April represents Stress Awareness Month.
Stress may exist in any work setting, regardless of one's role, whether it be from games programmers to management teams.
The challenges faced by the gaming industry can be incredibly stressful for those working within it. The gaming industry presents unique challenges when it comes to meeting evolving demands and keeping up with rapid technological advancements. With new gaming platforms, software updates, and player preferences emerging at an ever-increasing pace, staying on top of the latest trends and demands requires a great deal of effort. As such its safe to say overall, the gaming industry requires a great deal of flexibility and determination to succeed.
Stress at work can have significant negative effects on an individual's physical and mental health, as well as their overall job performance. Addressing workplace stress is crucial for maintaining a healthy work-life balance and can be achieved through a variety of methods, such as prioritizing tasks, setting boundaries, seeking support from colleagues or supervisors, or engaging in stress-reducing activities outside of work.
How to identify stress at work?
Stress can manifest in a number of ways, including fatigue, headaches, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. Over time, chronic stress can lead to more serious health problems, such as anxiety, depression, and cardiovascular disease.
Coping with Stress at Work
(With the guidance proposed by the American Psychological Association, Click here for their coping mechanisms)
Identify your stressors
You could do this by using a journal to keep track of certain situations or triggers that cause the most stress. Noticing your responses is equally as important. The situation may involve people, a certain environment, specific feelings and thoughts that cause you stress. Keeping a record of when you get stressed and why is important when learning to cope.
Sometimes working outside of hours is essential for the development of your team when aiming for specific deadlines, however setting boundaries is equally as important. Blending work and home life can cause stress for individuals, learning when to switch off from work mode is essential. Start by setting small boundaries such as switching off your phone onto do not disturb outside of work hours.
Having time to completely recharge and centre yourself is key to an stress-free life. Meditation is said to be key for overcoming stress as well as deep breathing exercises and mindfulness. Beginning with a few minutes every day, focusing on simple activities like breathing, walking, or enjoying a meal, can make a real difference when coping with stress-related situations.
Talk to your employers
All employers should understand the importance of employee health. Having approachable supervisors is important for the success of any work environment. Conducting an open discussion where you can express your thoughts and feelings ensures your employer is aware of your struggles in or outside of the workplace. As such, you could work with them to conduct an effective plan that ensures you are coping with your exposures to stress.
Getting more committed support
Help should always be available via your employer. However, you may feel uncomfortable speaking to respected colleagues about your personal difficulties. If this is the case, help is available outside of work. Help from friends and family members can help to improve your ability to manage stress. In more severe cases, you may want to talk to a psychologist, who can help you better manage stress and change unhealthy behaviour patterns.
Workplace stress is a significant problem that affects individuals across industries. Chronic or excessive stress can have negative consequences for both people and organizations. Employers must promote well-being and provide resources for managing stress, while individuals can prioritize self-care and seek support from colleagues. By collaborating to address workplace stress, employers and employees can create a more positive and productive work environment. Storm Games prides itself with aiming to promote employee health and well-being and reduce stress-related issues.
Action Changes Things!
For more information on Stress Awareness Month 2023, visit here.
For further reading and support:
We'd suggest Victor Kannan's 'Four steps to becoming carefree' when promoting mechanisms to cope with overwhelming helplessness.