Stress at work has become a very worrying factor for companies, as Brazil has already reached the second place in the ranking of the most stressed countries in the world.
The scenario, therefore, is not good and one of the main reasons why people are so stressed is work. A survey by Isma-BR showed that 72% of Brazilians in the labor market suffer some sequel caused by stress. In addition, 32% of them suffer from burnout .
It is no longer possible to close your eyes and stop acting against an evil that affects the lives of so many people. After all, stress is already considered a disease according to the World Health Organization.
Its high levels can cause burnout syndrome , that is, physical and mental exhaustion related to the work environment. In addition, in more serious cases, workers need to temporarily leave their professional occupations so that they can recover.
Like stress, anxiety also affects people’s daily lives to such an extent that, according to the World Health Organization, Brazil is the most anxious country in the world . Therefore, we are also not doing very well in this regard.
Stress and anxiety at work are no joke and, therefore, in this article, we will prove that it is high time that all companies look more closely at this subject.
What is stress at work?
Stress, at first, is not a bad thing, as it is our body’s response to some stimulus. If it did not exist, the human race would probably be extinct, since stress is responsible for making us act at times when we have to fight or flee, for example.
So if you feel under threat, your body will quickly respond and ensure that you act to defend yourself.
There are several situations that cause stress in a person, but as many researches already point out, it is necessary to be aware that the work environment is one of the main triggers.
Stress times at work all people have, but the danger is when it goes on for a long time , causing cognitive, emotional and physical problems as well. In this way, the individual is irritated, worried, frustrated , anxious, afraid and uncomfortable most of the time .
What are the causes of stress at work?
Stress at work can be caused by several factors, but there are some that are more common.
Shall we meet them?
- Excessive competitiveness
A toxic environment, in which people feel they need to win all the time, can raise stress levels. As competitiveness grows, the tension becomes more present and nobody can work smoothly.
- Excessive working hours
Working overtime every day can cause physical and mental exhaustion, as it leaves the person feeling exhausted. This is because it is necessary to have some moments of leisure and social life outside of work, otherwise, stress can become a daily companion.
- Excessive pressureincreases the level of stress at work
Environments that focus a lot on results and forget the employees’ personal lives can become toxic, because excessive pressure ends up becoming a very big stress factor at work.
Therefore, balance is needed so that employees are able to deliver good results without harming their own health.
- Bad relationship with boss and peers
When the relationship with the boss or co-workers is not harmonious, the chances of conflicts and disagreements are greater. Therefore, at the first signs that something is not going well in the relations between the company’s employees, it is necessary to work to resolve the issue.
This is because this is one of the factors that can generate stress at work, since intrigues and fights cause constant anguish, anger and fear.
- Fear of unemployment creates stress at work
Especially in the last years when the economic crisis hit Brazil hard, the fear of unemployment grows and, in this way, people are more stressed as well.
Those who have lost their jobs must deal with the anguish of relocation. On the other hand, those who remain employed often need to work twice as much to make up for the loss of employees who will not be rehired. This also generates a lot of stress, as it ends up causing overtime work.
What are the symptoms of stress at work?
As we mentioned earlier, the symptoms of stress can be emotional, but also physical or cognitive. The more serious the case, the more intense and constant the signs that something is not going well.
Then check out the most common symptoms!
- Muscle aches
- Changes in the gastrointestinal system
- Dropped immunity
- Excessive tiredness
- Chest pains
- Mood swings
- Difficulty to relax
- Social isolation
- Feeling of overload
- Memory problems
- Difficulty concentrating
- Excessive worry
- How to reduce stress and anxiety at work?
- There are several ways to reduce anxiety and stress at work so that employees have a healthier day to day.
- There must be a balance of roles, as employees themselves can see to it that stress at work does not dominate their lives and they have quality of life.
- However, companies also need to recognize themselves as responsible for a portion of the physical and mental health of their professionals.
- Check out, then, some strategies that can be adopted by organizations so that the levels of anxiety and stress at work decrease!
- Provide a pleasant working environment
- First of all, the first step is to make sure that the office where your employees spend most of their hours a day is adequate and pleasant.
- Dirty, messy and uncomfortable environments are out of the question, after all, all this influences the stress levels at work.
- Employees need to feel welcomed, that is, it is worth investing a little in the decoration of the place and not leaving the walls all gray. Thus, a cheerful and high-spirited environment helps people to have happier days too.
- In addition, it is important to provide a small leisure area, but do not be fooled into thinking that, by this, I mean that your company needs to be the new Google.
