself down with too many task items, learn how to delegate certain aspects of your workload to up and coming team members that are up for the challenge.

When you can delegate tasks and utilize others’ skill sets, you will find that your own stress level is reduced significantly.

Disconnect, unplug, and decompress

Technology is contributing greatly to the fact that people are working longer hours and spending more time on their smartphones and tablets when they should be off the clock. There are definitely going to be times when you need to respond to work related issues when you are out of the office, but the key is to minimize those occasions where you are glued to your Blackberry until the early hours of the morning.

Since you are probably so used to being connected 100 percent of the time, it is going to feel unnatural to take a few hours to turn off the technology and give your mind a break. So much of work related stress occurs because you have the ability to take your work with you anywhere you go. While this might seem like a benefit at first, working around the clock is the number one way to burn out. Make a concerted effort to disconnect from work and allow your mind and body some time to decompress.

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