Businesses aren’t doing enough to reduce stress and anxiety in the workplace as culture continues to focus on ‘doing more with less,’ according to specialists. Author Phil Parker has compiled his top ways to stop work burnout in its tracks as part of his P4 programme, a business scheme to help employers implement pre-emptive processes for work stress.
Learn the causes
Stress is a deeply instinctive response to perceived danger that occurs when your body releases adrenaline for a problem not solved through physical exertion. A by-product from more primitive times, the instinct doesn’t have much place in the office, and can affect your health by raising blood pressure and reducing your appetite. The longer we stay stressed, the more it affects our ability to work. Introducing schemes to nip stress in the bud early on can make a big difference. Bring in schemes that encourage workers to keep active, encourage more work socials/lunches or even take a day out of the office.
See the signs
Burnout can affect workers’ personal lives, which in term affects their work. As well as health problems, it can lead to workers shutting themselves away from others and even developing a dependence on alcohol or drugs. Giving workers the attention they need as soon as you can will help minimise the damage before it begins to spiral out of control and affect other workers. Noticing when staff stop attending work socials, never seem to have enough time to meet their deadlines or reach their goals, or having sudden mood changes could be signs of burnout, and it’s worth taking a worker aside or meeting them out of the office to tackle the problems head-on.
Understand the cost
Address the problems of your staff before they grow out of your control. Understanding the price of a healthy workplace and the benefits it brings while knowing when workers should stay home could define your business as a leader in its field, according to Phil Parker.
“Forward-thinking businesses can create environments where they recognise the value of a healthy and happy workforce, and the cost of sickness and churning staff,” said Parker. “They can encourage a climate of it being ok and important to take breaks and ask for support and they can also find ways to reduce some of the pressure.”