3 employer strategies to reduce employee stress
Work-related stress was a very real issue for many employees even before the outbreak of the coronavirus, but the pandemic has doubled rates of stress in the workplace. More than 60% of employees say that they are experiencing greater stress than before the pandemic started, up from 30% pre-pandemic, according to research from MetLife.
“Going into the pandemic, one in three employees was already feeling stressed and burned out. That is just going to continue to magnify,” Tracey Ferstler, assistant vice president, head of return to health at MetLife, said at DMEC’s 2020 virtual annual conference.
The workplace has changed significantly since the start of the pandemic: more than 40% of employees are currently working from home, according to research from Stanford University. Additionally, they are working 2 hours more per day on average, according to data from NordVPN, a virtual private network provider.
Employers must increase their support and communicate the benefits they have to help employees through these challenging times, Ferstler said.
“Continue to stay in close contact with your workforce, communicate, and ask if the things you're deploying are working and if they're not, be open to adjusting them,” Ferstler said. “This doesn't have to be perfect, but workforces will appreciate that something is being deployed and that as an organization you're trying to support them as much as possible.”
To that end, instituting more flexibility, offering financial planning benefits, and providing mental health resources are three pivotal ways to reduce stress and maintain a productive workforce.