Having a job can provide people with financial stability and security. It lets us buy the things we need and pay our bills. Without a job, we cannot do much. However, coming to work can be sometimes stressful. When stress exceeds the person’s capacity to cope, it becomes damaging to the mind and body.
The impact of stress can be cumulative. For instance, if one of your employees is frequently sick or absent, it adds pressure on the person covering for them. Work-related stress can make an employee feel under pressure.
Some of the most common stressors at work include:
- Long hours
- Heavy workload
- Adapting to new changes
- Tight deadlines
- Changes to duties or responsibilities
- Job security worries
- Lack of autonomy
- Boring work
- Insufficient job skills
- Inadequate working environment
- Lack of proper resources
- Poor physical working environment
- Few promotional opportunities
- Poor relationships with colleagues
How Stress Affects Employee Performance
Stress can influence an employee’s reaction to certain conditions in the workplace. Work-related stress can affect a person physically, behavioural, and mentally.
Poor Time Management
Being subjected to stress can jumpstart your adrenaline and fire you up to quickly finish your tasks in response to impending deadlines. However, heavy work demands, long hours of working, and lack of support are enough to make a worker frustrated and panic, especially if there is insufficient time to complete the tasks.
If conditions such as these often result in overtime or work taken home, your staff will not be able to manage their time efficiently. When stress becomes unbearable, employees could start resenting the company, affecting their commitment and loyalty.
Lack of Focus and Concentration
Stress can affect a person’s ability to focus on their tasks and process new information. Focus and concentration are essential in solving analytical situations and physical tasks.
Mental exhaustion due to anxiety and tension can cause distraction, which can potentially result in costly mistakes on the job. Unfocused employees are also prone to accidents, such as slip and fall, which can result in brain, neck, and spine injuries. See Michelle Linka Law advice for brain, neck and spine injuries here.
Strained Interaction and Relationship
Work-related stress can cause strained interaction and relationships with workmates and supervisors. The combination of hopelessness and helplessness could result in increased sensitivity to criticism, depression, defensiveness, job insecurity, and resentment towards co-workers.
Stressed workers could experience short-fuse temper, lower self-esteem, and withdrawal.
Some of the most common effects of stress include sleep difficulty, headache, weight gain/loss, vision problems, and increased blood pressure. In some cases, stress can put a person at risk of serious health issues, such as cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and gastrointestinal problems.
Additionally, stress can increase the number of sick leave. Despite taking time to rest and recover from stress-related illness, the task only accumulates during your absence and generates even more stress to catch up on your missed assignments once you return.
Feeling of Dissatisfaction
No matter how much you enjoy your job and co-workers, chronic stress can make it hard for you to love their job. Stressed workers may feel overwhelmed, and run-down. You should never feel bad when thinking about their job.
It is okay to feel stressed and overwhelmed sometimes, but chronic stress can affect how you regard their work. Make sure to take a break when you can; otherwise, you will feel dissatisfied professionally.
Benefits of Creating a Stress-Free Work Environment
Pinpointing the different causes of work-related stress helps you protect your employees’ health and wellbeing. Stressed employees can experience physical and behavioural problems. If left unaddressed, it can affect employee morale and ultimately, your profit.
Here are some of the reasons why a stress-free working environment is essential:
Reduces Absenteeism and Turnover
Stress is a major cause of absenteeism in the workplace. Forcing your employees to complete all their tasks within the confines of a structured 9 am to 5 pm job could be disastrous to their health.
Creating a stress-free work environment can significantly reduce the number of sick leaves. When employees feel less stressed, they are more likely to stick around.
Strong Company Culture
Putting in place The TRH Group Project Safety Program for London, Ontario employees feel healthier and happier when they are less stressed. They are able to do their responsibilities better and connect with everyone within the organization.
Improves Employee Motivation
A stress-free workplace can spark the morale of your staff. Stress can make the employees become distant, distraught, and unfocused on their tasks. In such times, you need to provide them with direction and guidance.
