While there is an increased awareness around sleep and other various wellness initiatives such as handling burnout and stress management--there are still a handful of things that companies can do to improve employees well being.
One of those happens to revolve around office politics and drama. In a study recently published in the December journal of Occupational Health Science, researchers surveyed 305 couples in a variety of jobs. The goal was to examine the relationship between workplace incivility and the effects on their sleep.
What they found was that behaviors such as rudeness, sarcastic comments, demeaning language, interrupting someone, or merely talking over them in a meeting had a negatively lasting impact beyond work hours.
The person on the receiving end of the behavior had a tendency to ruminate about the issue when at home which led to a difficulty falling asleep or a propensity to wake up in the middle of the night. Either case presents less-than-ideal circumstances since the stages of sleep are being interrupted.
On top of that, when the spouse or partner works in the same company or occupation, they also begin to experience the same effects as the individual on the receiving end.
The workplace wears many masks that can lead to sleepless nights
Sleepless nights caused by the workplace is anything but a novel concept. In fact, a study conducted by the mattress-review company The Sleep Judge surveyed 1,000 people about their job stress and what causes them to lose sleep when it comes to their careers.
There were numerous things that led to sleepless nights such as work stress, presentations, performance reviews, quarterly reviews, and project deadlines. However, for both men and women, workplace drama was high on the list. For women, it was the top issue with 57 percent. For men, it was a close second to project deadlines (48 percent) by coming in at 45 percent.
In a perfect world, there would be the eradication of workplace drama. But we live in reality, not a utopia. And it's with that notion that handling this specific issue must be taken into the hands of yourself.
If workplace drama gets your blood boiling and is a frequent discussion at the dinner table, which inevitably leads to lower-quality sleep, try these two solutions out.
1. Subtly change the subject
This was a skill that I had to learn for the sake of my mental and emotional energy. I grew up around people who liked to gossip, which can skew your outlook while depleting your energy reserves.
I couldn't just cut them off mid-sentence or randomly jump into a monologue about an entirely different subject.
With that in mind, I developed the skill of cleverly keeping the conversation always flowing down a passage of safe waters while remaining on topic. The gossip fire withers away if there isn't a reciprocal audience there to feed into it.
For example, if someone talks about what someone did at the holiday party this year, you can avoid the gossip while staying in the same topical arena by focusing on the drinks and decor instead of the individual.
2. Craft an emotional playbook
Not properly preparing your emotions about what could happen is a surefire way to be negatively affected. Instead of hoping for a serene environment, prepare your mind and emotions for the worst-case scenario.
For example, if you know that your coworker tends to over exaggerate issues and isn't the best at communication, prepare a script for how you'll handle that.
Another idea to add into the emotional playbook is crafting a decompressing routine which is personalized to your unique personality. Have a handful of things that relaxes you and helps you wash away the workday so everyone else around you isn't barring the burden from the work drama.
You probably heard this a million times, but you can't control how others react nor talk. All you can control is your actions and how you chose to respond. Unfortunately, office politics and workplace drama isn't going to become extinct anytime soon. Therefore it's up to you to toughen up and equip yourself with tools to handle the terrain.