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Stress support through the workplace

Supporting colleagues and yourself through stress

April is Stress Awareness Month, held annually since 1992. It aims to put a spotlight on stress: what causes it, what it looks and feels like, and how we can relieve it.

That said, in the world we live in, it’s increasingly difficult not to be aware of stress. Between stress about money, about our jobs, about our relationships and, increasingly, about world events like the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts and the climate, the sheer amount of stress the world is under is incredibly high.

80% of millennials in the workplace report high levels of stress, and burnout is now recognised as a chronic condition by the World Health Organisation.

According to a study by Safety Management, around 77% of employees experience the physical effects of stress, like fatigue, headaches, tension, and even changes in their sex drive. 73% experience the physiological effects of stress, including anger, anxiety and crying. Of those surveyed, 25% of people view their job as their number 1 stressor.

With work being responsible for so much stress amongst the general population, it becomes imperative that we all learn how to combat the stress that comes with it.

We all know the classic ways to reduce stress on a personal level: time off, exercise, meditation, mindfulness. But what can companies do to help their employees on this journey, and reduce the amount of stress they experience?

1.Work-life balance

The biggest barrier to the reduction of stress, is staying in a stressful environment for long periods of time. Combatting this with effective work-life balance initiatives is key. Regular wellbeing afternoons, days where internal meetings are off limits so people can get through their work faster, and a company culture where weekend and after-hours work is off limits can help drastically improve general satisfaction and reduce stress.

2. Employee involvement

Getting involved with your work community through in-person and digital opportunities, as well as monitoring employee satisfaction regularly through surveys, helps people feel as though they’re part of something. Employee opinion matters, and if you’re regularly getting a temperature check on how those opinions are going, you can be more agile and fluid in fixing issues as they arrive as well. Communities like D&I networks and community volunteering can also grow a sense of camaraderie; when you get involved, everyone benefits, including your stress levels.

3. Growth and development opportunities

We all want to feel like we’re working towards something, and that our company is on our side in that journey. Mentorship, training, advancement and recognition are key factors in helping employees feel as though their employers are invested in them and will support them even through hard times and mistakes.

There are plenty of ways to combat stress in the workplace, but what works for one person might not work for the next. At Paysafe we’re continually evolving what we can offer and finetuning our approach based on evolving best practice. One way people can manage their stress, is to fill out their Mental Health Toolkit. This helps people recognise what works for them, especially when they communicate that to those around them so that we can all proactively recognise and combat stress as it happens.

Stress comes with highs and lows, and it’s a journey we all find ourselves on at some time in our lives. But with effective management and support from those around us, we can pull through and come out stronger on the other side.