7 key tips to reduce workplace stress
Take the following steps to reduce the stress of your workers:
- offer workers regular rest breaks, including breaks between shifts;
- ensure that workloads remain at an appropriate level;
- set limits on the amount of overtime someone works;
- train managers on how to identify and assist workers suffering from stress;
- develop and implement policies that create a supportive work environment, e.g. grievance and conflict resolution procedures;
- provide access to support services, such as counseling; and
- offer workers flexible hours to satisfy competing demands, e.g. child-caring responsibilities.
- Increased working hours causing workplace stress
- While the nature of work can impose stress on your staff, a survey by the Australian Psychological Society last year suggests that the uncertainty of when the working day will end is also a significant stressor.
Increasingly, the working pattern for Australians has changed over the decades and the regular 9 to 5 job is increasingly becoming a thing of the past.
One of the main issues that have added to workers’ stress levels is the requirement to meet other commitments, such as child care, social activities, or appointments while remaining uncertain about when the working day will end.
Staff is also prone to keeping their phones on in the evenings and in many organisations there is an expectation that staff will be contactable at all times.
Stress caused by these increased demands can lead to poor performance, absences from work due to ill health, and even workers’ compensation claims.
In conjunction with other measures to reduce stress levels in your organisation, consider when staff is required to work till and whether the nature of your business can accommodate more certainty for people as to when they will finish each day. Improving the level of certainty in that regard can have significant ongoing benefits for your staff and in turn your organisation.
“Go home and switch off the phone” is an important message you should tell your staff to help ensure their ongoing health and well being.
Other steps you can take include:
- encouraging customers to contact your organisation during certain hours, with any after-hours contact to be responded to the following day.
- organising workflow so that tasks performed towards the end of the day are less time-consuming or able to be suspended until the following day; and
- scheduling meetings earlier in the day so that staff are able to leave on time;