This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week, (May 15th to 21st), focuses on the theme of “Anxiety”. Anxiety is the most common mental health condition, and it can have a significant impact on an employee’s performance, productivity, and overall wellbeing. In the UK, anxiety affects 1 in 6 people in the workforce, with an estimated 5.9 million working days lost due to work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2019/2020. As an employer, you can create a supportive work environment that helps employees manage their anxiety and thrive in their role. Here are our expert tips for supporting anxious employees in the workplace:
Create a safe and supportive environment
Anxiety can be triggered by various factors, including a stressful work environment. As an employer, you can create a safe and supportive environment that fosters a positive workplace culture. Encourage open communication, provide regular feedback, and listen to your employees’ concerns. Additionally, promote a healthy work-life balance by offering flexible working arrangements, such as telecommuting or flexible schedules.
Provide resources and support
Anxiety can be debilitating, but there are resources and support available to help manage it. As an employer, you can provide access to resources. The OptiMe app offers employees a 24/7 confidential counselling support line as well as workshops on managing anxiety and relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety and encourage relaxation. These resources can help employees manage their anxiety and reduce stress levels. Additionally, consider offering training programs or workshops that focus on stress management and mindfulness techniques can help employees implement these tips in their day-to-day life. Get in touch with us at [email protected] to book a stress management or mindfulness workshop for your employees.
Be mindful of workload and expectations
Anxiety can be exacerbated by high workload and unrealistic expectations. As an employer, you can be mindful of the workload and expectations you place on your employees. Be realistic about what can be accomplished in a given timeframe and offer support to employees who are struggling to keep up. Additionally, avoid micromanaging or placing undue pressure on employees, as this can contribute to anxiety.
Encourage self-care and wellness
Anxiety can be managed through self-care and wellness practices. As an employer, you can encourage employees to prioritise their mental and physical health by leading by example. Encourage employees to take regular breaks and prioritise their self-care, such as taking a walk or practicing deep breathing exercises can be really beneficial in decreasing anxiety. Additionally, taking care of physical wellbeing is equally important. The OptiMe app offers healthy nutritious recipes which your employees can benefit from, as well as expert resources on sleep hygiene and physical activity. Click here to start a free trial of the OptiMe app today.
Be compassionate and understanding
Finally, it’s important to be compassionate and understanding towards employees who are struggling with anxiety. Anxiety can be a challenging and isolating experience, and employees may feel embarrassed or ashamed about their condition. As an employer, you can create a culture of compassion and understanding by being open and non-judgmental. Encourage employees to seek support and offer empathy and understanding when they do.
Supporting anxious employees in the workplace requires a compassionate and proactive approach. By creating a safe and supportive environment, providing resources and support, being mindful of workload and expectations, encouraging self-care and wellness, and being compassionate and understanding, employers can help their employees manage their anxiety and thrive in the workplace.