How to manage stress at work

OPINION / 25th May 2018

Stress has many causes and can be experienced differently by different people; and, if not monitored, it can have a really negative impact on your health. At ORM, we really care about our employees and we want to make sure that they are working in a relaxed and supported environment. We work closely with Joyful Living to provide well-being programmes in our office to enable a calm and supported environment.

Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week, (however, we should not limit this to only one week a year), so make sure you leave the office behind, turn off your work phone for the weekend and get involved with some tips that Joyful Living have shared, so that you can reduce your stress levels. Data is underpinning the digital revolution in the insurance sector, fuelling innovation and InsurTech startups. New business models have emerged that use data to their advantage, such as peer-to-peer insurance or pay-as-you-go, and new players in the market are changing how risk is evaluated as a result of it. Coupled with advances in computing power, insurers now have the ability to model ever larger and more complex datasets, in real time, which means they can derive nuanced insights into their customers’ behaviours, potentially being able to offer them variable and personalised insurance.

So what can you do as an employer to help reduce employee stress levels?

1. Talk about mental health – unfortunately, mental health still carries with it a level of stigma, with many people being ashamed to admit they have a problem and struggling on alone. In recent years there has been more of a focus on mental health with the aim of making it ok to talk about issues, this will helpfully begin to change perceptions. As an employer, you can help by making it clear that your staff can ask for help without any negative impact. Ensure everyone has time to talk about their issues and managers have time with employees so they can spot any problems before they escalate.

2. Leave the office behind – before smartphones and laptops, working anywhere other than the office was almost impossible. You could leave your desk and leave your work behind. Today most people take their work with them wherever they go, be it checking emails of an evening and weekend or logging on to work once at home. This means people are getting less opportunity to switch off, to take a break, which will all impact on stress levels. The French have introduced a new law. It requires companies with more than 50 employees to establish hours when staff should not send or answer emails. The aim of this is to reduce stress and ensure that staff isn’t working substantially longer hours than they are paid for. Here are some tips to help give your employees digital detox

3. Think about overall wellbeing – many organisations, especially larger ones, have official wellbeing programmes that focus on the mental and physical health of their employees. If you don’t have one or the resources available then there are many organisations, such as Joyful Living that provide services designed around improving employee wellbeing. From chair based massages and office yoga to help relax and focus to more detailed stress management workshops, these will all have a positive impact on your employees.

4. What comes out, not what goes in – it happens time and time again, those that are in first and out last every day are seen as dedicated, hardworking and loyal employees and rewarded accordingly.  But, just because someone is at their desk it doesn’t mean they’re working. They could be surfing the net, researching their next holiday or watching something on YouTube. Focusing on results, house spent at desks. Reward those employees with the biggest sales figures, that produce the most effective marketing campaigns, that resolve the most IT issues…  Not just those that are in the office from 8-8...

5. Be flexible – causes for stress are numerous, for some it might be the level of work or people in the office for others it might be caused by their home life. Allow for some level of flexibility within your organisation.  Something simple as changes to start and finish time to accommodate childcare or adjusting workloads and areas of responsibility to stop anyone being overloaded can all help.

Nisha Gera co-founder from www.joyful-living.co