3 Practical Tips for Reducing Heightened Stress and Anxiety in the Workplace30 Jun 2020
According to the University of Melbourne, COVID-19 has rapidly increased levels of stress, along with the feeling of being overwhelmed and anxious among Australians. Such nervousness has even amounted to physical symptoms like increased heart rates and overall discomfort.
Heightened stress isn't good under any circumstance – it can highly impact your home life, making it more difficult to be a parent or a loving spouse, but it can also be fairly detrimental to your ability to function properly in the workplace.
As a business leader, it's very important to not only acknowledge the fact that your workers may be feeling this way, but also to provide valuable insight and tips to help team members deal with heightened stress and anxiety levels.
Here are a few of the ways you can help your employees look after their own well-being during these trying times so you can stay healthy and also work as effectively as possible:
1. Acknowledge emotional triggers
When your employees have a grasp on what's making them feel uncomfortable, there may be an easier way for you to provide assistance. For instance, if one or more of your workers feels there isn't enough distance between themselves and their co-workers after the return to the office, you could configure a different office set-up to ensure everyone's comfort. If employees are still feeling uneasy about the office return, in general, perhaps you can be more flexible in terms of work-from-home options.
2. Provide coping mechanisms for dealing with uncertainty
It's hard to tell what life will be like in the next year, let alone the next few months. That means your employees may be more inclined to feel stressed and uncertain about the future as the pandemic continues. To help workers deal with feelings of doubt, ask them to set realistic work expectations and to continue challenging themselves as well. These coping mechanisms can provide a positive light in what may be considered the darkest times. Another simple coping strategy for heightened stress is taking breaks throughout the day – don't let your employees feel obligated to work eight hours straight, rather, encourage them to walk away from their desk for a few minutes every day to clear their minds.
3. Reinforce the importance of self-care
Between the virus itself and the stress levels created by the pandemic, there's no better time than now to be cognisant of personal health. Practising self-care by following a wholesome diet and exercising is critical, but finding work-life balance is also an essential self-care staple for all employees. Try your best to reinforce office hours and encourage your employees to log off at a certain time every day in an effort to prioritise the balance. You may even consider reducing work hours or moving to a 4-day work week if it's feasible, as suggested by the Australian Government's primary website for the business community.
Contact ICML for more assistance
Managing stress and anxiety in the workplace can get overwhelming as a manager, but it doesn't have to defeat you and your employees. Allow ICML to help with our Anxiety and Stress Management training. This course is designed to help you understand the warning signs that come with the feelings of stress and develop proper coping strategies to help your team members.
By the end of the program, you will have a deeper level of self-awareness and better understand emotional triggers and reactions. You'll also be more mindful and helpful when an employee comes to you with an issue or is too uncomfortable or uncertain to bring the problem to the surface.
Contact ICML today to learn more about the training course.