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Stress in the workplace is not a new topic of discussion. Yet work related pressures are still said to be the number one cause of stress. These pressures rise above financial concerns, sleep deprivation and relationship issues.
According to research from the UK Government, stress and mental health issues cost businesses in the UK between £33 billion and £42 billion a year. This is the equivalent of £1,205 to £1,560 per employee in the workforce. These high costs are a result of high turnover, reduced productivity and sickness absence.
A global pandemic would certainly have an effect on these figures however, pandemic or not, these issues will never go away unless we start to make changes from within our businesses.
A certain percentage of these costs will always be unavoidable. However if some of that money was put into preventing stress rather than the result of stress, wouldn’t that be money well spent?
If you were to ask yourself now…
“Am I doing enough to look after the mental health and wellbeing of my employees?”
Would you be proud of your answer or do you think you could do more?
If you’re proud, then keep going. If you think you could do more, then hopefully our advice below will give you some ideas on how to get started.
Reduce stress in the workplace by practicing what you preach. Give yourself the time you need to de-stress. If you’re a manager that has recently opened your doors again, it’s easy to over-work yourself in order to meet the pressures of a world coming out of hiding. This is understandable, but make sure you don’t burn yourself out before the summer has even started. Take regular breaks, make time for friends and book events to look forward to. As a leader, it’s also important to keep a lid on your emotions. This isn’t to say you can’t get frustrated or angry, but don’t let these emotions rub off on your employees.
COST: £250+ per hour approx (Average starting price for a motivational speaker)
COST: £650 – £850 approx (Catering Van for 50-80 people)
Social activities are great for reducing stress and boosting morale. This is also a great way to bring your team closer together, especially if you have had new members join during lockdown. Set aside time each week for a group activity, lunch together or perhaps invite a motivational speaker to the office. Your employees will spend a lot of time together so it’s important to build a positive environment. Doing so will only improve communication, productivity and collaboration.
COST: £60 approx (Average cost for a corporate fitness class)
Encouraging exercise and a healthy lifestyle is essential when combating stress in the workplace. Many of us will spend the majority of our day sitting at a desk staring at a computer screen, and we are all well aware by now that this isn’t healthy. Here at McCarthy we recently arranged a 6 week Pilates course via zoom for our team, and we focused on relieving the stress that work can create on our bodies. The whole team thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and benefited from each class, and we would highly recommend something similar to other businesses.
There’s a reason this phrase has been used so many times. As a leader your communication is critical in reducing feelings of stress and anxiety, and it creates the foundations for stronger working relationships. It is so important to keep your employees in the loop about the latest developments and departmental changes, as well as keeping them up to date about their own performance and your expectations of them. This goes both ways, and the more you share your own thoughts and concerns the stronger you will become as a business.
The pandemic has changed how we work. Our usual routine of working in the office was completely disrupted, and after a year of working from home many of us will struggle to re-adjust once again. Therefore, it is so important to have open communication with your team and listen to their individual needs, making sure to outline clear expectations moving forward. By allowing your employees to work flexibly, you could be alleviating some huge stresses in their life such as childcare or financial concerns.
Ultimately, these are only guidelines for how you can prevent stress and anxiety in your workplace, and there might be other things you’ve been trying already. If so, please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below the post, it would be great to hear about what you’ve been doing to improve the health and wellbeing of your employees.
Please note: These costs are estimations based on google search results and quotes from suppliers.
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