Building Resilience: Strategies to Manage Workplace Stress

Workplace stress is a silent but costly issue affecting both employees and organizations. Stress-related costs can soar to $300 billion in absenteeism and lost productivity. This article dives deep into the causes and effects of workplace stress, offering actionable strategies for individuals and organizations. Find out how to set boundaries, practice stress-reduction techniques, and create a more resilient work environment. Employee well-being is paramount, and a healthier, more resilient workforce is a significant asset for any organization. Manage workplace stress effectively, enhance job satisfaction, and boost productivity. Read on to thrive in today's demanding work environments!
building resilience

In today’s fast-paced and demanding work environments, workplace stress has become a pervasive concern affecting employees and organizations. Approximately 40% of employees report their job is very stressful. This is why workers need tools to build strategies to manage workplace stress. 

Juggling deadlines, pressure to perform, and the increasing demands of the modern workplace have led to employees dealing with stress. Studies show that work-related stress costs the US industry $300 billion in absenteeism and lost productivity. Luckily, employees can manage their day-to-day stress and tactics employers can use to create a more positive, resilient workplace.

Understanding Workplace Stress

Workplace stress, often called occupational or job-related stress, is a form of psychological strain or tension resulting from the demands, pressures, and challenges individuals face in their work environments. Approximately 65% of workers experience some level of work-related stress. Chronic stress can have a significant impact on employees’ physical and mental health, often being associated with chronic pain or illness and mental health issues. 

There are many sources of workplace stress. Excessive workload, long working hours, and high job demands are a significant source of stress. 41% of workers report that this is their primary stress source. Alternatively, unclear job responsibilities can create confusion and stress among employees. Poor workplace relationships, communication issues, and the resulting job insecurity can create stress and anxiety for employees. A poor workplace culture, particularly one that does not value work-life balance, can lead to chronic stress. These workplaces are often filled with competitive overtones that detract from the teamwork that should be taking place. This can make employees feel overworked, overwhelmed, and overstressed.

Workplace stress can have wide-ranging consequences, including decreased job satisfaction, reduced productivity, absenteeism, burnout, and a higher risk of physical and mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. Amid these consequences, employers are starting to recognize the importance of stress management programs and employee well-being. 

Strategies for Managing Workplace Stress for Employees

Managing stress in the workplace is essential for maintaining employee well-being, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. Here are some effective strategies for managing stress in the workplace:

Set Boundaries.

Keeping a work-life balance is an important skill for all workers. Establish clear boundaries between your work and personal life. If you can, leave your work at work to focus on taking care of yourself at home. Avoid taking work calls and answering work emails while you’re off the clock. While completely leaving your work in the workplace is not possible for everyone, it is important to take time for yourself and practice self-care, like going for a walk, partaking in a hobby, and spending uninterrupted time with friends and family. A healthy work-life balance will help employees become more resilient to the daily stresses of the workplace.

Practice Stress-Reduction Techniques.

Techniques like yoga and mindfulness meditation can be effective at reducing stress. Adding activities like this into your daily routine is a great idea. While working, use deep breathing and take adequate breaks to manage your stress levels. 

Get Regular Exercise.

Regular physical activity can reduce stress by releasing endorphins, natural mood lifters. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily routine, even if it’s a short walk during a break.

Get Sleep.

Sleep is your body’s way of resetting. Getting enough sleep (at least 8 hours for adults) is essential for keeping your body and mind healthy. 

Seek Support.

Talking to your friends or colleagues about your stressors can be very beneficial. This can provide emotional support, perspective, and advice for managing your stress. Additionally, if you are comfortable, you can seek support from your employer. They may be able to help you manage your workload and find professional support if desired.

Beyond giving employees the necessary stress management skills, employers should actively strive to create a resilient work environment that supports employees and their mental health.

Creating a Resilient Work Environment

Creating a workplace culture that values employees’ well-being is crucial for an organization’s overall success. Resilience in the workplace refers to the ability of employees and the organization to adapt, recover, and thrive in the face of challenges, changes, and stressors. Employees can foster resilience in the workplace through several tactics and strategies. 

Creating a stress management program is one of the most effective ways to develop resilience in the workforce. These programs can include training and education on stress management and mental health resources such as on-site counseling. These activities can help promote awareness and reduce the stigma of mental health issues. Additionally, these programs encourage open communication between employees and employers, providing channels for employees to receive support from management without fear of retaliation. 

In addition to supporting mental health, stress management programs can also promote physical well-being. Wellness programs incorporating preventative healthcare clinics, exercise, and healthy eating can create a more resilient workforce. These programs can also show employees that they are cared for, leading to higher job satisfaction and reduced turnover for employers.

Creating a resilient work environment is an ongoing effort that requires commitment from leadership and all organization members. By fostering resilience, employers can create a workplace where employees are better equipped to handle challenges, adapt to change, and thrive professionally and personally.

