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By The Numbers

Workplace Survey, Findings

1.Workers are struggling to work effectively. 

When focus is compromised in pursuit of Collaboration, neither works well.

2. Effective workplaces balance focus and collaboration. 

Workplaces designed to enable collaboration without sacrificing employees’ ability to focus are more successful.

3. Choice drives performance and innovation. 

Employers who provide a spectrum of choices for when and where to work are seen as more innovative and have higher-performing employees.

 

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THREE PRACTICAL STEPS TO BEAT ANXIETY AT WORK

Anxiety can present as fear, restlessness, an inability to focus at work or school, finding it hard to fall or stay asleep at night, or getting easily irritated. In social situations, it can make it hard to talk to others; you might feel like you’re constantly being judged, or even have symptoms such as stuttering, sweating, blushing or an upset stomach.

 Most people experience it at some point, but when anxiety starts interfering with your life, sleep, ability to form relationships, or productivity at work or school, you might need help. Research shows that if it’s left untreated, it can indeed lead to such serious health consequences.

Olivia Remes, from the University of Cambridge says "the way we cope or handle things in life has a direct impact on how much anxiety we experience – tweak the way we’re coping, therefore,  can lower our anxiety levels."  Her research at the University of Cambridge found three coping skills:

1. Start by "doing it badly"

People often want to do something “perfectly” or to wait for the “perfect time” before starting. But this can lead to procrastination, long delays or even prevent us from doing it at all. And that causes stress – and anxiety.

Instead, why not just start by “doing it badly” and without worrying about how it’s going to turn out. This will not only make it much easier to begin, but you’ll also find that you’re completing tasks much more quickly than before. More often than not, you’ll also discover that you’re not doing it that badly after all – even if you are, you can always fine tune it later.

Using “do it badly” as a motto gives you the courage to try new things, adds a little fun to everything, and stops you worrying too much about the outcome. It’s about doing it badly today and improving as you go. Ultimately, it’s about liberation.

2. Forgive yourself and ‘wait to worry’

Imagine if you had a friend who constantly pointed out everything that was wrong with you and your life. You’d probably want to get rid of them right away. Surprisingly people with anxiety often do this to themselves so frequently that they don’t even realize it anymore. They’re just not kind to themselves. 

If you feel like you’ve embarrassed yourself in a situation, don’t criticise yourself – simply realise that you have this impulse to blame yourself, then drop the negative thought and redirect your attention back to the task at hand or whatever you were doing.

Another effective strategy, says Dr. Remes,  is to “wait to worry”. If something went wrong and you feel compelled to worry (because you think you screwed up), don’t do this immediately. Instead, postpone your worry – set aside 10 minutes each day during which you can worry about anything.

If you do this, you’ll find that you won’t perceive the situation which triggered the initial anxiety to be as bothersome or worrisome when you come back to it later. And our thoughts actually decay very quickly if we don’t feed them with energy.

3. Find purpose in life by helping others

Regardless of how much we work or the amount of money we make, we can’t be truly happy until we know that someone else needs us and depends on our productivity or love. This doesn’t mean that we need people’s praise, but doing something with someone else in mind takes the spotlight off of us (and our anxieties and worries) and places it onto others – and how we can make a difference to them.

Being connected to people has regularly been shown to be one of the most potent buffers against poor mental health. The neurologist Viktor Frankl wrote: "For people who think there’s nothing to live for, nothing more to expect from life … the question is getting these people to realize that life is still expecting something from them."

According to Dr. Remes "Knowing that someone else needs you makes it easier to endure the toughest times. You’ll know the “why” for your existence and will be able to bear almost any 'how'."

So how can you make yourself important in someone else’s life? It could be as simple as taking care of a child or elderly parent, volunteering, or finishing work that might benefit future generations. Even if these people never realize what you’ve done for them, it doesn’t matter because you will know. And this will make you realize the uniqueness and importance of your life.