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How to Manage Anxiety in the Workplace

By June 13, 2020No Comments

It can be challenging to manage your stress, but when you are a manager or leader in the workplace, you have to take care of others too. To make sure that your team’s productivity is optimal, you must deal with their feelings of stress, anxiety, disengagement, and burnout.

Work is increasingly getting more complex and demanding, and most of the people are working in 24/7 environments that often lead to burnout and anxiety. Today’s workplaces involve high amounts of pressure, so it is not surprising why many individuals find it hard to stay engaged and productive.

As a manager, managing anxiety, yours as well as the teams, is one of your foremost duties. Stressed-out workers can never perform the way you need them to. With a growing body of research on mental health and its impact on the personal and professional lives of people, we now know better than ever how important it is to manage anxiety in the workplace.

Fortunately, there are plenty of research-backed developmental approaches that you can apply to build resilience in your team, which can help you manage its anxiety levels. Investing in your employees’ personal development and growth can support not only sustainable productivity but also enable potential and unleash creativity in them. Let’s look at some of the best approaches that you can apply to make your team more effective and resilient and better at dealing with anxiety in the workplace.

 

Best Practices for Managing Anxiety in the Workplace

 

Practice mindfulness

Neuroscience research has demonstrated that practicing mindfulness can train your brain to deal with chaos, help you establish mental habits that enhance productivity and resilience. Team leaders and members who train their minds to practice mindfulness have proven to navigate stress better, collaborate more effectively, and maintain high performance.

Develop and promote well-being practices

Workers are facing increasing levels of stress in today’s world. Research has demonstrated that as much as 53% of the global workforce reported that they felt closer to burnout than they were about five years back. Interestingly, while stress can be contagious, well-being can spread from one team member to another, as well.

For this reason, managers should understand the need to focus on well-being, and should promote it. This may be done through personal development tools, such as resilience and mindfulness training, motivating people to participate in renewal activities like exercising, walking, and allowing them to have buffer times within their calendars so that they can have flexibility.

 

Let your team members disconnect from work

Research has shown that in general, people work for 34 to 48 hours a week, and most of them stay involved in work or related activities after business hours. A common happening in both large and small businesses is that employees find it extremely hard to disconnect from work.

The work environments of today have become 24/7, always-on, and multitasking, leading to detrimental effects on the workers, including finishing off productivity, creativity, and happiness. Recovery time is essential because getting enough rest is the antidote to the unproductive and dangerous “always-on” mindset. So, be clear about when you expect people to be available in the office or digitally, and when you don’t. For instance, you can discourage work related emails on the weekend.

Promote monotasking

Contrary to popular belief, multitasking is a myth. Humans are not like computers – they are not efficient or effective as parallel processors. Trying to do two or more things at once not only doubles the time needed to complete each task, but it also doubles the number of mistakes that one makes. Human beings are good at serial monotasking, so managers should encourage monotasking. This can be done by defining milestones in a way that they don’t overlap, clearly prioritizing tasks in a one-at-a-time manner, and clearing the confusion between important and urgent tasks.

Practice compassion and empathy

Kindness goes a long way and doesn’t cost you anything. Managers can benefit significantly from exercising compassion and empathy because it brings significant improvements in employee engagement, performance, and profitability. There is vast evidence on how deep an impact a compassionate leader can have. If you make attempts to understand what motivates people, their hopes, and their difficulties, you can develop the support system that they need. This motivates people to perform at their best and keeps negative emotions like anxiety at bay. Compassion and empathy are not just good for people – they are great for your business too.

Managing Anxiety in the Workplace is Crucial

 

Anxiety in the workplace can drastically influence the quality of your life and leave you feeling uninterested in your work. As many as three out of every four people with anxiety or stress report that it affects their daily life, including their work. Anxiety can severely impact one’s performance at work, work quality, and relationships with co-workers and superiors.

As a manager, you must be concerned about anxiety for more reasons. Keep an eye on the reasons behind the anxiety experienced by your team members. They could include the likes of conflict, lack of effective communication, lack of motivation, personal problems, and others. The more the people affected by anxiety, the harder it will be to control its impact. So, ensure that you deal with it before it becomes contagious. If you fail to do so, you will soon be facing the consequences. Your team members will start missing work more frequently, their quality of work will decline, and colleagues will start gossiping or venting instead of working together to solve problems. People stop communicating with each other, they begin gathering heaps of grievances, and this could result in the environment becoming downright toxic.

Here’s what you should remember. While it is necessary to manage the stress and anxiety levels in your team, the fact of the matter is that you can’t help them if you can help yourself first. The first step in the management of work anxiety is to build a personal wellness plan. Make sure that you get adequate sleep, eat healthy, exercise, and participate in social activities outside of work, so that you can ensure your own mental well-being before you start working on your team.

 

Some courses that may help you develop your skills in this area include.

Emotional Intelligence,  Health and Wellness at Work,  Improving Mindfulness,  Critical Thinking,  Servant Leadership,  Work Life Balance,

 

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