Workplace stress is normal – but when the stress is excessive it can wreak havoc on the productivity, performance, and physical and emotional health of your employees.
Workplace stress is normal – but when the stress is excessive it can wreak havoc on the productivity, performance, and physical and emotional health of your employees. It can also interfere with job safety. You can help your employees deal with stress in several ways.
First, you must be aware of common causes of workplace stress.
- Fear of being laid off
- More overtime due to staff cutbacks
- Pressure to perform to meet rising expectations but with no increase in job satisfaction
- Pressure to work at optimum levels—all the time!
- Lack of control over how you do your work
Next, know and educate employees on the signs of excessive workplace stress.
Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed
- Apathy, loss of interest in work
- Problems sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Muscle tension or headaches
- Stomach problems
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of sex drive
- Using alcohol or drugs to cope
Then, encourage employees to try these stress busting tips.
a. Working out regularly is one of the best ways to relax your body and mind.
b. Plus, exercise will improve your mood. But you have to do it often for it to pay off.
i. Good: At the very least, 3 to 5 times for 30 minutes
ii. Better: 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise like brisk
iii. Best: Add 75 minutes of a vigorous exercise like swimming laps, jogging, or other sports that gets your heart rate up
2. Eat well
a. Eating a regular, well-balanced diet helps you feel better in general. It may also help control your moods.
b. Aim for meals full of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and lean protein for energy. And don’t skip any. It’s not good for you and can put you in a bad mood, which can actually increase your stress.
3. Sleep well
a. Try to improve the quality of your sleep by going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Aim for 8 hours a night—the amount of sleep most adults need to operate at their best.
b. Turn off screens one hour before bedtime. The light emitted from TV, tablets, smartphones, and computers suppresses your body’s production of melatonin and can severely disrupt your sleep.
c. Avoid stimulating activity and stressful situations before bedtime such as catching up on work. Instead, focus on quiet, soothing activities, such as reading or listening to soft music, while keeping lights low.
4. Chill out
a. When you’re driving on the highway, switch to the slow lane so you can avoid road rage.
b. Break down big jobs into smaller ones. For example, don’t try to answer all 100 emails if you don’t have to — just answer a few of them.
c. Try yoga, meditation, listening to music you like and other relaxing activities and hobbies.
5. Talk it out
a. Find a friend, co-worker, or family member you feel comfortable sharing your feelings with.
b. Talking about things that are troubling you can help lower your stress.