Most workers today are stressed because of one or two factors in the workplace. This is more prevalent in workers with low-paying jobs, but it also occurs in mid-career employees. Unfortunately, according to the American Psychological Association (APA), prolonged stress can harm the physical and mental health of employees. If companies don’t address this issue within their organization in time, workers will suffer from chronic stress that can have damaging effects both on employees and businesses.
This article aims to provide more information about what stress does to the body and how it affects workers’ productivity. It also teaches you a few techniques how to manage stress in the workplace. But first, you should know what stress management is and what are the common sources of stress in the workplace.
Understanding Stress Management
While there is a broad definition of stress management, according to the APA, it is a method of addressing stress that includes a wide range of techniques and psychotherapies. It is aimed at improving a person’s ability to control stress to be able to perform daily functions with ease. In the workplace, it is used to improve workers’ ability to perform their job well and increase their job satisfaction.
It’s common to be stressed, but not on a daily basis. Employees who suffer from daily stress lose their ability to accomplish tasks properly. Managers and business owners must, therefore, understand the seriousness of what chronic stress can do. Employees, on the other hand, must be provided with stress management skills to allow them to take proactive steps in addressing their own stress.
Business owners, managers, and employees who are knowledgeable of stress management techniques can focus on their well-being, think with calmness, act rationally, and improve their productivity. Stress management also allows them to maintain better relationships with their colleagues, and reduce levels of anxiety and depression.
Common Sources of Stress in the Workplace
According to the APA, employees are most stressed when there are few opportunities for career advancement or growth, excessive workloads, low salaries, and a disorganized work environment. Common stressors can also stem from lack of management support, unclear job expectations, and conflicting demands from superiors.
Employees also find it stressful when their job isn’t challenging or engaging. They are also stressed when they aren’t given a voice, or they can’t control decisions that are related to their jobs.
What Happens When Stress is Not Controlled
According to the APA, stress can cause sleep disturbances, stomachache, and headaches. This can lead to momentary difficulty concentrating and a short temper. If you notice how easily you get irritated at work, you are stressed.
When you’re exposed to a stressful environment on a daily basis, you can suffer from high blood pressure and a weak immune system. If this exposure is prolonged, you can become depressed and obese, which can lead to heart disease.
Knowing the health hazards of stress is half the battle. For businesses, it means financial losses. Stressed-out workers perform poorly. Stress apparently dulls creative abilities and impair strategic thinking. Because of this, many U.S. companies lose $300 billion in insurance, legal, medical, training, and recruitment costs annually.
Unfortunately, stress doesn’t disappear when you simply stop working or go home at the end of the day. It persists and therefore, something must be done with it.
How to Address Stress in the Workplace
According to the APA, it’s important to track what causes stress in the workplace. For managers, you need to assess the situation and environment first. Reach out to your employees and find out what their stressors are. If there is no clear stress management plan in your workplace yet, be the voice of your staff. Let the management know what causes stress in employees, so they can do something about it.
The APA also advises companies to encourage wellness and cleanliness in the workplace. A healthy body and mind can help employees battle stress.
Allow lunch break walks, offer healthy snacks, and provide an in-house gym or fitness room. You can also subsidize gym memberships, provide a fitness instructor to come to the office at least once a month, or organize monthly sports events.
Make sure your workplace is clean and organized. Hire professional cleaning services to make your workplace spic and span. Businesses must recognize and reward the hard work of their employees. This shows that you appreciate their work and what they contribute to the company.
Experts recommend remote working and flexible hours as techniques to address stress. This shows your trust in your employees, which can boost morale.
Most importantly, businesses should establish boundaries about the work that their employees do, so as not to go overboard. Employees meanwhile, must set boundaries, too. Set a time when you should handle your work and home life separately.
The demands of work and the workplace environment can be sources of stress. It must be changed to get rid of stress and eventually encourage and increase productivity. Use the techniques here to get started with stress management in your workplace.