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Beating Stress in the Workplace
The effects of stress are something we all talk about, but even in the modern age, few businesses are willing to admit it’s a problem. According to research from Harvard Business School, stress in the workplace causes between $125 and $190 billion in lost business and some 120 000 deaths a year. Not only that, stressed employees also undergo what is known as “presenteeism”, where they suffer significant drops in productivity to the point where they might as well be absent from work. Understanding the roots of stress is key if you want to fix them through education, action and making use of employee benefits solutions such as those offered by TrueConnect.
Stress isn’t just a problem on a cold, analytical scale of profits and productivity; it has real and extremely negative repercussions for the health of those suffering it. The American Psychological Association states that stress at work can cause mood problems, difficulty focusing on tasks, splitting headaches, insomnia, and a range of stomach problems. Worse yet, it can cause unhealthy coping mechanisms that exacerbate the health problems of stress: overeating, alcohol and drug abuse, and addiction to cigarettes, which all worsen heart disease, weight issues, and crippling depression and mental anxiety.
Stress and its causes
But what causes stress? Well, the roots of stress are widespread and usually closely related to the employee’s schedule and conditions of work. They can include the obvious things, such as overworking an employee or forcing them to get by with poor work conditions. Long hours of intensive, highly attentive, or difficult work, in an unsuitable work environment without proper support or equipment can take a drastic and almost immediate toll on an employee’s mental health and physical wellbeing in the long run.
The overarching circumstances of an employee’s work life are also an important influence on employee stress. Low pay; unclear work instructions; conflicting work demands; no control over their work decisions and autonomy; unstimulating or unchallenging work; little to no opportunity for promotion or upward growth — these are all important factors that directly impact employee wellbeing. The solutions for these problems are simple enough: pay your employees a fair wage, give them the tools they need to get the job done quickly and easily and don’t lock them away in a dead-end position. After all, it’s common business sense that if you take care of your employees, they will take care of your company.
Beating stress in the workplace and at home
However, there is a growing movement that acknowledges the role of personal or private circumstances outside of work that impact on an employee’s health and work abilities.
More and more, a lack of social support and employee support is being acknowledged as a direct motivator for employee stress and the resultant downturn in productivity.
In the modern era of prohibitive costs of healthcare and the increasingly high costs of living (such as food and rent), an employee’s struggle to make ends meet or solve issues in their private lives can have a dire effect on their work life. A good way to address these is through smart employee benefits solutions, which utilize employer contributions to help employees with debt and personal expenses or offer benefits to ease particular employee pressures.
To find out more about why more and more people are turning to employee benefits solutions and financial services to get that helping hand they need to thrive at home and beat stress in the workplace, visit our website for information on employee benefits and how they help keep stress at bay.