Stress in the Workplace: Symptoms, Causes,
and How to Beat It?
By Shaon Shahnewaz
Job stress is one of the leading cause of anxiety and stress. It is a condition that occurs when there is a conflict between what the job demands from an employee and the actual control he has to meet those demands. According to the American Institute of Stress, U.S. businesses lose more than $300 billion annually because of job stress. What steps can your organization take to alleviate employee stress?
Effects of workplace stress
Let's take a look at some unsettling facts about stress:
- 53.2% of workers report that stress is an issue in their current workplace.
- 61.9% of workers believe that their employer looks down on workers who get stressed.
- 57.4% of workers think that their manager does NOT offer support to help them manage stress at work.
Stress does not only affect the mental and physical condition of an employee, but it also affects the business. As a result of stress, employees lose their productivity, their stress absence starts to rise, the employee retention rate goes down, and health care cost goes up.
What are the symptoms of workplace stress?
Sign of workplace stress can be noticed by carefully observing an employees mental condition, physiological state, and behavioral cues. Here are the most common symptoms of workplace stress:Physical symptoms:
- Frequent headaches, jaw clenching or pain
- Insomnia, nightmares, disturbing dreams
- Irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, nausea
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Constant Fatigue
- Muscular Tension
- Heart Palpitations
- Raised Blood Pressure
- Lack of Concentration
- An Increase in Sick Days or Absenteeism
- A Drop in Work Performance
- Problems with Relationship with colleagues
What causes workplace stress?
It's imperative to be aware of the causes behind workplace stress, that way anyone can prevent it:
- Heavy workload for a continuous period
- Long working hours
- Low morale within the workplace
- Unfriendly working condition
- Bad leadership style
How to reduce workplace stress?
Now that we know the symptoms, causes, and effects of stress, let's take a look at some of the changes an employer can do to reduce stress at the workplace:
Take a break!
It's a good idea to take frequent, brief rest breaks from the computer and desk. Whether five minutes or 10, encourage your employees to take small breaks from their computers.
To build a happy team, they need to feel comfortable together. The more they will enjoy collaboration, the happier the workplace will be. It will facilitate them to collaborate and establish a strong bond with the workplace. Having a corporate wellness app for regular engagement and arranging collaborative events during the week for employees to come together are great morale and spirit booster ideas for the entire office.
Lead employees in stress-busting activities
Meditation relaxes our bodies, but what scientists are also discovered that meditation also helps the body to become stress less. It can also help your employees boost brain function and fight depression.
Encourage them to be physically active
Place the coffee machine or water dispenser away from the sitting area, make them do their copies, or schedule an afternoon walk around the block. This can reduce any stress that may have built up throughout the workday.
Physical inactivity can lead to stiff muscles and, worse, chronic disease. Facilitate some time for your employees to try out stretching. With millions of office workout videos and articles on corporate wellness apps, your employee can quickly get access to short stretching tutorials.
Keep them updated
Nobody likes to stay in the dark, especially when it comes to their job. Keep your team updated on the latest developments and departmental changes via a workplace wellness app. Open communication between senior management and employees, it will only make them feel valuable, but they might also be able to share their ideas. Share your organization’s overall business goals, policies and visions to provide direction, build trust and respect, and reduce stress caused by uncertainty.
Establish a line of communication
Being able to access something and an open line of communication foster a sense of security and care. When stress is high, let your employees know that your door is open to discuss any workplace concerns. Then, work with your employee to identify the cause of their stress and create a plan of action to relieve the pressure.
Offer healthy snacks
When people are stressed, they tend to go for unhealthy fatty foods. However, certain healthy foods can genuinely comfort and calm for healthy stress relief. Make sure you stock healthy meals and snacks for your employees!
Workplace flexibility can have a dramatic impact on stress. It can reduce commute times, provide better work/ life balance and even allow employees to ensure they have quite a time for work. If possible, let your employees adopt a flexible work schedule.
Using the right employee wellness management tool
Improving employee mental and physical condition doesn’t have to be complicated. Forget surveys and expensive corporate wellness programs. CircleCare focuses on daily team building activities and positive reinforcement that make your employees more engaged and health conscious.
Shaon Shahnewaz is a digital marketing professional and content marketer who enjoys reading and spending time with his kid. Shaon is also a technology enthusiast who likes to learn and experience the latest and greatest innovations. Linkedin | Twitter