The construction industry is one of the highest paying industries for jobs today, yet it is also among the top-ranking when it comes to work-related stress. We are not saying that any other work isn’t stressful, but construction workers are exposed every day to safety risks, mental pressure, job security, and erratic work schedules. If you’re about to work in construction or maybe you already are, it is time that we talk and discuss how you can manage the pressure which comes along with this type of job.
The stressors unique to construction work
Long and unpredictable work hours, tight deadlines, demanding bosses, safety concerns, etc., are but some of the things that cause stress among construction workers. The demanding work environment often manifests in the worker’s relationships as well.
To address this matter, here are some actions you can take to manage your stress while performing your work effectively.
- Keep the communication open. If you are not feeling good, it’s fine to talk it out with your co-workers and managers. Feel free to discuss what you think about the work schedule, safety risks, and what you can contribute to being more efficient. Construction work is associated with strength and machismo, and this is probably the reason why most workers are afraid to speak their minds and talk about feelings. Be aware that communication is one of the keys to the success of projects. Workers who are open to each other remove tension, build trust, and develop camaraderie. To do this, have a regular toolbox meeting with team members, frequent short discussions about the work schedule, and counselling when needed.
- Focus and prioritise. To avoid slippage on the project schedule, learn to break down your scope of work, work on a plan to achieve each target one by one, not all at once. Limiting your work delays could also mean that you don’t have to be too anxious because of reaching your mini-goals every day. One great example is when you are installing a retaining wall, and the latter being your end goal. You have to follow a specific standard step-by-step procedure before you can install the wall itself. Any shortcut or misstep may compromise the strength of the result.
- Promote stress-relieving activities. You are dealing with a deadline set by the client, and many times, you feel that you need extended time to achieve it. However, it would help if you recharged to improve your morale and focus. Allow yourself to bond with your co-workers after work or during weekends. Going out to unwind with associates is a form of stress relief. You can also play sports, cards, and bar games with them after a tiring day.
Stress, anxiety, and loneliness are concerns that we can’t eliminate all together when doing work on a construction site. We can, however, try to manage them so that they can no longer manifest into further health and mental problems. We all know that work is essential, but it is also vital that you are healthy enough, both physically and mentally, to perform it efficiently.