There are many different things you need to think about and be aware of if you have staff who are lone working, or you are a lone worker. Being the only person in the workplace and having no one to confer with or being on the road with an endless list of jobs to do can start to have an impact on people’s well-being.
One side effect of working alone can be stress; thinking that you must do everything yourself and putting yourself under unnecessary pressure to complete unrealistic goals or tasks.
Here are four points to help lone workers reduce their stress levels:
1. Balance your professional and private life
Try to divide up your day so you have clear work and non-work hours. The ideal balance would be eight hours work and sixteen hours of leisure activities, eating and sleeping. Make sure you don’t let work creep into your down time and try to do things that are fun and make you happy.
2. Build up resources to remain in control
Don’t allow situations to progress to where you feel ‘out of control’. Plan your day out by listing the jobs you can achieve in that day. Give yourself rewards for success. Make sure you include a break in the day to have lunch (do not skip meals). At the end of the work day review what you have achieved and plan for the next day.
3. Stick to your guns
Don’t be afraid to say ‘no’. Attitudes like ‘It’ll be alright’ or ‘It won’t happen to me’ lead to many Health and Safety codes being ignored and lone workers being injured. If something doesn’t feel right or you don’t feel you are able to complete a task due to lack of training or understanding, then don’t do it. Don’t put yourself in situations where you are at risk.
4. Have support mechanisms
Make sure you have people you can talk to if things are getting on top of you. These could be work colleagues or outside of work friends. Make time to do other activities in your free time that allow you to relax, unwind and forget about work demands.