In April, we celebrate Stress Awareness Month. After the year we’ve all gone through, it’s important that we take time to learn how to look after ourselves. The idea behind Stress Awareness Month is to increase public awareness about the ‘modern stress epidemic‘ and work together to find ways to combat it. This year, we’re thinking particularly about stress in the workplace.
Although many of us haven’t had physical workplaces this year, stress in the workplace has been a very real problem. In 2020, it was revealed that a staggering 79 per cent of employed adults in the UK commonly experience work-related stress. In 2018, this percentage was at 59 per cent, showing that stress in the workplace is certainly on the rise. According to the 2020 UK workplace stress survey, workplace stress is the most commonly experienced form of stress in the UK. It topped even financial stress, which came in second with 60 per cent.
Thankfully, technology is here to help. So, in honour of Stress Awareness Month, learn more about the ways that we can utilise technology to manage stress in the workplace and help create a happier and healthier workforce.
Tools for time management
Long working hours are a major cause of stress. One study from the Australian National University found anything over 39 hours a week could be detrimental to health.
What’s more, time-management has often gone out of the window over the course of the pandemic. When we don’t have strict office hours and are left to plan our own working days, it can be difficult to manage our time in a healthy and effective way. That’s why time-management tools are more important for businesses than ever before.
There are many time management tools available for businesses that will do wonders to ease the pressure off employees. As well as standalone programmes, you can also access time-management tools as part of a business software package like Office 365. Through using time management tools, both employers and employees can take an active role in balancing workloads and managing stress.
Over the past year, remote working has become the norm for many businesses – whether that was their plan or not. However, there are countless benefits to remote working if it’s done right. In the past, remote working has shown to improve satisfaction, increase productivity and offer a better work-life balance. On the flip side, it can be easy for remote workers to feel out of the loop with the office and company culture. According to Harvard Business Review, 21 per cent of remote workers report feeling lonely and struggle with communication.
Technology and improved IT support can help with this. Intranet platforms, or hubs such as Microsoft Teams, help to engage remote workers and allow them to be part of the company culture, no matter where they’re located. Such platforms work to inform employees about business updates as well as allowing them to partake in less formal topics.
For many, a workplace intranet system has been a saving grace over the past year, allowing employees to collaborate, share the weight of work-related stress, and not feel quite so alone.
Ensuring that everything runs smoothly in your workplace is one important way of minimising stress. After all, there’s nothing more stressful than having an overwhelming workload, especially when you don’t have technological solutions to ease the load. Randstad found that one of the top factors in employee satisfaction is having the latest digital and technology tools. So, considering implementing artificial intelligence in your workplace.
AI can help you and your employees with manual, repetitive and time-consuming tasks like data re-entry. These types of tasks can be incredibly time-consuming and drain workers of energy, so why not let an AI system do the heavy lifting for you?
Dedication from businesses
Unfortunately, there’s no single quick fix when it comes to workplace stress. Instead, businesses must try a range of tools, utilise technology, and really listen to the needs of their employees. What’s more, the commitment from companies needs to be long term. It’s essential that you keep listening, keep learning, and keep innovating to help create a happy and stress-free workforce.