Even if you generally enjoy your job, you can still fall victim to certain challenges that impact your productivity and outlook. Here are the five things workers struggled the most with in 2018, according to LinkedIn, and what you can do to alleviate them in the coming year.
1. Maintaining a good work-life balance
Not surprisingly, 38% of employees felt they didn't strike a good enough work-life balance last year. And given that we live in an "always-on" culture where it's possible to work at any time and from almost any place, that makes sense. If you want to achieve a better balance in 2019, the most important thing you can do is set boundaries. Block off certain times on your calendar for leisure and use those periods to decompress. At the same time, look into a partial remote work arrangement for the coming year if your job allows for it. Avoiding a lengthy commute might help you make better use of your time.
2. Managing workloads
We all have key tasks we're responsible for on the job, but for 31% of workers, managing those loads was a struggle in 2018. If you've been known to feel overwhelmed, one of the best things you can do is set daily or weekly priorities and work backward from there. Push less important items to the side until you've tackled the more pressing ones on your list so that you're not forced to scramble or burn the midnight oil to get essential tasks done in time. Along these lines, play around with different scheduling apps to help you make better use of your time. A little digital assistance could go a long way toward helping you avoid stress.
3. Dealing with coworkers
We all have those coworkers who make our days miserable, but for 26% of employees, dealing with obnoxious folks at the office was their primary challenge last year. If you're stuck with a bunch of toxic coworkers, avoiding them is your best bet. If that's not possible -- say, you work on the same team -- keep your conversations and interactions as neutral and work-focused as possible. Avoid stooping to your colleagues' level if they employ backhanded tactics to get ahead, and instead focus on your own assignments and progress. At the same time, don't hesitate to involve your manager or human resources department if things get out of hand. It's one thing for a nasty coworker to shoot down your ideas or talk over you in meetings, but it's another to deal with someone who badmouths you in public or deliberately sabotages your work.
4. Workplace politics
Office politics are often a part of life. Unfortunately, 25% of workers struggled with them in 2018. Generally speaking, the easiest way to navigate workplace politics is to avoid them when possible, and that means staying out of heated discussions and being very careful not to take sides or appear as though you're doing so. At the same time, it never hurts to round up some allies if you're forced into a conflict against your will. And if one of those allies happens to be your boss, even better.
5. Dealing with managers
While many of us are lucky enough to work for caring, supportive managers, getting stuck with a bad boss can turn an otherwise positive work experience into an utter nightmare. Last year, 23% of employees were challenged by a bad manager, so if that's your reality, aim to figure out what it is that sets your boss off and avoid those triggers. For example, if your boss doesn't like to be contradicted in public, don't do it -- even when you know you're in the right. At the same time, try sitting down with your boss and hashing out some of your differences. Sometimes, all it takes is better communication to turn a sour relationship with your manager into a decent one.
You deserve to be happy on the job. In the coming year, take steps to avoid or address the above factors that might otherwise cause you a great deal of misery. A little effort could result in a much better work experience on the whole.