We all feel stress in the workplace from time to time. Even those of us who love our jobs can feel the pressure. However, when we are regularly feeling stressed and overwhelmed at work, it can impact our mental and physical health.
Chronic stress can cause anxiety, irritability, headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, social withdrawal, stomach issues and trouble sleeping. In extreme cases, long-term stress can also lead to burnout and even depression.
Over the past year, work-related stress, anxiety and depression impacted 828,000 people in the UK. It was also responsible for 17.9 million lost workdays.
A healthy workforce is the key to a successful business. So, in this blog, we’re going to share our tips on how to reduce stress in the workplace.
Identify The Common Cause Of Stress
Stress may impact some employees more than others. In some cases, there may be a common cause of stress that is impacting numerous employees. Common causes of stress in the workplace include:
- Unmanageable workloads
- Toxic environment / low workplace morale
- Inadequate support from management
- Poor work-life balance
- Conflicting demands
The best way to identify the common cause of stress is to talk to employees. You can discuss work-related stress in team meetings and during one-to-one meetings. An employee may feel more comfortable discussing stressors in a one-to-one setting.
You can also use anonymous surveys and questionnaires to find out more about work-related stress and other problems within the workplace.
Encourage Positive Workplace Relationships
With so many companies now working remotely, it is more important than ever to encourage positive relationships and friendships within the workplace.
Negative workplace relationships can lead to a toxic workplace environment, workplace bullying and stress. They can also lead to a rise in absences.
Nurture relationships in the workplace by encouraging social interaction and team-building activities. If your team are working remotely, this would be a weekly quiz over Zoom, or a weekly ‘catch-up’, which gives your team a chance to catch up and socialise without talking about work.
Positive workplace relationships can help employees feel less isolated when working from home.
Offer Flexible Working Hours
Flexible working hours are particularly beneficial for employees who have children and employees who care for family members.
With winter just around the corner, flexible working hours will give your team the opportunity to exercise outdoors, get a healthy dose of vitamin D and make the most of the short daylight hours.
Aside from reducing stress in the workplace, flexible working hours can increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and retain staff members.
Keep An Eye On Workload
Having an overwhelming workload is sure to cause stress in the workplace. However, many employees may not feel comfortable enough to admit that their workload is overwhelming.
A recent study found that workers are less likely to speak up about workplace issues and mental health due to fear of losing their job during a pandemic.
As an employer or manager, checking in with your employees regularly is a simple way to ensure that workloads are not becoming too unmanageable. If you feel as if a workplace or project is overwhelming for your employees, it is important to re-organise and distribute some of the work.
Training will provide your employees with the resources and knowledge they need to effectively manage stress in the workplace.
You could also provide training to help your team spot the signs of stress or mental ill-health in the workplace. This will encourage your team to look out for each other and may help anybody who is struggling with poor mental health.
Online training sessions are available for employees working remotely.
Get Your Team Moving
Exercise has been proven to reduce stress. However, with the COVID-19 pandemic impacting routines and closing gyms across the country, your employees may not be getting the exercise they need.
Perhaps sign your team up to a virtual walk, run or cycle for charity. Aside from raising money for a good cause, this will encourage your employees to train regularly.
Alternatively, provide a wellness app that will enable your employees to track their activity. You can then monitor this and reward those who are prioritising their mental and physical wellbeing.
Recognise And Praise Your Employees
Employee recognition goes a long way. Recognising the effort of your team can lead to improved relationships between employees and management.
Plus, demonstrating appreciation can improve workplace morale and reduce stress in the workplace.
Reduce Stress In The Workplace With Mindful Partners
Mindful Partners is a specialist recruitment agency that helps people recovering from poor mental health get back into the workplace. We also help companies create mentally healthy workplaces.
If you are an employer and would like to find out more about partnering with Mindful Partners, please get in touch. Alternatively, if you are recovering from mental ill-health and are looking to get back into work, please get in touch.