By Holly Edwards, Business Project Manager at Purple Cubed on how to spot stress in the workplace, and how to manage it…
Workplace stress is much talked and written about yet during the last five years over 13.4 million UK employees have taken time off because of it (report by LV). This shocking statistic not only highlights levels of absenteeism that stress causes, but also the low levels of engagement and productivity of employees.
The reasons behind these stress levels include unrealistic deadlines or a heavy workload, longer working hours (53%) and a lack of support and training (44%). The ability for businesses to deal with this could be the difference between success and failure. There is a destructive link between levels of stress and productivity, and this is costing both businesses and the economy.
So what should leaders and managers look for the head off potential stress situations early enough? There are a few tell-tale signs easily noticeable in self and others:
- Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
- Apathy, loss of interest in work
- Social withdrawal
- Trouble concentrating and therefore underperforming
Good stress management in the workplace is critical. For employers this is influenced by cultural attitude, and enabling their people, particularly managers, to be able to handle these situations.
Here are our top three tips for employers to ensure culture acts as a guardian against workplace stress:
- Be active – encourage employees to exercise and take time away from their desks or work stations. Taking regular breaks and stepping away from work to briefly relax and recharge will help productivity.
- Communicate – give your people plenty of opportunities to connect with others, developing a support network where problems can solved. Employees should feel valued and involved in their organisation, and therefore it’s important to have open lines of communication with managers.
- Cultivate a friendly environment – have a genuinely supportive culture and not just policies that are applied inconsistently. Encourage employees to socialise and support each other.