How to Reduce Stress at Work to Increase Profits and Productivity

Mar 09, 2017

How to Reduce Stress at Work to Increase Profits and Productivity

Research over the years has shown a consistent, growing trend between work and stress levels. As the economy and job market become increasingly competitive and fast-paced, stress levels have hit an all-time high.

In 2013, the International Stress Management Association announced that “Job stress is estimated to cost the U.S. more than $300 billion a year in absenteeism, turnover, diminished productivity, and medical, legal and insurance costs.” Stress has been proven to lead to major health issues and overall diminished well-being. It is time to take note of the severity of the problem.

The World Health Association has officially called stress the “health epidemic of the 21st century” and many businesses are seeing the costs associated with a stressed workforce. Learn how to reduce stress in the workplace, prevent stressors from entering the workplace, and learn the statistics surrounding the epidemic. If your company is suffering from stressed employees there are immediate actions that can be taken to reduce the burden on your margins.

Shocking Stress Statistics:

According to the American Psychological Association

  • Since 2007, the survey has found that money and work are the top two sources of very or somewhat significant stress (67 percent in 2016, and 65 percent in 2015).
  • In 2012, 65 percent of Americans cited work as a top source of stress. Only 37 percent of Americans surveyed said they were doing an excellent or very good job managing stress.
  • In 2013, More than one-third of working Americans reported experiencing chronic work stress and just 36 percent said their organizations provide sufficient resources to help them manage that stress.

According to The Center for Disease Control

  • 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful.
  • 25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.
  • 29% of workers felt quite a bit or extremely stressed at work.
  • 26 percent of workers said they were “often or very often burned out or stressed by their work.”

According to The American Institute of Stress

  • 80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help.
  • The vast majority of American workers say they are stressed, more than a third say that their job is harming their physical or emotional well-being
  • 42% say job pressures are interfering with their family or personal lives, and half report more demanding workloads than they had a year ago.

It’s clear we have an epidemic on our hands. Stress can be rooted in both work and home life—here we want to discuss the actions that can be taken in a work setting.  Learn the common triggers, the warning signs, and the techniques to combat stress at work.

Understanding Stress at Work: Causes, Warnings, and Treatments

The Common Causes of Work Stress

  • Unsatisfaction at work.
  • Additional family stress or loss.
  • Lack of agency within a company.
  • Unclear expectations, uncertainty of the future.
  • Long hours, low pay.
  • Lack of appreciation or recognition.
  • Poor advancement opportunities.
  • Heavy workloads.

The Warning Signs of a Stressed Employee

  • Feeling anxious, irritable, or depressed.
  • Apathy, loss of interest in work.
  • Problems sleeping, fatigue.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Muscle tenstion, headaches, stomach problems.
  • Social withdrawal.

Simple Techniques to Reduce Stress at Work

  • Listen to music.
  • Eat healthy, stay hydrated.
  • Get 8 hours of sleep per night.
  • Get outside, go on a walk.
  • Communicate with your boss whenever you are feeling overwhelmed.
  • Ask for help! If you have too much on your plate, it is likely that someone on the team can help with the burden.
  • Track stressors in a notebook.
  • Excercise more.

More Robust Techniques to Reduce Work Stress

  • Breathing excercises, yoga in the office.
  • Therapy, psychological support.
  • Leave of absence.
  • Reduction in responsibilities.
  • Re-visit compensation.

Now, more than ever, stress is finding it’s way into the workplace and manifesting itself very differently depending on the individual. Work stress has become a significant issue as technology continues to speed up the pace of business. The increased complexity, speed, and competition associated with 21st century organizations is a major cause of stress on employees. Make sure to look out for causes or early stages of stress before it starts to burden your bottom line.

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