How to manage and minimise stress in the workplace
Stress in the workplace is a growing problem for many businesses. Office environments can be high pressured and the increasing workload is one of the reasons many employees suffer from stress. In fact, in 2016/17, 12.5 million working days were lost due to work-related stress!
This year’s theme for Mental Health Awareness week is stress. You may have seen that we ran a stress awareness initiative throughout April (which you can read more about here) and picked up a few tips and ideas about how to minimise and manage stress in the workplace for both employers and employees.
What is stress?
“A state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or demanding circumstances.”
- 526,000 workers reported suffering from work-related stress, anxiety or depression in 2016/17
- 12.5 million working days lost in 2016/17 due to work-related stress, anxiety or depression
- 44% of people reported workload as their main cause for stress
Tips for employers
Embrace an open culture
There is still a huge taboo attached to talking about mental health problems which is one of the main reasons many employees don’t come forward if they are struggling. Encouraging an open culture and creating relationships within the team means someone is much more likely to speak up. This expectation can be set from the moment someone starts at the company and can be continued through the implementation of quarterly reviews and holding team socials which help to create a more positive, friendly and supportive culture.
Offer support (not just when it’s needed)
Whether it’s a line manager or a fellow employee, it’s important to have someone in the office who employees can turn to if they start to feel stressed or suffer with their mental health. A combination of an open culture and support that is available at all times can help alleviate the pressure employees might feel to keep to themselves.
Time out of the office is important
We aren’t suggesting that all employees should be given an extra day of holiday but having a culture where you encourage your employees to take a break, enjoy a full lunch hour and also leave the office on time is key to overall wellbeing both in and outside of work. At Neo PR, we have a rural office location so a lunchtime walk around the fields away from our desks is very welcome when the pressure is on. We also hold regular get-togethers – both inside and outside of work hours – which goes a long way in terms of boosting morale.
Tips for employees
Ask for help
If you are struggling, it’s important to talk to someone about it. Stress might be workload related, but equally, it could also be caused by something outside of work and if it’s affecting your work it’s crucial to speak up!
Learn to prioritise
It sounds very simple but this is sometimes quite difficult to put into practice. With workloads being a cause of workplace stress, prioritising your to do list is key to managing your time and workload better. Chatting to your line manager about priorities or giving yourself a deadline on everything is a good way to work out what needs to be done first, especially if your list feels a little overwhelming!
Make changes outside of work
Our lifestyle outside of work can have a bigger impact on our working day than we might realise. Good diet, regular exercise and enough sleep are important for maintaining a healthy mind. Unless you’re superhuman, you probably can’t work on four hours of sleep, so take a look at your routine outside of work and see how you can improve it to help with your overall wellbeing.
Have some more tips to manage and minimise stress? Tweet us! @NeoPRLtd