How great would it be if all jobs and workplaces had zero stress because of stress management techniques?
It would only be wishful thinking, however. Stress is an inescapable and inevitable part of daily life, even in the most enjoyed occupations in the world.
The best thing you and everyone else can do is learn to better manage it. This is where stress management techniques come in handy.
In a good work culture, managers and leaders recognize that they are in part responsible for the well-being of their teams. They also know that providing an atmosphere where well-being is prioritized will greatly impact the performance of the team. Helping your team to understand and manage their stress and mental health is an excellent way to do this.
Doing this is easy enough for your in-office team. But how do you manage remote employees when you cannot see them in person?
Workplace stress is one of the main sources of stress for working-age adults in the US. A 2021 report on global employees by Gallup.com revealed that 44% of all workers experienced stress at work.
The number began skyrocketing during the start of the pandemic in 2020 and continued to rise throughout 2022. According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), 62% of working adults admitted having high stress levels, extreme fatigue, and feeling out of control.
Statistically, remote employees have it worse. According to a 2022 report by Deloitte, 77% of remote workers in the US have experienced stress and burnout in their jobs.
When stress is not managed, it has a habit of building up onto itself. Think of stress as your daily workload: if you do not keep up with your daily tasks, they will continue to pile up throughout your work week. There will come a time when you feel as though you will drown in paperwork.
Chronic high stress levels have always been a risk factor for mental health problems. A recent study linked chronic high stress levels to the development of depression and anxiety disorder.
Unmanaged high levels of stress negatively affect employee performance as well. Occupational stress and mental health issues are two significant causes of employee absenteeism and dysfunctional presenteeism.
AIS says that 41% of employees cite immense workload as the culprit. Thirty-two percent said bosses and coworkers made their jobs stressful. Eighteen percent cited work-life imbalance, and 9% said lack of job security as their primary source of stress.
Meanwhile, 35% of remote workers cited having to attend unnecessary meetings as their main source of stress. Their next stressor at 31% was the lack of support or recognition from upper management.
Knowing this information is a great start to helping manage employee stress effectively.
Based on these statistics, I would recommend the following to keep employee stress at healthy levels:
Let’s dive into what this can look like in practice.
Acknowledge and accept that your employees each have different needs—even when it comes to stress management techniques. This may feel overwhelming at first glance, but remember that you also hired them because they offered different skillsets–diversity is a great thing! Some of the ways you can demonstrate this include:
Despite the common request to “leave your personal life at the door” once one starts work, most people cannot compartmentalize their work and personal lives, which causes friction. Instead of upholding these outdated expectations, here are some ways you can help employees:
Sometimes employees forget to get up and stretch or rest their eyes occasionally, which you should encourage. Research has shown that micro-breaks help to learn and focus over longer intervals:
A 2022 study found that more physical activities can be more effective for stress recovery than “low-effort” activities.
You can encourage your subordinates to try this by sponsoring out-of-office activities such as hiking, swimming, and the like.
Offering regular training or workshops that get your employees active will break up the work cycle and help your team to embrace the science behind improved focus and cognition. Consider workshops with yoga, dancing, team-building activities, or even running teams.
Stress management techniques are crucial in helping employees cope with occupational stress. These four are but a few examples of how you can help your subordinates and coworkers.
Does your current company have sufficient protocols to facilitate and promote mental health awareness? Together we can create a customized plan.
Leave me a message and let’s talk!