Workplace stress is consistently on the rise. An increase in demands to hit targets and meet deadlines can have a hugely detrimental effect on your employees. 

The usual reason for increasing the pressure on your team is to facilitate more growth and productivity. While this may work in the short-term, increasing demand on your employees will harvest poor results in the long-term — as chronic stress can significantly impact productivity, creativity, and overall performance. 

It’s crucial that you’re able to spot the early signs of stress amongst your team. Once you’ve recognized the symptoms, you can then implement specific techniques to ensure your team doesn’t burnout. 


Research Into Work-Related Stress

According to the U.K-based mental health charity, Mind, workplace stress and anxiety are causing the U.K. economy to lose £100 billion each year. This is just one nation. We can estimate that stress is causing the global economy to lose trillions of dollars.

Research conducted by Everest College found that a staggering 83% of Americans are stressed out at work. Dynamic Signal also found that 63% of workers wanted to quit their job due to ineffective communication — with 70% of employees feeling overwhelmed due to “broken” methods of communication and information sharing. 

Stress clearly has a huge impact on workplace productivity. A survey from Gallup found that 51% of workers in the U.S. are disengaged due to work-related stress — which has a direct effect on overall productivity. The research is clear — stress will have a detrimental impact on your company’s success.


Spotting The Signs Of Workplace Stress

Spotting the signs of workplace stress can be difficult. However, there are a few things you need to look out for. 

A high rate of absence: One of the most common signs of workplace stress is the absence of staff members. Many employees will call in sick due to feeling stressed at work. A clear sign that you need to take action immediately to combat workplace stress is if your staff members are increasing the number of sick days. 

Low productivity: High stress — especially over a long period — will always result in weaker productivity. If your staff members are producing less, failing to hit deadlines, or if the quality of their work is poor, it’s time that you intervene to ensure they don’t burnout. 

Increasingly angry or defensive: When questioning employees, be mindful of how they’re delivering their response. If the answer you receive is very defensive — showing that they don’t agree with your suggestions and feedback — it’s more than likely that this emotion is the direct result of stress. 

Eating habits: This one may be more difficult to spot — especially if you manage a team of remote employees. However, if your team are based at your company’s office, you can look at their eating habits. If they’re drawn towards high-sugar foods, such as sweets and cakes, their body is likely feeling stressed-out — relying on the sugar rush to keep them going. 

Also, caffeine consumption can be a leading indicator of stress. If your team members are frequently drinking coffee and energy drinks, this is a clear sign that they’re struggling to keep up with the demands at work. 


Be Proactive

In order to stamp out stress in your workplace, you must be proactive in your approach.

Knowing how to spot the signs of workplace stress will significantly improve your chances of dealing with issues before they start severely impacting the productivity and overall success of your business. 

To learn more about how you can effectively manage your team, check out this blog post here


Written by Lewis James