Undoubtedly one of the most required soft skills by companies and HR departments today is the ability to work under pressure . In fact, the ability to maintain consistency and complete tasks in adverse situations and within limited times is difficult to acquire.
No matter how organized a company may be and even using agile methodologies for managing tasks and projects , there will never be a shortage of stressors. For example: the large number of activities that a small workforce must carry out, the need to carry them out as soon as possible to generate profitability, among others. In addition, we must consider the pressure that managers and directors impose on themselves as managers of work teams .
Obviously, crises such as the one caused by the coronavirus pandemic add to the variables that add pressure in work environments. Although many companies promote telecommuting as a result of the State of Alarm, the complexity of the tasks and the reduced time periods are common. While many find it comfortable to work from home , the need to spend time with family and housework adds further stress.
For all these reasons, working under pressure , in addition to being a skill, is an art. An art that can be learned, as we will see below.
Working under pressure: what is it and what does it imply?
Like other soft skills, working under pressure is a complex skill that involves various faculties. Basically it is the ability to perform tasks efficiently under unfavorable conditions , caused by work overload, very short deadlines or changes in priorities. But demonstrating this characteristic requires other qualities from the individual , such as:
- Ability to organize priorities
- Time management
- Quick adaptation to change
- Emotional intelligence to cope with pressure
- Assertiveness to communicate objectives and distribute tasks among team members
- Empathy to channel the overwhelm of collaborators
- Humility to work in a team as one more member
As you can see, it is not easy to learn to perform in work environments where emergencies are an everyday occurrence. And the most difficult of all: do it well and not collapse in the attempt. However, we will share with you some recommendations so that you and your company’s collaborators can successfully manage activities in stressful situations.
Customer-centric management: a key to working efficiently under pressure
As contradictory as it may seem, to organize tasks properly and avoid unnecessary pressure, you must prioritize your clients’ projects. It is pertinent to remember that customers are the reason for being of each company and meeting their expectations on time is a primary objective.
In this perspective, it should be remembered that most of the company’s income comes from current customers. Of course we are interested in the new ones, but to conquer them we must show them how we serve those who already trust us.
Manage the essentials first, then the complementary
Certainly, it is convenient to focus first on the essential aspects of each project. For example in a marketing campaign: define the objectives, our target, the communication concept and the dissemination channels, among others. Later we will manage the complementary matters: creation and production of content for the strategy, measurement of results, etc. In short, it is about logically ordering what is most important for each assignment.
Meetings with the right duration
It is true that work meetings to organize and delegate tasks will always be necessary. But he remembers that they should not last forever. The most effective meetings have a maximum time of 30 minutes.
Anticipating emergencies: a strategy to work under pressure effectively
In fact, the competitiveness of today ‘s business environment makes working under pressure more prevalent and unavoidable . Based on this, you can consider hypothetical scenarios. Ask yourself: “what would happen if…?” and outlines the guidelines for action to resolve this situation based on recent experiences.
Share this initiative with your collaborators and motivate them to come up with solutions . Record and file all contributions in digital folders accessible to you and all members of your team. In this way, the emergency plans will always be available to be applied according to the case.
Do not let stress kill you and your collaborators
No matter how urgent all the tasks are, during each 90 minutes of effective work, establish a ten-minute break for everyone, including yourself. Breaks don’t have to be just for coffee, scones, and bathroom breaks. Clearing the mind and moving the body is essential to control stress and prevent it from controlling us.
Take advantage of the connection with your remote work group to encourage them to participate in these activities. Very soon you will notice the increase in productivity and how the motivation of the team members will change.
Using collaborative platforms makes work under pressure more efficient
During this exceptional circumstance of Covid 19, many companies discovered the possibilities and benefits of smart working . Others had already partially implemented it and had to extend it to maintain productivity. The truth is that collaborative work platforms are experiencing an evident boom, even at times when the de-escalation of confinement becomes effective.
However, something was already clear before the pandemic: the effectiveness of collaborative platforms for the organization and management of projects . Whether you’re employed in person or remotely, tools like Google’s G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 offer resources for prioritizing and tracking tasks. But also to review and correct shared documents remotely. It is also possible to communicate in real time via chat or video call with team members and connect via video conference .
Indeed, solutions like the ones mentioned allow managers to delegate tasks among their staff, while they dedicate themselves to other vital activities for the company. And in the same way you can be aware of the management of collaborators and provide constant feedback.
Under pressure but with a clear purpose
To end this post, we believe it pertinent to reiterate that in most cases working under pressure is inevitable. Even so, it is important that all the activities that must be carried out have a clear and common purpose: to raise the quality of our performance and of our offer in general, to generate customer satisfaction and the professional growth of our collaborators.
Also Read: How To Get Organized At Work: 6 Tips