Stressful situations can develop in any job, even if you love what you do. Busy periods, big projects and strict deadlines are the main factors to cause a tense atmosphere in the workplace.
According to the HSE, one in six workers in the UK will experience depression, anxiety or problems relating to stress at any one time.
Work-related stress can aggravate an existing mental health problem, making it more difficult to control. In many situations, it can reach a point where it triggers an existing mental health problem, and it becomes hard to separate one from the other.
A build-up of stress can negatively affect employees, ranging from fatigue to a lack of motivation and anxiety. Stress not only takes a personal toll on employees but can also impact negatively on the organisation itself. Employers are responsible for creating an environment that inspires employees and makes them excited to come to work every day.
Here are six things that will help focus on counteracting stress sources and creating a positive work atmosphere.
Create social activity
Employees spend a lot of time working in a team and sometimes must face stressful situations together. Being comfortable with each other helps to reduce stress and increase support during difficult situations. Social activities can encourage co-workers to get to know each other, break down the communication barriers and create easier future interactions.
Communicate with your employees
Being kept in silence and not knowing where you stand can be stressful for an employee and even cause anxiety. At the same time, managers and employers might feel the pressure, too, especially if they don’t have a clear image of what is going on in the workplace.
Communication is key to side-step stressful situations for both parties. This can be done via workshops or one-to-one interviews, questioning your staff on how they feel at work, what they wish to achieve and what you expect from them.
Allow flexible working hours
Flexible working hours can be one of the most effective ways to reduce stress as staff members can choose the schedule that best suits them. Some people get exhausted even from the morning rush hour, which affects their focusing once they get to work. Not all organisations can provide this option, but those that can, usually reduce stress levels at work and make their employees more relaxed and productive during the day.
Encourage workplace recognition
Another way to reduce stress is hidden behind workplace recognition. Employees feel appreciated when they or their work gets noticed and feel more engaged at work if they have a positive personal rapport with their management.
It is essential to recognise your employees and team members’ effort and appreciate what they have done for the company. There are many simple ways to congratulate them, such as making announcements, assisting in accomplishing their goals, or voting for the employee of the month. Showing appreciation will stimulate your employees to improve their results and do even more.
Helping staff manage their time
Statistics show that the main work factors causing work-related stress are depression, anxiety, workload pressures, tight deadlines, too much responsibility, and a lack of managerial support.
A simple solution can be setting reasonable deadlines and giving your staff enough time to complete each task correctly, to avoid them from feeling overwhelmed with long to-do lists. A short planning meeting in the morning can be another great way to improve time management and set out the requirements of what is expected of each employee for the day.
Encourage workplace wellness
Exercise is essential for maintaining mental fitness and reducing stress. It can help reduce fatigue, improve alertness and concentration, and enhance general cognition. Consider encouraging employees to get outside and walk during lunch breaks or offer some workout lessons online and other incentives to promote wellness.
To promote wellness and prevent stressful situations, you might consider regular assessments to ensure that the workplace is suitable for all colleagues’ needs.
Learn more about how SureScreen can help to prioritise the health, safety and wellbeing of employees in the workplace by clicking here.