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Six ways of combating stress at work

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3) Make sure your employees are taking a break

We all know the world of work is a hectic place, but taking a break is essential to relax the mind and recharge the batteries. Breaks can come in two forms; breaks throughout the day and breaks in terms of taking time away from work. It is important to ensure workers take breaks now and again. Spending too much time in front of a screen can lead to stress. Encouraging a culture where this is the norm should be supported. If possible, break spaces where workers can take timeAway should be provided. Alternatively, encourage workers to take lunch away from the desk.

In an on-demand, 24/7, society it is easy for the work-life balance to shift in favour of work. Economic and social pressures may also mean employees feel they must always work to ensure they have a job. This combination, along with other factors, can mean people are taking less time away from the office and, in return, burnout and stress levels have increased. A recent survey showed a third of workers don’t take their full annual leave allowance and even those that do find themselves working on their holidays. So is it time we encourage staff to take their full annual leave allowance in order?to switch off fully?

4) Keep track of workloads

One of the biggest causes of workplace stress is workload. Most will have feltthere is too much work on their plate. Much of the problem lies in workload visibility. We are so busy with our own jobs that we don’t truly know the workload of others and even if you do have visibility, through one-to-one meetings or informal conversations, people may have tasks they haven?t written down or articulated for various reasons. It all comes back to the workplace relationship: allowing workers to open up about their workload and to come to management with any concerns.

5) Carry out return-to-work interviews

This may sound like a grilling?but a return to work interview doesn’t have to be this way and can provide useful information. If an employee has been off due to stress, or for any other reason, a return-to work interview will allow you to uncover the reasons behind the absence. If their absence was due to stress, you can then start to look how you may be able to combat the issue. It will not only help individuals but it may also allow you to uncover stress-related issues affecting your entire workforce. You can then put plans in place before it becomes a wider issue.

6) Be a role model

No matter what plans or preventative measures you put in place, it is important that you act as a role model and lead from the front. To be able to foster an open culture where employee relationships flourish you need to make sure you’re engaging with your employees. If you feel taking breaks will help stress levels in your company, then make sure you are taking breaks as well, not working every hour possible. That way you send a message that not only is it ok, it’s encouraged.

Are you having problems with stress-related absence Download our latest guide and find out how you can plan for unplanned absence.

Paul Toothis CEO of BrightHR

Image: Shutterstock

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