In the U.S., 83 percent of workers experience work-related stress at the cost of 300 billion dollars a year. Statistics show that mental health conditions are increasing, and occupational stress plays a role. Incorporating stress management in the workplace can create a healthy environment that supports employees and their emotional health and wellbeing.
What is the Concept of Stress Management?
Stress is an automated response that is difficult to control. Stress management takes approaches to help employees develop resilience and coping skills. The goal is to equip them with mechanisms that prevent or relieve stress.
Types of Workplace Stress
No two people react to each situation the same way, but there are some common types of workplace stress, such as:
- Too heavy a workload
- Unrealistic demands
- Changes in operation or organization
- Difficult relationships with coworkers
- Lack of career focus
- Feeling invisible or unnoticed
- Poor job clarity
- Ineffective work-life balance
- Lack of support
Workplace stress can involve several of these issues, but often there is a top trigger. For example, long hours may accentuate other stressors.
Examples of Stress Management
Just like no two people react the same way to each situation, effective stress management techniques can vary from person to person. Some common individual stress relievers would include deep breathing exercises or taking a walk.
Companies can also instill policies and programs that help employees better understand the stress and manage it. They can also take steps to eliminate the common causes of stress, like allowing for flexible work schedules and ensuring employees have the resources they need to do their jobs and engage in self-care.
How Stress Affects Work Productivity
For some, stress is motivating, but for many, it can have a negative impact on job performance. It can lead to a lack of energy and focus. Stress can also reduce creativity. High stress levels may lead to more sick days and health problems like high blood pressure or migraine headaches.
One survey found that a third of workers in the U.S. went to the doctor for something related to stress. Fifty-one percent of respondents on another said workplace stress was one of the biggest contributors to poor productivity. It affects the quality of their work and their relationships with supervisors.
Benefits of Stress Management and Resilience
Stress management helps employees find a positive way to build resilience to stress. That comes with some impressive benefits such as:
- Increased production
- Enhanced job longevity
- Lower rates of depression among workers
- Improved satisfaction with work and home life
Warning Signs of Stress in the Workplace
Both employees and employers need to learn to recognize the warning signs of stress in the workplace. They could include:
- Change in work performance
- Increased call-outs
- Poor focus
- Stomach problems
- Alcohol or drug use
Stress reduction strategies in the workplace can help relieve these symptoms.
Stress Reduction Strategies in the Workplace
Employers who create programs for stress management in the workplace may see improved performance and employee loyalty. Some examples of effective stress management strategies include:
- Make workplace wellbeing a priority — Employers can approach this in a variety of ways. They can encourage exercise by setting up a workout or mindfulness space in the office or offering a digital, holistic wellbeing solution employees can access any time, anywhere.
- Create a stress-free work environment — Consider how the work environment might factor into stress, such as colors and set-up. Employers can place plants in the work area and choose upbeat colors. They can add things like standing desks and quiet time places.
- Be more flexible — Employers can consider ways to be more flexible to improve work-life balance like remote jobs and adjustable schedules.
- Offer free counseling — Employers can implement free options for employees who need mental health counseling or life coaching.
Any of these strategies not only help employees manage stress but also make them feel valued.
How to Manage Personal Stressors in the Workplace
Sometimes stress management in the workplace comes down to employees knowing what to do for themselves if they feel stressed. For instance, they might stand up and stretch at their desk. If possible, they can take a walk outside or even around the building.
Some people benefit from deep breathing exercises and meditation. These are things you can do at your desk or workstation for quick relief.
Stress Management Programs for the Workplace and Employees
Physical and mental health should always be a priority for employers. Holistic wellbeing solutions like Grokker offer stress management programs that help employees focus on creating healthy habits and coping techniques. Making programs like these a benefit for employees means they will be healthier and more motivated.
Stress has a profound impact on the body. It can wreak havoc both physically and mentally. It just makes sense for employers to take steps for stress management in the workplace, including programs like exercise, mental health counseling, and nutrition planning.