Managing Work-Related Stress

September 17th, 2021

Managing Work-Related Stress

Work-related stress can have a significant impact on your mental health. According to the latest statistics from SafeWork Australia, the most significant cause of workplace stress is work pressure. 

This pressure can be greater if you run your own business. A recent federal government report on small business and mental health found that the major stressors for small business owners are financial concerns and the impact of their business on their family and personal lives.

The good news is that there are strategies you can use to manage work-related stress. It’s important that you do, because you’ll make better decisions and be happier when you’re less stressed.

Here are our top ten tips for managing stress when you run your own business.

Superannuation is a vehicle to reduce tax and save for retirement. But for many self-employed people, it’s easy to forget about contributing to super while you’re busy running your business. 

Unlike employees, you don’t have to pay the compulsory super guarantee (currently 10% of wages) to yourself as it’s not compulsory for self-employed people in Australia to have super. While superannuation isn’t necessarily essential for your overall financial strategy, it’s the most common way people build their retirement savings and is worth considering. 

Below are four essential areas you need to consider about superannuation if you are self-employed.

Tip 1 - Get some financial guidance

Given that financial concerns are the number one cause of stress in small business owners, getting financial guidance is our number 1 tip. Whether you have issues paying your suppliers, receiving payments from your customers or knowing how to finance the equipment or asset you need, it makes sense to get financial guidance to help your business cash flow.

According to the latest research from ASIC (Australia’s corporate watchdog), cash flow issues are the leading cause of business failure in Australia.

Tip 2 - Separate your business and personal life

No surprises for tip number 2, given that small business owners in Australia find that the impact of their business on their personal and family lives is the second most common cause of work-related stress. 

It’s essential that you keep your business and personal life separate as much as possible. You can do this by trying not to bring work home with you. Have set working hours, and try not to spend non-work hours thinking about your business.

Tip 3 – Identify any other stressors

Other everyday stressors for small business owners include staffing issues and compliance with tax and workplace health and safety obligations. 

No matter what your source (or sources) of stress are, it’s important to identify them so that you can put appropriate strategies in place to overcome them.

Tip 4 – Schedule regular downtime

Related to Tip 2, it’s important to schedule some regular downtime from your business. This includes weekends (or days off during the week if you have to work weekends). It also includes holidays.

When you take regular breaks, your stress levels can drop due to you feeling more mentally fresh. Turn off your work devices so you can tune out.

Tip 5 – Hire good staff (and delegate)

One way to make sure you don’t always need to be at (or thinking about) work is to hire good staff and delegate effectively. Build a strong team with the skills you need to help make running your business easier. Once you find those staff, delegate appropriately to them to free up your time and relieve you of stress.

Tip 6 – Organise your time

Being organised is one of the best ways to reduce work-related stress and pressure. You can do this by planning and organising how you spend your time. Prioritise the most important tasks you need to do each day, and delegate the rest. Learn how to say ‘no’ to doing any non-essential tasks.

Tip 7 – Invest in time-saving technology

Your time is valuable when you run your own business. If you find you’re getting stressed even when you organise your time and delegate, look for time-saving technology to help you make better use of your time.

Accounting software such as Xero, MYOB, and Quickbooks are cost-effective programs to streamline accounting processes.

Tip 8 – Do some regular physical exercise

Exercise can be a great way to relieve stress and boost your mental health. It can help relax tense muscles and encourage your body to produce ‘feel-good’ hormones called endorphins.

Tip 9 – Make sure you get good sleep each night

Getting a good night’s sleep can also help to reduce your stress levels. And exercise can help you to get a better night’s sleep, so these two tips go hand in hand. 

Tip 10 – Celebrate your successes

Business can be tough at times, particularly when COVID-19 restrictions are in place. It’s important to take the time to celebrate any successes you have. They can help to keep you going during any tough periods.

At Earlypay, we specialise in business finance that helps take the stress out of everyday cash flow concerns. If you’re looking for some guidance on how invoice financing, asset finance or trade financing can help your business manage cash flow or expand, please call our friendly team on 1300 760 205 or contact your broker or BDM.

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