Even before the coronavirus pandemic, anxiety was already considered the evil of the century. It is not for nothing that, according to the WHO, more than 19 million UK citizens suffer from this disease. With the arrival of COVID-19, this index has worsened even more and several companies are having to deal with the increase in the number of anxious employees.
The shift to remote work, the uncertainties and fears brought about by pandemic since the end of last year it has disrupted the lives of many people. This has sent a warning to companies: it is necessary to act to control the anxiety of their employees.
To help you, we have separated a list of ways to contribute to reducing the stress of your employees. Check it out below:
- review expectations;
- reinforce the feeling of belonging;
- increase the frequency of communication;
- create a comfortable environment;
- offer benefits focused on the home office;
- providing free mental health services;
- encourage the practice of physical exercises;
- making schedules more flexible;
- encourage group work;
- create relaxed moments.
Taking advantage of the delicate topic, we suggest reading this other article here which shows the importance of providing well-being in the work environment, which is fundamental for diseases such as anxiety.
Now, to see how to put the list of ideas to help anxious employees at work, keep following this post. But first of all, remember, anxiety is a disease and it is essential to seek medical help. Good reading!
Anxiety: what does the evil of the century mean?
Anxiety is a reaction of the human body that happens in moments of tension or stress. It triggers cognitive and physical symptoms, such as fear, rapid breathing, tachycardia and sweat.
It can also be a symptom or a trigger for mental disorders such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), post-traumatic stress, depression, panic syndrome, among others.
The difference between anxiety being a major disorder or being associated with another disease is the intensity of manifestation and frequency. However, it is essential that the diagnosis is made by a doctor.
The company can perceive its characteristic anxious symptoms in its employees. However, the disease can present itself in different symptoms and therefore can be divided into 4 groups:
- physical symptoms: racing heart or tachycardia, increased respiratory rate or shortness of breath, muscle tension, headache, sweating, etc;
- behavioral symptoms: aggressiveness, irritability, impulsivity, etc;
- cognitive symptoms: lack of memory, insomnia, problems with concentration, etc .;
- emotional symptoms: sadness, nervousness, paralysis, feeling of incapacity, etc.
What are the damages of anxiety?
This disease, when left untreated, can seriously damage the lives of anxious employees, both professionally and personally. Staying in a job can become quite a challenge due to the symptoms caused.
Meeting deadlines, deliveries and demands from superiors becomes difficult tasks. The lack of focus and exaggerated concerns also significantly impair professional performance.
In addition, there are social losses that can disrupt the lives of anxious employees. The concern and fear of interaction can lead to isolation, further damaging the person's mental health.
In general, the disease can avoid all areas of a person's life, propelling him to isolation.
Anxiety and coronavirus
According search conducted by the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), between May and July this year, 80% of the UK residents population became more anxious in the coronavirus pandemic.
During that time, people developed or increased the symptoms of the disease. And yet, according to the survey, the groups most affected are: women, the youngest and those with lower income and education.
These rates are being intensified due to suffering and so many losses that people are facing. Covid-19 has been considered an invisible mortal enemy that messes with people's thinking and can “attack at any time.”
In addition, there are several consequences that are being left by the coronavirus that can aggravate anxiety. The main ones are: mandatory lockdowns, removal of friends and loved ones, loss of jobs, income and economic stability.
How to help anxious employees?
In the face of so much adversity, companies need to consider the impacts of anxiety on the life of their team. You can't close your eyes and expect the same results from anxious employees.
In addition, ignoring the symptoms can lead to physical and mental exhaustion of employees, who may need to temporarily leave their occupations.
Thinking about it, companies can provide a better environment for their team, taking some measures on a daily basis. Here is a list of some ways that can help reduce employee anxiety:
1. Review expectations
Right now, many employees are working from home office. However, not all professionals are qualified for this model of work, not to mention the fears brought about by the pandemic.
Companies need to consider all of these points when demanding goals and deadlines to be met. In addition, many employees still, for fear of losing their jobs, can continue to say “yes” to any new challenge.
Therefore, reviewing expectations for the moment is critical. Demand only what is part of the role of each employee and find ways to make deadlines more flexible.
2. Reinforce the feeling of belonging
Especially in difficult times like the current one, it is necessary to demonstrate that employees are important to the company.
THE feeling of belonging it can motivate anxious employees and provide better well-being at work. In this way, the team will be able to realize that their work is not in vain and is being fundamental to the continuity of the company's business.
3. Increase the frequency of communication
Many people are working remotely, which can increase the feeling of isolation for anxious employees. Therefore, communication is crucial for this moment.
Therefore, encourage communication between leaders and followers, as well as between team members. Always being in touch, communicating regularly about tasks, expectations and overall performance can contribute to reducing employee uncertainties and fears.
4. Create a comfortable environment
The quality and well-being of the work environment can improve the organizational climate and stimulate anxious employees. They start to have a more pleasant workday.
At the home office style=”font-weight: 400;”>, it is essential that the organization offers all the necessary resources for the worker to be able to perform all his tasks. One option is to make notebooks, chairs and other accessories used in the office available for employees to temporarily take home.
5. Offer benefits focused on the home office
Provide benefits focused on remote work it can also help anxious employees. Offering benefits such as internet vouchers may be an option.
In addition, it is worth re-evaluating benefits such as parking vouchers and agreements with gyms and clubs, for example, which can be redirected. The company can provide online services focused on wellness and mental health.
6. Provide free mental health services
Complementing the previous item, mental health services should be prioritized at this point, going beyond just benefits offered by the company.
The company must show that it cares about the well-being of its team and offer resources to help manage its employees' moments of anxiety.
Online therapy is an excellent ally for anxious employees and can contribute to resolving more serious issues related to the disease. So the company shows genuine concern and provides the necessary assistance.
7. Encourage physical exercise
There are countless studies that prove the importance of physical exercises for mental health. The problem is that, with the pandemic, people have become even more sedentary, further harming anxiety.
Therefore, companies should encourage the practice of physical activities and may even offer benefits related to this. During the moment of social isolation, hiring specialized professionals who provide online classes can help.
8. Making schedules more flexible
Considering that the context is not easy, the ideal is that companies are a little more flexible in relation to schedules. This is not to say that rules should not exist, but that they need to consider the unforeseen and difficulties that people face when working at home.
For this reason, proposing greater flexibility for schedules can allow employees to carry out their tasks at the most appropriate times for their current reality.
9. Encourage group work
As we mentioned earlier, anxious employees tend to be isolated. Thus, the company must encourage the performance of activities in conjunction with other co-workers.
There are numerous collaborative tools available so that employees can interact and work in a shared way. As a result, the organizational climate becomes healthier, in addition to bringing pleasurable experiences to the team.
10. Create relaxed moments
So that the environment does not become too heavy and each employee ends up working in isolation, it is important to provide moments of relaxation.
Schedule happy hours online, so the entire team will have weekly moments to interact with the team they haven't seen in person for some time. In this way, people live a lighter day-to-day life and feel loved and valued by the organization.
Small gestures like the ones listed above can make a big difference in the routine of anxious employees. Ignoring the current moment and demanding too much from the team can have serious business consequences. Therefore, be sure to pay attention to the well-being of your employees in this difficult time. Showing that the company values employees' mental and physical health is an excellent way to retain talent.
Did you notice that your company's employees are more anxious? Be sure to share this content on social networks so that more and more companies see the importance of this theme!