The first Wednesday in November each year is National Stress Awareness Day.
With recent surveys revealing that over three-quarters of British workers have felt anxious or depressed due to the stress of their job, the importance in monitoring stress levels in the workplaces have never felt more prevalent. A study commissioned by TalkOut in October 2019. The survey of 2,000 British workers and 200 senior managers revealed that 78 percent of workers said that they have felt anxious or depressed because of their job.
Being under pressure is a normal part of life but becoming overwhelmed by stress can lead to mental health problems or make existing problems worse.
Heavy workloads, pressing deadlines, poor management and busy commutes can all make for a stressful day at the office.
Create a space
By creating a Stress Awareness Space, staff can share their thoughts and feelings when they are feeling stressed. Encouraging conversation allows for people to feel comfortable and supported which can help others recognise early signs and feel secure enough to talk about it with someone they trust. Not talking or acting on these feelings can often make things worse. Managers should have regular catch-ups with employees to check specifically on their wellbeing, touching on anything that may be causing stress in the workplace, or outside of work that might be affecting them.
Take a break
Ensuring that people are taking regular breaks from their desks, some experts recommend a 5-10-minute break every hour. With ever-growing lists of tasks and deadlines it might seem wasteful to stop work but taking short periods of time to focus on thoughts and set intentions and to just be quiet can be useful to keep stress levels down.
Provide information about stress
Signpost to useful information and tips about stress, such as Mind’s information pages and guide to managing stress, and also the Health and Safety Executive’s information on work-related stress. These resources are also useful for employers to learn more about how to recognise and reduce stress in the workplace. Many companies, like CPL Online, have e-Learning courses regarding managing stress and personal resilience, take the time to look and implement.
Socialising and teambuilding
If your workforce gets on outside of the office or have opportunities to socialise other than in the day-to-day job, they will work better together and have a higher sense of wellbeing. Arranging team socials and teambuilding activities is a great way to raise morale and reduce any tension or stress that may be brewing in the workplace.