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While it’s a common issue, when intensified anxiety can take a toll on physical and mental health.
In terms of the workplace, employees may experience anxiety about going to work every day or anxiety about going back to work after a holiday or other prolonged absences.
This state of mind could be brought on by issues with their working conditions, interaction with colleagues or an increased workload.
Experiencing anxiety about work doesn’t only affect an employee’s quality of life, it also has an impact on their work performance, engagement and productivity.
According to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), the number of employees suffering from work-related stress, depression and anxiety in 2017-18 went up by 12% compared to the previous year.
Mentalhealth.org puts the number of employees in the UK experiencing forms of mental ill health every year at one in four people, so it is highly likely that one of your people may be affected.
There’re a variety of reasons why your staff may feel anxious or depressed about going to work.
For example, employees being harassed or bullied may be afraid to go back to work to face their offender. It can cause so much stress they may take time off and have regular absences.
Another instance is an employee returning after maternity leave. They may feel anxiety about leaving their baby to go back to work or how they’ll manage their new work/life balance.
Recent recruits can also experience new job anxiety or depression. It’s only natural to be nervous about starting a new role—in time, the issue will subside. But it can also be viewed as a positive sign that they’re keen to make a good impression.
It’s important for employers to be able to identify the signs of stress and anxiety. Recognising these issues early on is the first step to alleviating workplace anxiety and improving mental health within the organisation.
There’re no set rules for how to be less anxious at work. One of the most common treatments for stress and anxiety is for staff to open up about their issues.
Employers should consider investing in an employee assistance programme that offers workplace counselling. While the goal isn’t to ‘fix your problems’, talking to someone can calm their nerves and help reduce stress.
Employees dealing with an increase of pressure at work should consider breaking up projects into digestible chunks and prioritising the important tasks.
For workers in the position to delegate, it might be a good idea to do so. This reduces the pressure to meet deadlines.
Other tips to reduce work-related anxiety include:
If you’d like to find out more information on any of the topics mentioned in this article, please contact Health Assured on 0844 892 2493.
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