Are your Colleagues Doing Nothing to Tackle Workplace Stress?
Tue, 02 Oct 2018 11:39
Workplace stress is a big problem. And while employers can do many things to prevent and alleviate stress, some of the responsibility rests with employees. After all, there's little point in creating a low-stress workplace if colleagues counteract these efforts by engaging in unhealthy behaviours outside of work.
In a recent survey of 1,000 employees, 65% reported that they did not take part in any form of stress-relieving activity, such as exercise, hobbies or spending time with friends and family.
And in the 2018 Cigna 360 Wellbeing Survey, the UK placed in the bottom five of 23 countries for unmanageable stress levels. Only 1 in 10 people in the UK said their workplace had a wellbeing programme in place, compared to 1 in 5 globally. This suggests that the UK has some distance to travel in terms of establishing employee wellbeing programmes and encouraging employees to use them.
Promoting good habits, and encouraging employees to recognise stress and how to alleviate it, are clearly useful activities for employers to engage in. After all, stress has a huge impact on productivity, sickness and absence, and retention.
Stress reduces productivity
The Global Benefits Attitudes study by Towers Watson found that more than half of the stressed respondents reported that they were disengaged. Of the low-stressed respondents, only one in ten reported feeling disengaged, and half of the group claimed to feel highly engaged. A staggering 30% of UK respondents claimed to be suffering from high levels of workplace stress.
According to attention theory, the experience of stress reduces an individual's ability to concentrate on multiple tasks. Stress can cause people to focus intensely on core tasks – and limit their ability to keep other objectives in mind. While some degree of stress is useful for keeping employees motivated and focused, too much stress can cause people to become less productive and less able to manage their workload.
Causes of stress
Work tends to consist of activities that contribute to the company's goals, and activities that are related to red tape, bureaucracy and office politics. It's this second category of work that tends to produce the most stress. When employees are engaged in fruitful, creative and productive work, they are more likely to feel satisfied with their job.
Managers can reduce stress by either eliminating red tape or finding other ways to meet requirements. By keeping employees focused on productive work – the work they're employed to do – they are more likely to remain engaged and feeling positive about their role.
How does your workplace support employee wellbeing – and encourage positive stress-management habits?
Stress management training from DeltaNet
We offer a range of elearning solutions designed to help you promote healthy working practices. Browse our Stress Management courses – these can be bought as off the shelf packages, or customised to suit your organisational needs.