25 Apr 2019

This time of year’s great, isn’t it? The long (and this year, extremely sunny) Easter weekend, school holidays and May bank holidays make for plenty of downtime. But that also means shorter working weeks, juggling childcare and fewer colleagues in the office. Which can be a recipe for stress.


Or perhaps that should be – even more stress.


Under the surface of most workplaces, stress and anxiety is a major issue. According to a survey by insurance company Vitality, health-related lost productivity is costing the UK economy £77.5 billion per year. Meanwhile, research by work management platform Wrike reveals 94% of workers feel stressed at work, and almost a third say their stress levels are high to unsustainably high.


Those in the marketing industry are also feeling the strain. A study by software supplier Workfront revealed that more than 60% of marketers are stressed and 25% are either ‘overly stressed,’ or ‘stressed to the max.’


Despite what many in the industry may believe, stress is not an inevitable part of working in marketing. But is the industry doing enough to eliminate stress and support marketing professionals?


With April being National Stress Awareness Month, the team at Stopgap have taken a collective deep breath and come up with some workable tips to help you de-stress and better manage your workload.


Jo Bret-Day of Stopgap’s “flying squad”, which provides support across the entire team speaks about the importance of prioritising.


“Take 20 minutes at the end of each day – particularly if it’s been full-on – to write a list. Organise the work you need to do under three categories: what has to be done by tomorrow, what can wait 48 hours, and what can be completed over the coming week.


“Sometimes when you’ve had a busy day, things feel worse than they actually are. Getting your head around what’s left to do can help put things into perspective and identify how much you’ve already achieved. It can also prompt you to get in a bit earlier the next day or ask a colleague if they can help you out.


“Either way you feel more in control and don’t waste a good night’s sleep. And let’s be honest, ticking things off a list is always immensely satisfying.”


Marketing manager Tom Johnson agrees that prioritisation is critical, but recognises it can be a challenge for in-house marketers. “When you have a variety of requests coming from across the business as well as regular tasks it can be hard to get everything done. It is important to manage colleagues’ expectations and be prepared for what a four-day week might mean for more regular deadlines.


“No matter how busy you are, it’s vital to step away from your desk from time to time. Just 30 minutes will clear your head and make you more productive over the following hours.”


Zoe Vannozzi is a senior consultant at Stopgap and explains the three steps to reducing workplace stress. “Firstly, organisation is key. Have a plan A, plan B and plan C, particularly when you have childcare to consider. Do you have back-ups for your back-ups?


“Secondly, having an understanding and flexible employer helps a lot. Knowing you can work from home when you need to and that all the systems are in place to make that seamless will help combat stress.


Finally, Sibylle Harrison another Senior Consultant at Stopgap who works within a job share gave the following advice:


“I aim to tie up any loose ends as much as possible, because any colleague sharing your workload isn’t a mind reader. A clear handover is vital and that is why I produce detailed handover notes to ensure the urgent tasks are prioritised. But to work well as a team, I also feel it’s important to share what is happening in our lives as much as our work. That can really help build a good and trusting relationship.”


Are you in a job that you love? If so, the pain of juggling work and family life or long hours will feel significantly less stressful.


If you're not, speak to Stopgap today on 020 8332 7656 or Register With Us and speak to one of our team about your next role today.


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