Workplace Stress and Pressure in the Golf Course Management Industry

The start of the season is a manic time for the industry with dealers sitting on inventory that needs selling and targets to be met, while superintendents are trying to produce pristine playing surface, sometime with limited budget, so stress levels are high. In a departure from our normal product-related topics, this month we are looking at stress and pressure in the workplace and some tips to alleviate the problem.

It’s helpful to learn how to manage workplace stress. If you often experience feelings of stress, you might be at risk of developing a mental health problem like depression or anxiety. Stress can also make your existing mental health problems feel worse. 

However, you don’t need to cope with stress at work alone. Here are some general tips to help you recognize the signs of stress and to manage the symptoms. 

Recognizing the signs of stress and learning about the causes of stress is good place to start.

  • Figure out what you find stressful and helpful. Create a plan to map out what causes you stress and what keeps you well. Once you know what’s best, talk to your employer. They may be able to make some changes to help you.
  • Learn different coping techniques. Everyone deals with stress differently, so take time to find methods that work for you. Use them as soon as you start to feel pressure building.
  • Try practising mindfulness. This practice is about focusing on the here and now. It might help you to find calmness and clarity to respond to stressful situations. 
  • Look after your physical health. Eat well and try a gentle activity like going for a walk or doing a chair-based exercise. 

Looking after your well-being can help you deal with pressure. In turn, this can reduce the impact of stress on your life. This is sometimes called building resilience. Resilience is your ability to recover or adapt quickly when faced with challenges. By building resilience, you can better maintain your mental well-being when things get difficult.

If you feel stressed by a certain problem at work, you might not be alone in this. Many of us may experience these common stressful situations in the workplace. The important thing is understanding how to manage them. 

If you’re experiencing problems with your workload, you can consider the following:

  • Ask your manager for help. Discuss your workload with your manager, if you have one. Try setting realistic targets and talk about how you can solve the issues you’re having.
  • Try to balance your time. You might be doing too much at once. If you don’t give each task your full attention, it can take longer. Try to claim your time back if you ever need to work extra hours to get something done.
  • Reward yourself for achievements. Rather than only focusing on work that needs to be done next, reward yourself for tasks you’ve completed. Your reward could be taking a break to read, doing a puzzle, chatting with co-workers or spending time outside.
  • Be realistic. You don’t have to be perfect all the time. You might find that you’re being more critical of your own work than you need to be. Work within your limitations and try to be kind to yourself.

Finding your work-life balance

  • Give yourself short breaks. Take these throughout the day, as well as at least half an hour away from your desk at lunch. Spend some time outside if you can.
  • Take some time off. Try to use any holiday you’re entitled to. If things get too much, a few days off or a long weekend can help you feel refreshed. This can even increase your productivity in the long run.
  • Focus on your life outside work. Nurture relationships with people you don’t work with. Develop interests and skills that you don’t use in your job. This can help you see the difference between your personal life and your working life.
  • Develop end-of-day habits. Finish your working day by tidying your workspace or making a to-do list for tomorrow. This can help you switch off from work, especially if you’re working from home.  

Real-world takeaways

  • Recognize the signs of workplace stress
  • Look after your physical health
  • Build resilience
  • Don’t try and cope alone
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help
  • Aim for a work-life balance
  • Take time off and use all your vacation