- The investment doesn’t have to be that high, but it certainly must meet the basic needs of employees. A break room, for example, where people can relax a little during certain periods of the day is essential.
- The ideal is that it is not allowed to work or hold meetings in this place, otherwise it loses its purpose and does not collaborate to make the office a better place.
- Be flexible with schedules
- In many cities people spend a lot of time commuting to work and it has been proven through research that it can affect worker productivity.
- In addition, in these cases, stress also increases when employees are concerned about meeting times or need to hit the spot at a specific time.
- Considering that the context is not easy in many regions of the country, the ideal is that companies are a little more flexible in relation to schedules. This is not to say that rules should not exist, but that they need to consider the unforeseen and difficulties that people face to get to work.
- Another important point regarding flexibility is the fact that from time to time your employees may need to make alternative schedules, as there are eventually personal commitments that cannot be postponed.
- The role of organizations should be to provide such flexibilityso that people are not overly concerned with personal matters in the professional environment.
- At the same time, the home officeis also a very smart way to deal with the different needs of employees. Therefore, consider creating a clear policy that aims to help employees balance their personal and professional lives.
- Prizes for quality of life
- Quality of life is no longer a differential, but a necessity. Everyone wants to have a better balance between personal and professional life.
- Therefore, in order not to be left behind, include in your company’s speech that attitudes that undermine the quality of life of employees will not be tolerated. People need to trust that this is an environment that values balance.
- One tip is to train all managers to be aware of this point in such a way that they are able to control the tasks of the teams so that no one is overwhelmed.
- A lot of people have a hard time organizing their obligations and being productive, so to help the organization they can also provide workshops that help people produce more in less time.
- There are several other measures that can be taken, for example, the famous “Summer Friday”, which allows employees to leave early on summer Fridays.
- However, for actions like this to work, it is necessary to raise awareness about the responsibilitythat each one has on their demands, as such a benefit should not be used inappropriately by employees.
- Prohibit work during lunch hours
- Many people are in the habit of having lunch running to advance tasks, or worse, eating at the table to optimize time.
- In addition to not being healthy, attitudes like this raise stress levels at work, since lunchtime should be a break to rest your head from obligations.
- As long as companies still allow this kind of attitude, people will continue to have lunch at the table, glazed on their computer screens. That way, without realizing it, they will work 10 hours uninterrupted.
- It is up to organizations to prohibit actions like this, reinforcing that employees must have at least 1 hour of lunch, distract the mind and use this moment to relax.
- Create relaxed moments
- So that the environment does not become too heavy, it is important that the company is concerned with providing moments of relaxation at work.
- In this way, people live a lighter day to day and feel loved and valued by the organization.
- Small actions can already have a huge impact on the climateand performance of employees, so it is worth considering creating commemorative dates and offering lectures to reduce everyday wear and tear.
- It may seem silly or unimportant, but for those who are constantly sitting in a chair in front of the computer, these activities can be very pleasant and break the frantic pace of work a little.
- Encourage physical exercise
- There is no denying that physical exercise is beneficial for both physical and mental health, as it helps to reduce anxiety and stress at work.
- In offices where people hardly get up from their seats, as most functions are in front of the computer, it is important that companies encourage physical activity.
- This can be done through corporate benefits that allow employees to take classes at gyms, for example. However, there are other ways to encourage this practice too!
- Have you considered offering classes during office hours? Hire a teacher to give specific classes to your employees to encourage people to take short breaks in their daily lives to take care of themselves.
- If there is not enough space in the office, look for a place nearby that can be rented and used for such activities.
- Encourage meditationto reduce stress at work
- One of the main benefits of meditation is the reduction of stress, so it can be a powerful tool to make the work environment healthier.
- This was revealed by a survey conducted by Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, the Federal University of São Paulo and the Appana Mind Institute. The study pointed out that doing 1 hour and 15 minutes of Yoga and meditationthree times a week, for two months, was able to cut the cortisol concentration of the people evaluated in half.
- The research group was made up of caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s, so they had high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
- The tip is to offer workshops, classes and other types of incentives for your employees to seek meditation as a way to relieve anxiety and stress at work.
- Offer therapy as a corporate benefit
- The therapyis also a very powerful tool when it comes to anxiety and stress, therefore, seek partners like Vittude Corporate to offer the practice as a benefit it is a great strategy.
- In this way, the company shows genuine concern and provides assistance so that more people can have therapy sessions and work on issues related to stress.
- After all, it is worth emphasizing once again that if organizations do not look closely at this issue, the tendency is for the situation to get worse. By that, I mean that absenteeismand absences due to anxiety and stress will end up harming even more the your company’s productivity and growth !