polkadotfrog’s top tips on how to recognise stress in the workplace on our return to the ‘new normal’

As we find ourselves in the midst of seriously challenging times, if you are a manager or concerned about a colleague….. Here are some tips from  polkadotfrog on how to recognise and combat stress in the workplace:

Occupational stress is always a major risk to employers, but never more so than now.  With some employees struggling being furloughed or working from home and missing the normality of social interaction.

Life has become incredibly stressful, uncertain and challenging for us all as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.  With our all lives changing dramatically, how do we cope with the feelings of stress and anxiety that it brings?

The world has been gripped in a very scary situation because of this virus.  It is important to note that we are in the midst of three pandemics:

1. The first pandemic is the fear and panic around COVID-19 and how it might affect us physically, mentally, emotionally and as a society.
2. The second is the coronavirus itself.
3. The third pandemic, which we are are inevitably going to see in the near future, is the mental health pandemic which is a side effect of what we are currently experiencing.

Poor mental health is already one of the biggest issues affecting modern society today, and this is only, very sadly, going to tip many emotionally vulnerable people over the edge.

Employees are often responsible for their own Health and Safety within the workplace, however, it’s also the manager’s duty to identify signs of stress among employees. polkadotfrog has put together some tips on how to recognise the key signs of stress and we need to be alert to these now more than ever:

  1. Notable changes or fluctuations in an employee’s behaviour. For instance, withdrawn or uncharacteristic behaviour
  2. A change in appearance
  3. A lack of commitment and concentration

What are typical causes of workplace stress?  

  1. Work overload, such as consistently having to work longer hours than necessary, not being able to take lunch breaks or restrictions on annual leave.
  2. Personal and/or family issues outside of the workplace. If you don’t have a close relationship with your employee these may be more difficult signs to spot.
  3. The psychological working environment, for example, abusive and/or inappropriate behaviour, internal issues with management and unrealistic targets/team pressures.
  4. The physical working environment: Cramped space, dull lighting, inconsistent temperature and regular disruptions (both external and internal) could all be causing an employee stress.
  5. Extensive micro management can also be a massive factor in workplace stress. Especially if your team are working from home. Feeling like someone is constantly watching over your shoulder is never a nice feeling and employees are also less likely to take initiative for fear of disappointing.

Methods of resolving

  1. Schedule regular reviews of workplace policies to ensure they benefit and safeguard both the company and its employees.
  2. Empower your employees to get on with the job and allow them to be confident in their role to boost self-esteem.
  3. Provide support for employees who are suffering from stress, listen to what they have to say and prioritise their health over work.
  4. Listen to what the employee has to say and consider actions that could be taken to decrease stress levels, for example, simple modifications within the workplace environment, or increased communication from management.
  5. Put specific measures in place to tackle workplace discrimination, abuse and inappropriate behaviour.

When it comes to combatting stress, creating policies, enforcing effective communication methods with employees, and initiating transparent discussions will lead to an open and honest working environment for all.

polkadotfrog is committed to improving the workplace environment for both employers and employees, you can sign-up to our newsletter to receive more of our content in this series by visiting our website.