Ways to create a conducive work atmosphere with those working at Sea

1. Support in solving the problem – seafarers not being able to talk to anyone onboard if they have problems from home or work-related problems. Encourage people to talk / socialise, make the environment onboard open for discussion. Do NOT belittle anyone while he/ she shares a problem. It might seem trivial to you but their perception of the situation/ problem is a disturbance causing to them.

2. Implementing Effective Listening as a Tool to Reduce Stress – Effective listening is considered as one of the most important components in personal as well as in professional life. It helps you to become a better person by solving conflicts smoothly and encourages listening before speaking strategy. It acts as a self-infused solution to the pestering inconsistencies onboard.

3. Socialise on board – Communicate with your colleagues onboard openly. With the advent of internet and personal computers, the good old era of evening smoke room get togethers has greatly reduced on most ships. Try not to stay confined in your cabin after work. Make it a point to mix around and socialise. The more you stay separated from everyone, the lonelier it can get. The sea is a hostile place to work and we all need help often. Being a social animal and having people to like you can be a great way to make your life easier. On our ships, Social Sunday policy has been introduced to improve the socialising amongst the onboard staff.

4. Make friends on board – Seafarers share a unique relationship with the people they work with – they also live with the same people. It is in your best interest to have friendly relations with everyone on board. At sea, you simply cannot avoid your colleagues. Having a civil relationship with everyone on board is must. It would help you if you can connect well and be very good friends with at least one person on board. Venting frustration & talking about your inner feelings always helps. Having someone to share your ups and downs can be a great way to stay relaxed & motivated. We feel trainees face the biggest challenge to adapt to the life at sea – new environment away from home & peers. Hence on our ships, a Buddy system has been introduced which is a concept to welcome trainees, provide them emotional support to smoothly adapt themselves to the life onboard ships.

5. Eat Healthy Food – Binging on junk and unhealthy food makes your mind and body less able to take the stress out of your work. Ensure that you follow a balanced diet on board. Our Catering Newsletter Galley Masters FoodAhead is a monthly guide sent on email to all ships. It primarily speaks about nutrition and different cuisines across the world.

6. Exercise – exercising is the best way to beat stress and stay motivated. Exercise could be anything that makes you sweat outside of work. Even a quick 10 minutes push-ups work out can have a great affect by increasing the endurance levels.

7. Do Not Take to the Bottle – It might seem that the easiest way to overcome stress is to get drunk. However, it should be borne in mind that alcohol will only have a temporary effect and would in fact prove to be counterproductive in the long run. It will even affect your work and cloud your judgement. This puts safety on the backseat. Likewise, smoking cigarettes will only have a temporary effect to calm you down and will end up causing more harm than good. “Living a healthy life should be a priority NOT an option”

8. Read a Book – With the advent of laptops, smartphones and internet, you barely find people reading books these days. A bit of bedtime book reading can help one sleep better as compared to dozing off after spending time on your smartphone or watching a movie. Research shows that spending time on electronic gadgets before sleeping can adversely affect your sleep quality. Watching action thrillers just before bedtime can increase your heart rate thereby making it difficult to fall asleep quickly. Reading though can be very relaxing and is the perfect recipe for good quality sleep. It would be worthwhile to pick up a couple of good biographies or autobiographies of great persons. Reading about people’s struggles and eventual success can motivate you to go the extra mile.

9. Play by the Rules – In today’s highly regulated shipping industry, there is bound to be temptation to bend the rules every once in a while to get out of a situation. However it will be of absolutely no good for you professionally and will only cause problems in the longer run. Your mind will never be at ease knowing that you are doing something which is wrong. All the sweat, blood and grime that has gone into building your career will come to a naught by one senseless act. Playing by the rules is vital in today’s shipping. It might require a little bit of extra effort in the short term, but will ensure that your conscience remains clear. A clear conscience will only help you remain stress free, focused and motivated. “Compliance to the rules, policies & procedures is the KEY to be safe & peaceful.”

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