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Managing Stress at Work

Ongoing work-related stress is a concern worldwide. A study showed that 1 in every 4 workers view their job as the number one stressor in their life. This is because unfortunately we live in a culture where feeling stressed is needed to appear successful within the workplace. Work-related stress puts a strain on the health of employees and the profitability of the business. 

We have put together the best ways to identify triggers and effects of work-related stress. We have also put together the many benefits stress management can have to your employees and business.

Stress Within the Workplace Shouldn’t Be Normalised 

Viewing workplace stress as a way of being successful and that is normalised is harmful to employees mental health. Stressed employees suffer from many harmful effects, these include:

  • Headaches
  • Slow reactions
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Exhaustion
  • Forgetfulness

It has been proven that pressure and stress in the workplace reduce employee motivation and productivity. Therefore, stressed employees become less likely to engage in teamwork tasks, have poor performance and make impulsive decisions. It is also possible employees will increase their usage of alcohol and cigarettes to cope with stress. Long term stress can also cause employees to develop health issues such as cardiovascular disease and immune deficiency.

On top of being detrimental to an employee’s mental health, work-related stress issues can cause the company costs too. This is because poor mental health increases employee absenteeism and therefore an accident or injury is more likely to occur. 

This then causes the overall efficiency of the workplace to go down. That’s why more businesses are adopting workplace mental health programs for their employees.

Possible Reasons for Workplace Stress

Workplace stress can happen for many reasons, these include: 

  • Poor Relationships- Poor relationships between employees can have employees feeling isolated, anxious and therefore become avoidant with one another. 
  • No Support- A lack of support from managers can lead to major confusion for employees, which can therefore lead to frustration. 
  • Workload- There has been an increased pressure on employees to work longer and harder. High expectations of employees can put a strain on them.
  • Business Changes- Any big changes can be stressful. Unorganised and spontaneous changes to the workplace can cause stress to employees.
  • Poor Working Environment- Bullying and harassment are factors for workplace stress. Employees in these types of environments may feel as though their ideas and inputs aren’t valued. 
  • Job Insecurity- Today’s economy is high and has become especially stressful with the effects of COVID-19. This leads to the possibility of companies getting rid of employees, therefore creating job insecurity for employees. 
  • Job Insecurity- Today’s economy is high and has become especially stressful with the effects of COVID-19. This leads to the possibility of companies getting rid of employees, therefore creating job insecurity for employees.
  • No Autonomy- If employees are given excessive responsibility without being able to properly delegate tasks, they can become demotivated.
  • Workplace discrimination- Workplace discrimination has been a problem that has been around for a long time. Discrimination to one’s race, gender or ability is a major cause of workplace stress for employees.
  • Outdated Equipment- Outdated workplace equipment can be stressful to your employees as they may struggle to work productively.  
  • Job Insecurity- Today’s economy is high and has become especially stressful with the effects of COVID-19. This leads to the possibility of companies getting rid of employees, therefore creating job insecurity for employees. 

The possible reasons for stress within the workplace listed above are likely to leave a negative effect on your employees and business, this can include impacts such as:

  • Low Motivation 
  • High Employee Turnover
  • Poor Mental Health
  • Poor Physical Health 
  • Impacted Personal Relationships
  • Low Quality of Work
  • Imbalance of Work and Life

Using methods on how to manage stress within the workplace is essential for a successful business and to protect the mental and physical health of your employees. It also ensures that your employees are working to their maximum potential. Benefits to your business and employees include:

  1. Job Satisfaction: Employees that are managing stress at work are far more likely to be happier within their job and therefore stick to your business long term. 
  2. Reduced Turnover: Happy and stress-free employees are less likely to leave their position to find something better. 
  3. Better Work Quality: Calm employees are more inclined to produce high quality work and therefore meet their employers’ expectations. 
  4. Sense of Self-worth: Employees that are stress free are more likely to respect their peers, making them feel valued and appreciated. This increases an employee’s self-worth and encourages more team involvement. 
  5. Physical Health: Lowered stress levels reduce the chances of developing diseases and gives employees more energy for physical activity.

How to Implement a Stress-free Workplace Environment

How can an employer create a stress-free workplace for their employees? We have some of the best tips below. 

  1. Triggers- Learning what triggers stress in the workplace is the first step to managing stress and adjusting them accordingly. This could include things such as tight deadlines, conflict or unclear instructions. 
  2. Work-life Balance- It is crucial that your employees experience a good work-life balance and enjoy ‘me time’ regularly. 
  3. Professional Help- Encourage your employees to reach out to counselors if you notice their stress levels are out of control. 
  4. Organization- Having schedules for your employees, dividing bigger tasks into smaller ones and good time management helps employees feel in control and stress-free. 
  5. Raising Concerns- Encourage your employees to raise their concerns within the workplace to HR or management instead of keeping it to themselves, this will help reduce their stress significantly. 
  6. Sleep- If your employees are getting at least eight hours of sleep each night, their stress will be reduced. Encourage your employees to achieve this. 
  7. Healthy Diet- Healthy eating and mental health are linked. Encouraging your employees to have lots of fruit and vegetables in their diet will help improve their mental health. 
  8. Workplace Relationships- Employees who have a positive interaction with their peers will create social support and feel valued and appreciated by all employees. 

Another way to avoid a stress-free workplace environment is to have your managers use tools to manage stress, these can include: 

  • Checking in with employees- Having your managers check in with your employees regularly to hear any potential causes of stress in the workplace, will better equip your HR and management to manage workplace stress.
  • Intervene- Allow and encourage your manager to intervene and mediate any stressful situations when needed between employees. 
  • Provide training- Managers that introduce stress management training to their employees will help your employees enormously within the workplace. 
  • Assistance Programs- Managers should be reminding their employees that there is always extra support for employees who are suffering any stress related mental health issues. 

In today’s world, more workers than not are experiencing high levels of work-related stress. It is so important for employees, managers and employers to learn strategies on how to cope with stress within the workplace. Learning how to manage stress at work has many benefits for all employees and businesses. It also ensures that your employees have the skills to protect their mental and physical health even if they are under pressure. 

If you want your business and employees to start their journey towards a stress-free workplace environment, contact our team at RR Corp today. We are passionate about building positive mental health and stress managing strategies for your workplace. Contact us here. 

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