Stress management in surveying

Written by: RICS Recruit
Published on: 7 Jul 2022

Woman biting pencil

Many advancements have been made in the last century to make modern life easier but with it, increasing pressures and expectations upon people in daily life have grown too. These cause stress and can have an impact on well-being. Minor or periodic stress are not a concern as these will often resolve themselves. It is when stress is prolonged or excessive that symptoms may appear more prominently, causing a negative impact on life.

Symptoms of stress can include - but are not limited to:

  • heart palpitations
  • irritability
  • fatigue
  • challenge in focusing
  • difficulty 'switching off' from the stressor

Symptoms have become more understood in recent decades, with strategies to support those suffering from the impact evolving.

Stress in the surveying sector
The role of a surveyor is a varied and rewarding one. However, to do the job well surveyors must also look after their own well-being and seek support when it is needed. According to Lionheart, RICS bespoke charity to support surveyors, stress is the largest health problem among surveyors. LionHeart is a charity for RICS professionals, past and present, and their families. Some of the services they are able to provide include financial support, health and well-being packages, free professional counselling, and work-related support and legal advice.

Stress in the surveying sector can be caused by a number of things. Mounting financial pressures on self-employed members or those who are unable to find regular work, particularly during the pandemic, tight deadlines, and struggling to find a work-life balance due to long or unpredictable hours are specific contributors. Additionally, stigma around speaking out about mental health creates added pressure.

Everyone experiences stress in some form. Due to this, it can be a challenge for those suffering from long-term stress to both recognise their symptoms and discuss them with others. Surveyors can seek support from either those closest to them, their own organisations or a professional organisation such as Lionheart. Those that do soon realise they are not alone in suffering the impact of stress.

Stress management strategies

To help keep stress levels within a manageable range, it is important to be self-aware and act upon stressors when they appear. The causes of stress may not always be avoidable, but the way it is dealt with can help reduce the impact.

Activities that help to manage stress include:

  • Talking about challenges and solutions
  • Exercising
  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Maintaining a routine where possible
  • Eating healthily and ensuring there is adequate opportunity to sleep
  • Setting boundaries between work and personal lives

The arrival of hybrid working arrangements has meant that many people are still finding a balance between their home and personal lives. Keep structure within the day and maintain a routine to support the mental separation between work and personal life. This method of working can leave some people, or some of their clients, feeling that a surveyor should always be contactable, increasing the hours work and duration of the working day. Employers and employees can address this by respecting working hours and communicating clearly about when they are available to be contacted.

Although some stress can be positive, it can also be debilitating and lonely if it is not acknowledged and becomes prolonged. If you, or you think somebody you know, is suffering the impacts of stress, reach out to Lionheart today and take the first step toward sharing the burden.