A new Ipsos poll conducted on behalf of One Medical has found that 24% of employees are feeling more stressed in the workplace than they have in the past. This stress is manifesting itself through depression, anxiety and sleeplessness (55%.) Writing for Smartbrief.com, Naphtali Hoff points to an Accountemps survey which notes that workers under age 55 say they experience more work-related stress than older workers.
Experts believe a number of different factors may contribute to the work-related stress problem. Younger employees may be trying to balance the demands of raising a family with climbing the corporate ladder. These same workers may also be more likely to share their thoughts about stress and mental health than members of older generations.
Extended periods of stress can negatively impact personal health and work performance. Instead of completing a project, your key team member may be leaving early because of a stress-induced headache. If you’ve been pressuring your team to complete a project on a tight deadline, the person with a short fuse may start shouting at his co-workers when the latest product build fails. That kind of reaction could cause the project to implode.
As a leader, it’s key for you to sense when stress is impacting your team members. To minimize the effects of stress, make sure people are taking breaks. Encourage them to go for walks. Go with them if you think your presence will help. Check in frequently with folks who are working on a headline. They may be too afraid to ask you which parts of their usual responsibilities can take a back seat for a few days while they finish the task at hand. If you can help them prioritize what to work on, you’ll remove some of the stress.
Bringing in a big project on time and on budget may be a sign of a macho achievement, but if the completion results in a stress-filled office environment, you risk employee burnout and weakening loyalty.