Employer actions to reduce employee stress during the Covid-19 pandemic

The events of recent years have shown us that we can’t control everything, and the world around us can be unpredictable. The daily routine at work has been shaken. Stress has become an indispensable part of every person’s and employee’s life these days. A reasonable approach by superiors to making demands on employees and providing them with a suitable work environment, as well as limiting stressful situations, can be the key to a peaceful and non-stressful work and a thriving career. Both employers and employees need to adapt to the new reality.

Every person reacts differently to stress. It depends on the individual characteristics of the person such as temperament, self-confidence and experience, among others. However, it is observed that particularly high susceptibility to occupational stress manifests itself in people who have a reduced ability to cope with occupational demands. It is extremely important to introduce programs in workplaces aimed at reducing occupational stress, but according to the survey, few companies have this type of practice. Reducing occupational stress in the workplace is of great importance for the psychophysical well-being of every employee. It is extremely important for both the health and comfort of employees. Occupational stress not only negatively affects the health of employees, but also their relationships with their families and immediate environment. In addition, the pandemic period brings more risks to the mental condition of employees.

Today, employers in the era of pandemonium are increasingly turning to new workplace solutions. In addition to the standard ones like a basic benefits package including medical care, sports card and flexible working hours, they are introducing non-standard benefits like massages at the company, healthy food at the employer’s expense, shorter working hours on Fridays. According to the HRK 2021 “Stress at Work” report, employers, unfortunately in the vast minority, introduce so-called relaxation rooms, where one can watch t.v., play games or take a nap, additional days off work, and organize training on stress management.

Nevertheless, there is a growing awareness among employers of the role they should play in supporting the mental health of their employees. The overall well-being of employees and their ability to cope with elevated stress levels has also become an important topic for those organizations that have not previously conducted any activities in this regard. In caring for the general well-being of employees, companies most often demonstrate a holistic approach.

Author: Sylwia Skrzypek-Ahmed, PhD, WSEI university Lublin / Poland

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