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5 signs to identify your employee’s stress

80% of American workers are suffering from stress at work; 51% claim that it is due to heavy workload; 56% of the workers worldwide say that stress affects their productivity; so goes the statistics.

Any employer could guess the most probable reasons behind their employee’s stress: tedious workload, an imbalance between work and personal life, colleague bullies, lack of job security, anxiety over making ends meet. But, as a good employer, your skill lies in detecting when your employee is stressed and taking precautions before it hits his productivity for worse.

If one of your employees is stressed beyond healthy limits, it affects his productivity and performance, which in turn impacts the overall yield of your company or organization.

Some of the most overlooked Pointers to Stress are:

  1. Frequent missing of deadlines: If one your dedicated employees suddenly starts going downhill in his work, it’s a warning sign that something is amiss. It might be something in his personal or professional field that’s affecting him. Allow him space and time to breathe out his issues before resuming his activity full-fledged.

  2. “He’s so restless throughout the day, tapping his foot or fingers all the time”. If you hear someone remarking the same about your employee, take note that he is stressed and anxious. The restless movements are manifested symptoms of stress that has high chances of developing into anxiety and depression.

  3. Unsatisfactory work quality: If experienced employees produce an output of decreased quality over a period of time, probably he/she is having a hard time concentrating on the work being done with the mind being anxious and stressed out over something else.

  4. Behavioral issues with colleagues: A person’s behavior and attitude towards his colleagues and co-workers is a reflection of his psychological state. If a person who is social and amiable with everyone suddenly flares up at the slightest of jokes and comments, starts averting social occasions and avoiding after-work hangouts, he/she is extremely stressed and needs attention.

  5. Working’ off the stress: Employers usually feel lucky to have workers who work past their time or start their work very early in the morning. But the hidden danger lies in the fact that such an employee might be highly stressed. Either his heavy workload is forcing him to do so or, he is overworking himself in the hope of getting rid of stressful thoughts. In either case, he is only increasing his stress and never cooling it down.

Since the outburst of the pandemic, stress levels among the employees have mounted up. Being away from colleagues, the mixed personal and professional life, and pandemic stress- WFH is not much solace. Unlike the stress indicators one finds in-person, the WFH stress markers are subtle. Long and delayed replies to messages, forgetting deadlines, decreasing quality of productivity, all these point to a stressed mind. And if the employee is ‘active’ at unusual hours, late into the night working on projects, then it’s a sign your productive employee is burning out himself and is highly stressed or unable to manage time for work during the day.

As a good employer, what can I do?

If you are dedicated to the welfare of your employees, there are some actionable solutions that can help you raise your employee from the pit of stress to good mental health.

  1. “Put your left hand in, put your left hand out, put your right hand in and shake it all around…” Encourage physical activity among your staff. Don’t let them stay glued to their screens throughout the working hours. Exercises and stretches refresh the mind and body, and this paves way for more productivity in your team.

  2. Break apart some space in your premises for ‘breakroom’. Breakrooms could include some couches, benches and chairs where the employees could pop in for relaxation when they feel beaten out of energy. You could also make use of pictures, wall hangings, and even plants that gives mental relaxation. A pool table, if your judgment allows it, would nail it!

  3. Expect realistically from real humans. Expectations always put pressure on the workers, especially the newly hired. Don’t let your expectations stress the employees and hinder their productivity. Keep it mediocre until they have become adept at it.

  4. If your employee is most productive when he works from home, let him. Allow flexibility of the work environment among your employees. A change in the environment once in a while can stir creativity. Also, be empathetic with your workers who have kids to be taken care of. If remote working is possible, allow the employees a choice.

  5. Corporate Wellness: This would always be your best investment towards your employee’s mental and physical health. Corporate wellness is much beyond stress management workshops, providing break rooms, food coupons, or team outings. There must be a real focus and tracking of an employee’s stress levels, whether he/she gets a good recovery and sleep. Rather than preaching the needfuls, mental health practices must be made a reality among the employees.

A work-life without any stress is unrealistic. Every job has its own hurdle to be crossed and its own stress to be harnessed. In fact, the stress in small amounts pushes one out of the comfort zones and towards higher goals. The key lies in maintaining the stress of your employees within their healthy limits and preventing its toxicity. Corporate Wellness programs like that of the Repose Platform have gone long way in maintaining wellness beyond the workplace and in aiding employers to maintain the mental and physical sanctity of organizations. Next time you notice any of the above signs among your employees, be the employer who gives heed and asks him/her to slow their pace and dissolve their stress away.


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