Anxiety at work?

The life of public relations professionals almost always revolves around their clients’ needs and more or less they continue to be under pressure. Work pressure often tends to create anxious situations for them, and they must deal with them on time. Anxiety can have various effects on a person’s work performance and overall well-being.

Anxiety can make it difficult to focus and concentrate on tasks, leading to decreased productivity. The mind may be preoccupied with worries, making it challenging to complete work efficiently. It might cloud judgment and affect decision-making abilities.

Most importantly, time management ability is affected for the professionals. If there is a sense of restlessness or feeling overwhelmed, one may not be able to prioritise tasks. It may lead to an inability to manage time effectively and in turn, one may just face a lot of missed deadlines or unfinished projects.

Besides it may affect impact interpersonal relationships at work, hindering their ability to engage in social interactions, express their ideas, or collaborate with colleagues.  The spirit of teamwork might get affected and professional relationships get distorted.

At times we see that anxiety manifests in various physical symptoms such as headaches, digestive problems, muscle tension, or fatigue among them. This would make it difficult to stay focused, affecting their performance during the workday. Sometimes anxious professionals strive for perfection and set unrealistic standards for themselves, which may lead to overworking, burnout, and an increased risk of stress-related health issues.

While the impact of anxiety can vary from person to person, not everyone may experience the same difficulties. However, the peer group, seniors, and employers play a crucial role in creating a supportive work environment for the affected people.

The need of the hour then becomes encouraging open and honest communication and establishing a safe and non-judgmental environment. When employees know that they can discuss their concerns and anxieties without fear of reprisal, it helps them in easing out their anxieties.

When there are clear job roles & responsibilities, and well-defined realistic performance expectations, employees are less likely to get affected by anxiety. On the contrary, uncertainties and ambiguities may contribute to anxiety among them.

By implementing flexible work arrangements such as flexible hours, remote work options, or compressed workweeks employers can facilitate a better environment for their employees. In fact, in public relations consultancies, the very concept of working from home is much accepted after the pandemic and should be encouraged as a practice. Also, encouraging and supporting a healthy work-life balance by promoting self-care and setting realistic work expectations can be of great help.

Encouraging employees to take breaks, use vacation time, and maintain personal boundaries can help reduce anxiety levels. Flexibility can help individuals manage their anxiety by providing them with the autonomy to create a work schedule that suits their needs and reduces potential stressors.

Many companies also implement initiatives such as mindfulness programs, meditation sessions, or onsite counseling services. Such programmes can help employees manage their anxiety and improve their overall well-being.

Every individual’s experience with anxiety is unique, and it’s essential to approach each situation with empathy, understanding, and a willingness to accommodate reasonable requests.

When employees are supported by their peers, seniors, and employers in managing their anxiety can lead to increased productivity, engagement, and overall well-being in the workplace. Not only that, but it also creates a lot of positivity among the rest of the staff, increasing their affinity towards the organisation.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Praveen Nagda
Praveen Nagda is the CEO of Peregrine Public Relations, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy firm delivering a pan-India reach to its clients. He also heads White Coffee, an independent events & celebrity engagement company.

Praveen has been closely associated with many national and international events related to cinema for children, art and culture. He has a well-rounded experience that cuts across all key sectors of PR & Corporate Communications.

He started his career with URJA Communications, an advertising agency specialising in technology brands, where he was instrumental in developing the PR division. Post this, he had a stint with Horizons Porter Novelli, a global public relations consultancy. Thereafter, he was heading the IT & Telecom division at Clea PR, a leading Indian public relations and communications company followed by a fairly long stint with Omnicom Group agencies viz. TBWA\India and Brodeur India.

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