The definition of stress is an ”adverse reaction to excessive pressure”. Who hasn’t, at one time or another, just wanted to jump in the truck and head to the bar? The effects of construction jobsite stress can lead to dissatisfaction, difficulty concentrating, sleeping, strains on family life and social relationships. All the while placing you at risk on the jobsite. It’s a never ending cycle: the demands of the job lead to physical and psychological problems that contribute to the risk and dangers of the construction industry!
All jobs create stress, but stress in the construction industry is unique. Jobsite stress can lead to an increased risk of accidents, injuries and long term health consequences. Deadlines, complex projects that require multiple skills, long hours, demanding clients and the pressure to always be faster, better and cheaper than your competition, all lead to stress and anxiety on the job.
Here are methods of dealing with construction jobsite stress (besides the bar):
1. COMMUNICATE. Screaming expletives over the bullhorn at your construction crew may get a response, but generally not a good one. Communicating with your workers will create a sense of understanding and camaraderie. It allows everyone involved to express concerns, share ideas, and communicate priorities. It allows everybody to be on the same page. This is the time to ask for help, set goals, and delegate! One person cannot do it all, let others shoulder some of the responsibility. At the end of the day, a well trained construction team who understands the goals and priorities of the job will contribute to the overall success of the project.
Managing the safety of others on a
construction job-site can be incredibly stressful
2. FOCUS. This includes focusing on one task at a time (I know that sounds impossible, but try!). Have a plan, make lists. If you can minimize distractions on a construction jobsite, the risk of accidents and injuries is drastically diminished. Construction sites are dangerous! One careless move, one thoughtless action can lead to disaster. Managing the safety of others on a construction jobsite can be incredibly stressful. Be focused! Knowing you have the means and ability to create a safe working environment for yourself and your crew will take a huge weight off your shoulders
3. LET IT GO. Take off. Leaving work at work is not only good for you, your family and friends, it’s good for your business! I don’t need to tell you how important rest, and more importantly, sleep is to your overall health and well being. Set boundaries on the work day, and give yourself time to unwind and relax. Take a break from your responsibilities, and recharge your batteries. Giving yourself time away from the job will allow you to be better at 1) communicating, and 2) focusing!
Nothing is going to ever completely take stress and anxiety out of work , after all, a certain amount of discomfort leads to innovation and motivation. But debilitating stress, stress that makes you unable to effectively do your job, and takes a toll on your health, has got to be managed! Remember, communicate with your team, focus on the task and then let it go!