Employing workplace stress management programs show them that you care. It does not only increase their morale but also motivate them to be more focused on their tasks and performance.
Helping employees manage stress helps them make sound decisions, even in the most stressful situations. Effective stress management keeps levels of productivity high.
Vagueness and poor communication are among the most common workplace stressors. Determining the root cause of the problem and addressing it helps bolster the communication line within the organization.
Respecting each employee’s opinion, giving them a voice, and acting on their suggestions are vital in creating a stress-free work environment. Knowing their roles, responsibilities, and whom they can turn to for support creates satisfaction and security.
Your workplace should be a place of mutual respect and trust. Stress management helps develop trust between employers and their staff. When workers are free from stress, they proudly associate themselves with the company they work with.
Workplace Intervention to Reduce Stress
It is every employer’s legal duty to create a positive working environment and monitor the stress levels of their staff. Taking steps to prevent stress-induced physical and mental problems does not need to cost a lot of money.
While it is impossible to control every little thing in the workplace, it does not mean there is nothing you can do about it. If stress is starting to affect the health, performance, and personal lives of your employees, then it is high time to take action.
Address Known Stressors
To ensure a stress-free work environment, you need to determine and fix the issue that is creating stress. It may not be easy, but it is crucial. Failing to address the issue, your company can suffer low productivity.
You may also need to invest in employee training sooner or later to ensure that they can deliver their tasks on time.
Revamp the Habitat
A lot of stressors come from the workplace itself. Consider all the aspects of your workspace and how it affects the wellness of your staff. Aspects, such as simple as the coffee quality or the height of the cubicle walls, can have a significant impact on employee engagement.
Reinvigorate your staff by giving your office space new paint colour, additional plants, or add a ping pong table for enjoyment. These changes can make your employees feel less stressed.
Offer Wellness Programs and Initiatives
Workers need massage due to the repetitive nature of the tasks, such as sitting for long hours, typing, and taking calls, which can cause lower back pain. Offering your staff wellness programs and initiatives designed to help them respond to stressors can have numerous benefits for business.
Giving them a few minutes to stretch and exercise can help prevent chronic stress and burnout. Employees need time to recharge so that they can return to their pre-stress level of functioning. Encouraging workplace wellness effectively helps improve moods by boosting the levels of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good hormone.
Provide Healthy and Nutritious Snacks
Some people eat their feelings with unhealthy “comfort foods” to deal with work stress. When subjected to stress, the brain produces cortisol, a hormone that makes us want to indulge in sweet, salty, and fat-laden foods for temporary pleasure.
However, stress eating can only worsen the problem. These foods can make us feel less energized, which in turn increases our stress levels. To keep employees invigorated, make sure to offer these healthy foods that fire up their brains and boost focus and concentration:
- Complex carbohydrates (whole wheat bread, pasta)
- Fruits and vegetables that are high in fibre
- Superfoods packed with mood-boosting antioxidants (kale, dark chocolate, blueberry)
- Lean proteins (chicken, beef)
Allow Flexible Hours and Remote Working
Employers like Local SEO Search Inc. in Canada hired their staff because they trust their employees’ ability to perform their jobs well and get them done in a timely manner. Your staff should not feel confined in your office.
Employees should know that the quality and timeliness of their work is more important than the time they punch the clock for work. Give your employees the option to work remotely, as well as flexible working time. Providing them with freedom helps ensure office and employee morale.
Dealing with stress can be a real issue in many workplaces, but it is definitely solvable. Follow the simple solutions outlined above and your company will benefit from it and bring the stress level back down into the healthy range. A healthy, and low-stress work environment helps employees achieve breakthroughs and increase productivity.
Do you have more suggestions to reduce stress in the workplace? Share them with us!
About the Author!
Louise is a 20-something coffee enthusiast who loves reading Paulo Coelho novels. Her dream is to travel around the world – unless she’s helping someone create a successful marketing strategy. She has been in the digital industry for over six years and specializes in content marketing. She aims to inspire readers to be confident and to live their life fully by exploring beyond their comfort zones.