5 ways to reduce employee stress at work

A recent State of the Global Workforce report found that stress levels at work are higher than ever before.

The survey revealed that 44% of respondees experienced elevated levels of stress before filling in the report. In addition, a UK work-related report revealed that in Britain, 76% of employees reported medium-to-high levels of stress.

This translates to a wide range of issues for workforces, from increased incidence of mental health issues – including anxiety, depression and burnout – to employees being signed off on long-term sick leave, reducing productivity In fact, 13.7 million working days are lost annually in the UK due to work-related stress.

If you are a HR manager, you are no doubt aware, and may have even experienced it within your own workforce, that work-related stress can have a debilitating effect in a number of different ways.

Symptoms can show themselves via a range of symptoms, from increased irritability and short tempers to physical effects such as a tight chest, raised heart rate and insomnia.

Ensuring your employees are not working under undue levels of stress should be a priority for every company, so here are four ways to help staff who may be showing signs of burnout.

1. Ensure employees don’t work outside of contracted hours

Staff workloads should be manageable, and should not take more than the allotted working hours each week as this can increase stress, anxiety and the feeling of not being able to switch off. You could also assign someone specifically to help with the employee’s workload so that pressure is relieved.

2. Encourage staff to take all leave and full lunch breaks

Management should also encourage employees to use up their entire annual leave entitlement as well as taking the full lunch break daily. Some employees might feel they don’t have time to take lunch, for example, and work through instead, but this only serves to increase their stress levels and reduce productivity.

Regular breaks should be encouraged, and flexible working is another option that helps reduce pressure on staff, especially around childcare.

3. Talk openly to your employees

Creating a two-way relationship with your employees is the ideal way to allow them to open-up to HR about any issues they might be experiencing in terms of a build-up of workload or stress. You can then help manage this problem before it reaches a point where the employee becomes unwell.

4. Offer remote working

Remote or hybrid working has become commonplace since the pandemic, and for staff experiencing raised stress levels, the opportunity to work in the quiet and familiarity of their own surroundings can help reduce stress. Ensure you check in regularly so they don’t become isolated.

5. Increase fitness and activity levels

Exercise is a key factor in helping reduce stress. Multiple studies have shown how regular exercise can reduce stress hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, while increasing the production of endorphins, which help improve mood.

DocHQ Fitness is one way to offer personal trainers to your entire workforce. Our PTs can meet with staff individually and assign them a workout programme based on their own individual requirements. They can then use our technologically advanced AI body-tracking software as they work out, to boost motivation and outcomes and reduce stress on their lunch break.

They can perform the exercises from home at their own leisure, and progress is tracked by their PT who will adjust the programme in accordance with how the employee is progressing, leading to faster strength gains, and lower stress levels.

Learn how DocHQ can help lower staff stress levels – chat to Amit Arora at [email protected] to find out about bespoke corporate package