Feeling stressed or overwhelmed is a common response to tough events or situations. Some stress is normal, but ongoing stress can cause further health problems, negatively affect your business or result in high turnover of staff and low productivity.
What can cause stress?
It’s important to have conversations with your employees regularly to find out how they are. External factors may cause someone to feel stressed, such as trauma, loss of a family member or friend, financial problems, health concerns or family or friendship breakdowns.
A few of the common workplace situations that may causes of stress include:
- poor working environment
- bad management practices
- workloads and demand
- employee relationships
- role conflict.
Warning signs of stress
Keep an eye on your staff for common warning signs of stress. They might be feeling, or show signs of:
- being panicked or anxious
- muscle tension
- poor sleep
- being irritable.
How to support employees through stressful times
Paying attention to your employee’s stress levels is vital—you need to remember everyone handles stress differently. Here are some way you can support stressed staff and create a safe workplace:
- provide a space where your employees can take a rest or break
- encourage the use of personal leave when they need it
- make sure your workplace is designed correctly to allow sunlight and fresh air
- make sure your employees know where they can get support
- encourage flexible working arrangements
- have a culture of open communication and have regular check-ins with your staff.
7 tips for managing and reducing stress
Here are some ways you can manage and reduce stress:
- Maintain a healthy work-life balance, make time for family and friends and activities you enjoy.
- Exercise regularly to help boost your energy levels and improve stamina.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating healthy and getting enough sleep.
- Learn to say ‘no’ so you don’t over commit yourself.
- Plan events ahead of time, so you know what’s coming up.
- Find ways to relax and unwind, such as meditation, listening to music or incorporating breathing techniques into your daily routine.
- Get support when you need it—talk to someone and ask for help.
- Read our mental health information or check out the Victorian Small Business Commission’s Creating a Mentally Healthy Small Business.
- Check out our tips on how to create a healthy workplace.
- Check out the beyondblue website for tips on reducing stress
- Read Safe Work Australia's information on Mental health and stress.