You spend one third of your life at work but if you’re not happy in your job, it can have a detrimental impact on your life. If any of these symptoms apply to you, your job may be affecting your health.
You work long hours : Over 40% of employees state that long work hours is the norm for their organisation. Persistent long hours may lead to a higher risk of depression and serious illness. .
You are exhausted by your daily commute : People based in London travel on average 47 minutes each way to work – or 56 for those outside the M25 – compared to the national average of 31 minutes, according to the CIPD. People who walk or bike to work are generally more energised and ready to face the day. Commuting by train, bus or car often leaves workers feeling exhausted and lethargic.
You can’t sleep : Work is one of the major causes of stress and sleepless nights for many people. Concerns over unrealistic expectations of employers, job insecurity and contribute to sleep deprivation. The World Economic Forum recently found that a sleep deficit leads to a lack of focus, inability to make decisions, high levels of irritability, frustration, and poor performance.
You feel out of control : Many professionals report a strong sense of a lack of control in their career, primarily caused by unsupportive bosses and hostile co-workers, leading to frustration and resentment. If you experience physical symptoms of distress, such as nausea or palpitations, make an appointment with your doctor to assess your overall state of health.
You suffer from regular headaches, backaches and neckache : Hours spent staring at screens may lead to headaches and eye strain. On top of that, long periods sat in one position can lead to problems with your joints, spine and tendons – and conditions like RSI. An ergonomically designed chair may alleviate some symptoms, together with regular breaks away from your desk.
You’re putting weight on : Sedentary jobs which require sitting for longer than 6 hours per day increase health risks and leads to weight gain. An inactive lifestyle can result in a variety of associated health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.
You can’t concentrate : If your desk is cluttered with mountains of ‘to-do’ lists and reminders you’ve ignored, it’s likely that you are suffering from overload.
You’re short-tempered with your colleagues, customers, family and friends : If you are snapping at friends, family and colleagues on a regular basis, you are probably suffering from classic signs of burn-out. You need to take a holiday or a serious step back from your life to work out what’s contributing to your stress levels.
You work shifts : Employees working shifts can often experience more serious health problems such as cardiovascular disease, ulcers and depression. The fatigue from working irregular hours and the knock-on effect on your body clock can also contribute to an increased risk of injury.
You dread going to work : One third of UK workers are unhappy in their jobs according to jobsite Monster, which correlates with the Office of National Statistics report that states one in three people are in the wrong job. Long-term unhappiness at work is detrimental to your health.
Sound familiar? If you’re unhappy in your job, then a career development plan will help you to get back on track and into a job that meets your aspirations. In the meantime, these five tips will help you to take action to improve your situation:-
Seek support : Prioritise your tasks, delegate what you can and request a review with your manager if you believe you are being overloaded with work. It is not in anyone’s interest for you to take on a workload that is over and above your capacity to work effectively.
Work flexible hours : Since 30 June 2014, all employees who have more than 26 weeks of continuous service with their employer are entitled to request flexible working. Eliminating the commute to work just one day a week will help to reduce stress levels.
Monitor your diet : Avoid artificial stimulants such as alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine. Eating a low fat diet, with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables can help to maintain your energy levels, rather than relying on soft sugary drinks and fast food.
Manage your time : Avoid late nights in the week. Try and get up at the same time every morning, even at weekends, to avoid that ‘Monday morning’ feeling. Create manageable to-do lists and set goals that are realistic to help you to focus.
Exercise : Regular exercise – just three times a week – of moderate intensity will improve your sense of well-being. Create time in your day - interrupt your sitting, take the stairs and invest in an activity tracker like Fitbit to monitor your progress. Consult your doctor if you have not exercised for a long time or have an underlying health problem.
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With 18 years of experience in in recruitment, Kate Smedley offers a range of talent solutions for employers and careers advice for professionals.