As we continue to explore how organisations can mitigate stress and burnout, we’ve examined the real-world impact of stress conditions on businesses, and explored how emerging technologies can help us prevent the lost productivity and increased absenteeism associated with stress.
This week, we talk to B-Secur’s own Caroline Murdoch, human resources development manager, for her firsthand perspective on how organisations can create healthy workplaces.
Stress, depression or anxiety and musculoskeletal disorders accounted for the majority of days lost due to work-related ill health, 15.4 million and 6.6 million respectively.
“The fast pace of change within the business environment and 24/7 connectivity are part of the business culture we find ourselves in now.
“Understandably, employees are finding it increasingly challenging to manage the pressures of work, stay on top of their responsibilities and manage family and personal commitments.
“Work-related pressure needn’t be negative in and of itself but when that pressure leads to uncontrollable stress it can take a toll on emotional, physical and mental health.
“Most importantly we know it can also impact performance at work – lack of clarity in critical thinking, decision making, communication effectiveness and work relationships can all be impaired.”
How Can Organisations Respond?
“Organisations should adopt a proactive approach to stress in the workplace.
“Training and supporting managers to deal with employee absence due to stress when it happens is only the start.
"They should proactively put strategies in place to identify stressors by conducting regular employee engagement surveys to gauge how staff are feeling about their work and their environment, listen to employees' concerns and feedback, and educate staff on coping with stress through a series of training programmes such as:
- Training in managing multiple projects.
- Time management.
- Stress management.
“Implementation of a Wellness Strategy, as part of their commitment to supporting a culture of health and wellness, could include a number of campaigns such as mindfulness training, emotional resilience training, health checks, cycle to work scheme, diet and nutrition advice.
“For employees who need specific support, organisations should partner with specialists who can provide the appropriate external counselling support.”
ECG Monitoring for Vital Stress Data
“ECG monitoring can be incorporated within the wellness framework to form an integral part of the education of staff on health and wellbeing at work.
“At B-Secur, we regularly collect ECG data from our staff to provide people with vital information about their stress levels at work. From an organisational perspective, this will go a long way to shaping the culture that promotes a healthy workplace.
“The potential doesn’t stop there.
“In stressful industries, such as the Armed Forces, hospital environments or in the transport industry, the benefits of employees having access to accurate valid data information regarding their heart rate variability and stress and fatigue levels are clear.
“For the individuals themselves and also for their respective employers, to be able to monitor these levels across their workforce is powerful in the context of managing stress at work.”