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Holiday Headaches: Staff Stressed Despite Taking Time Out
Whether it’s a one-off bad day or a string of stressful events, sometimes we just need to take a time-out - and recognising when your staff are feeling pressure in the workplace can help you alleviate some of their stress. With recent research showing that stress levels remain high despite taking time out, we’re breaking down the reasons behind workplace stress - and how to alleviate it both at work and home.
When it comes to taking time out from work, holidays can provide a welcome break from the ritualistic routine of the 9-5. However, a recent BUPA study shows that 45% of employees aren't even taking lunch breaks, let alone their full holiday entitlement. This raises major concerns over mounting work-related stress levels. Surveys have shown that employees are reluctant to take time-out as they’re concerned with the workload they will return to and only 77% take their full holiday entitlement. When staff do utilise their allocated holiday time, reports have found that they’re unable to fully relax because their minds are preoccupied with what’s happening while they’re away and the mounting workload that will build up in their absence.
Causes of stress
There are any number of reasons why your employees may be feeling particularly stressed. From a hectic home life to being given more responsibility at work, recognising when your staff need extra support or holiday time can help to reduce their stress levels before they begin to impact their health and performance. A common cause of stress is when employees struggle to find the balance between their work and personal lives. If they are having difficulty in one area, it will undoubtedly spill over into the other - and a lack of support in the office will lead to a decrease in motivation. Allowing stress to take over can be a slippery slope, as employees begin to miss deadlines and under perform - which in turn, causes more stress. And this is why it’s integral to monitor the main causes of stress and actively find ways to control them at the earliest opportunity.
Ways to reduce stress
Both in and out of working hours, employees across the UK are feeling the stresses of their jobs - and if you’re at the head of a company, you will carry their burdens, too. In a previous post, we listed some office toys that can help combat workplace stress - and from impromptu check ins to scheduled 121s, touching base with your team will allow you to check that they’re efficiently managing their workload. Encouraging holidays is also a great way to reassure your team that the business will cope without them and they needn’t feel guilty or worried that the company will struggle in their absence. If they’re still concerned with the amount of work they will be returning to, suggest ways that they can get ahead of schedule before they take their well-deserved break. The first step to ensuring stress levels are kept under control is to keep you and your staff healthy and hydrated. Dehydration will lead to a lack of concentration which will have a knock-on effect in the workplace, but you can alleviate this risk by installing a water cooler and giving your staff regular access to H2O. Drinking plenty of water is proven to help brain activity and help us stay alert - which is essential if your staff are trying to meet pressurising deadlines. If you want to reduce your employees’ stress levels, start with a focus on their health and invest in one of Eden Springs’ eco-friendly water coolers. Keeping your staff healthy and hydrated will ensure they’re working to full capacity and help to keep their stress levels low.