The Role of Occupational Health in Stress Management

Occupational health plays a crucial role in stress management within the workplace. Occupational health professionals are trained to identify potential stressors and hazards in the workplace. They use surveys and risk assessments to determine what is causing stress among employees, then they can develop preventative measures to address employee stress. 

Additionally, they can provide training and education to employees and managers about stress management techniques, helping them recognize the signs of stress. Occupational health professionals can also connect employees and organizations with the necessary mental health resources to support employees. 

By working with an occupational health provider, organizations can create a healthier, more resilient work environment for their employees. This, in turn, can lead to increased job satisfaction, higher productivity, reduced absenteeism, and improved overall employee well-being.

How Can We Help?

Work Health Solutions offers comprehensive healthcare solutions for your medical needs. Our qualified team treats patients and employers alike and always provides top-quality service. We back our quality service with years of experience. We have worked with academic and research institutions, corporate healthcare, Fortune 25 companies, small governments, and local businesses. Reach out today with any questions about how we can assist you!

Work Health Solutions

Work Health Solutions

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Work Health Solutions is dedicated to preserving a safe work environment and improving existing programs and care for local, regional and national organizations.

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Dr. Michael Tenison

A series of notable accomplishments distinguish Dr. Michael Tenison’s career in medical operations and healthcare management:

  • Successfully led medical operations at a national healthcare provider, focusing on optimizing healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.
  • Oversaw the regional medical practices in key markets like Oregon and Northern California, ensuring consistent, quality medical care and service delivery.
  • Demonstrated exceptional leadership in building and mentoring a large medical provider team, enhancing team performance and patient care standards.
  • Implemented strategic company policies and protocols, significantly improving center efficiency, clinical quality, and patient experiences.
  • Played a pivotal role in financial planning and identifying growth opportunities for healthcare services, contributing to the organization’s overall success.
  • Served as a primary point of contact for regional employer clients and insurance companies, fostering strong relationships and effective communication.
  • Maintained high medical care and case management standards through diligent supervision, chart audits, and performance metric analysis.

Dr. Matt Feeley

Dr. Matt Feeley is a renowned figure in military aviation medicine, with a robust background in occupational and environmental medicine from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

  • Former Naval Flight Surgeon, exemplifying his expertise in aerospace medicine and commitment to military health.
  • Served with distinction at NSA Bahrain and HSM-37, earning the COMPACFLT Flight Surgeon of the Year award for exceptional medical service.
  • Supported U.S. Marines VMFA-323 aboard the USS Nimitz, MACG-38, and VMU-3, demonstrating versatility and leadership in diverse medical environments.
  • Broad interests and significant contributions in global health, corporate medicine, and aerospace medicine, highlighting his multidisciplinary approach.
  • Proven track record as a dynamic leader, well-equipped to face the challenges in a fractional medical directorship role with innovative solutions.

Dr. Glen Cheng

A physician-attorney with a dedication to healthcare innovation, informatics, and digital health.

  • Currently spearheads employee health protection and promotion within the VA Pittsburgh Health Care System.
  • Trained in residency at Harvard, achieving board certification as a physician; also a licensed patent attorney with experience as FDA regulatory counsel.
  • Co-founded Acceleromics, a consulting firm providing clinical and regulatory guidance to digital health startups.

Erin Davis

 Chief Clinical Officer at Work Health Solutions, certified in Adult-Gerontology (AGNP-C) and Athletic Training (ATC).

  • Oversees clinical operations and ensures high clinical standards across the company’s national field staff.
  • Former Manager of Clinic Operations and Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner at Stanford University Occupational Health Center (SUOHC).
  • Specialized in treating occupational injuries and illnesses, and provided medical surveillance and travel medicine consults at Stanford and SLAC National Accelerator Lab.
  • Dedicated to sports and occupational injury treatment and prevention.
  • Assistant Clinical Faculty at UCSF, mentoring students in clinical rotations within the Adult Gerontology and Occupational and Environmental Health Program.
  • Holds leadership roles as Treasurer and President Elect of the California El Camino Real Association of Occupational Health Nurses (CECRAOHN), affiliated with the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN).

Dr. Robert Goldsmith

Expert in benefits design and onsite innovation with specialization in the pharmaceutical industry.

  • Previous role as Executive Director for Employee Health at Novartis Services, Inc., leading health services and clinical support.
  • Instrumental in creating an integrated healthcare system at Novartis.
  • Former private practice in internal medicine in Stamford, Connecticut, and Medical Director consultant for GTE Corporation.
  • Transitioned to GE as a Global Medical Director in 2000.
  • Holds a medical degree from Albert Einstein College, an MPH from the University of Connecticut, and completed training at Greenwich Hospital and Yale-New Haven Medical Center.
  • Assistant professor in the Department of Medicine at the Vagelos School of Medicine, Columbia University.
  • Serves as a team physician for high school athletes in Stamford.
  • Published works on occupational health risks, primary prevention, and exercise-induced asthma.