Let’s talk about something that affects us all: stress. We’ve all felt its grip at some point while we are juggling work, life, and everything in between. In this blog post, we’ll dive into why and how you should champion International Stress Awareness Week at your workplace, and why offering stress management strategies and tools for employees is crucial for the success of both your team and the company as a whole.
Step 1: Understanding Stress and its Many Faces
Stress is like that uninvited guest that can’t seem to take a hint. It comes in various forms – from the mild jitters before a presentation (we call this positive stress or eustress as your body is preparing you for being ready in an important situation) to the relentless pressure of looming deadlines (which is the not-so-great acute or episodic-acute stress). There’s also chronic stress, which sticks around like that friend who overstays their welcome and which we try to avoid most. It’s high time we grasp the different flavors of stress because acknowledging them and categorizing them with your employees is the first step towards effective stress management at work. So as a first step, we suggest for you to create awareness around these different types of stress and let your employees measure their stress levels, as an example with a simple and free online test!
4 Main Types of Stress:
The main harmful types of stress are acute stress, chronic stress, and episodic acute stress. Acute stress is usually brief, chronic stress is prolonged, and episodic acute stress is short-term but frequent. Positive stress, known as eustress, can be fun and exciting, but it can also take a toll.
Step 2: acknowledging the Stress Epidemic within the “common humanity” framework
The modern world throws a constant barrage of information, responsibilities, and expectations our way. Between balancing work, family, and personal pursuits, it’s no surprise that stress has become the new normal. In fact, studies show that stress levels have escalated significantly over the past few decades. The “always-on” culture, excessive screen time, and the constant hustle contribute to this uphill battle. Stress affects us all and is nothing to be ashamed of, but an aspect that makes us human. Acknowledging that with your employees is a great step to take some of the stigma away from the struggle with stress!
Step 3: Assessing the Consequences for your Company
Now, you might be wondering, “How does this concern my company?” Well, the effects of stress aren’t confined to individual lives; they ripple through organizations too. Picture this: Decreased productivity, a surge in burnout cases, plummeting retention rates – all thanks to stress. According to recent statistics, stress-related absenteeism and productivity loss cost companies billions each year. The harsh truth is that stressed employees don’t just suffer – their stress seeps into the workplace, taking a toll on the overall health of the organization!
Step 4: Combatting Stress Effectively
In the face of this stress epidemic, we’re not powerless. We’re armed with more tools than ever to tackle stress head-on. Simple lifestyle changes can make a world of difference. Imagine this: Exercising to release endorphins, maintaining a balanced diet for sustained energy, practicing mindfulness for mental clarity, and connecting with a community for emotional support. These are all weapons in our arsenal against stress. By stepping away from constant social media scrolling and taking time for yourself, you’re paving the way for a healthier, happier you.
Here’s where the rubber meets the road – it’s up to you, the company leadership and HR professionals, to turn the tide. Addressing stress management at work might seem like a daunting task, but it’s one worth taking on. Happy, healthy employees are the backbone of a thriving organization. It’s time to champion International Stress Awareness Week and create a culture of wellbeing within your workplace.
Here are some innovative ideas to shake things up:
International Stress Awareness Week Special Event: What better way to get everyone on board than a dedicated event? Host workshops, seminars, and fun activities that shed light on stress awareness and management. This week-long initiative can kickstart the conversation about mental health and self-care.
atlasGO: Your Wellbeing Partner: One remarkable tool in the fight against stress is our employee engagement and holistic wellbeing platform. You can organize engaging holistic wellbeing challenges or programs that target stress reduction. Whether it’s hitting the road for a run, meditating, or eating mindfully, atlasGO covers it all, fostering a sense of community and camaraderie among employees.
Flexibility and Work-Life Balance: Encourage a healthy work-life balance. Offering flexible work hours and remote options can significantly reduce the strain that comes from juggling various responsibilities.
Wellness Initiatives and Resources: Provide access to resources like mental health seminars, yoga classes, and counseling services. Employees should feel supported in their quest for stress management.
Lead by Example: As leaders, you set the tone. Show your commitment to stress management by practicing what you preach. A leader who values wellbeing sends a powerful message to the entire team.
A Healthier, Happier Workforce Awaits
In the grand tapestry of business success, employee wellbeing is a thread that cannot be ignored. Addressing stress management at work and promoting International Stress Awareness Week isn’t just a noble endeavor; it’s a smart one. Your company’s prosperity is intrinsically tied to the health and happiness of your workforce. By implementing thoughtful strategies and initiatives, you’re not just reducing stress – you’re fostering a positive, thriving workplace that benefits everyone involved. Remember, your company is only as strong as its people, and a well-supported team is the secret ingredient to sustained success. So, go ahead and take the first step towards a stress-free, fulfilling work environment. Your employees – and your bottom line – will thank you. If you want to know more about atlasGO and our wellbeing platform please reach out to us, we are happy to chat!
Written by Olivier Kaeser