The pandemic has entered the second year, bringing its own set of challenges and obstacles for corporate life. In our special ‘Stress Awareness Week’ series, we speak to ABFRLites in corporate jobs exposed to high-stress environments and learn how they tackle stress on the job and find work-life balance.
Barasha Pathak, General Manager, ABFRL Legal, heads the commercial contracts team. This team manages all types of commercial contracts, including brand license contracts for ABFRL and its affiliates and subsidiaries. She also provides advisory support to businesses in matters related to advertising laws and consumer laws, while overseeing consumer court cases and other consumer-related disputes.
As part of her everyday work, she interacts with external stakeholders, negotiates key contracts, and is part of situations where external factors influence outcomes. In her high-stakes job, she is no stranger to stress. With years of experience by her side, Barasha has her ways to combat stress. Read ahead to know what they are.
Is there a process you follow when you feel stressed at work?
I usually go for a walk to feel fresh. At times I go to my kids’ room and start a conversation. I have a small garden with potted plants, so I water my plants and spend some time caring for them.
What advice would you give people managing work and family stress at the same time?
Schedule your day ahead, like a day before or in the morning. Make a note of your work deliverables and how much time you will get for your family and plan your day accordingly. Don’t push work for later, as later you may get very little time to complete it if you receive other important assignments. I also feel it is good to give a hard stop to work these days, as it is very tempting to keep sitting in front of the laptop and work long hours. There needs to be a switch off to the day to start afresh on the next.
How should you convey to teammates that you are facing workplace stress, without being snappy or without emotions getting in the way?
I think it helps to be transparent with the team when you are undergoing stress and need some time to dissipate it. Keeping a calm demeanor helps to overcome many stressful situations.
What is a good way to say ‘no’ to more work when you already have a lot on your plate?
You may just reach out to the person to really understand the urgency for a task. I believe communication helps understand seriousness of a situation and then you can accordingly schedule your work. If you are supportive and responsive, the concerned stakeholder will understand your situation and accept a polite ‘no’.
How do you avoid feeling overwhelmed when facing stress at work?
As I mentioned above, I prioritize work and make a list of deliverables for the day and start working on it. Alignment with the team and stakeholders is a must to have a less stressful day.
One line of advice on stress management you wish someone had told you?
Stargazing everyday helps manage stress.