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How To Make Your Workforce More Resilient to Stress And Anxiety Episodes At Work

Learn practical strategies to help your workforce cope with stress and anxiety at work. Build resilience, boost productivity, and foster a healthier workplace culture with these tips and tools.

By Simran
21 Feb 2023

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety in the workplace, which is hampering mental health. Mental health issues affect both the employee and the organisation. It can lead to decreased productivity, poor job performance, absenteeism, and high turnover rates. Moreover, mental health problems can also cause interpersonal conflicts, communication breakdown, strained relationships with colleagues and stress in the workplace, leading to a toxic work environment. Therefore, it is crucial for employers to prioritise mental health support and create a healthy work culture to ensure the well-being of their employees and overall organisational success.


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According to the National Mental Health Survey (2016), approximately 14% of the working Indian population required active intervention for one or more mental health issues. This makes it quite evident that ​​mental health issues have become a significant concern in the workplace.


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To address this issue, there are several strategies that companies can employ to make their workforce more resilient to stress and anxiety episodes at work:

1. Health Interventions

Physical health issues and mental health are closely linked, and there is a growing body of evidence suggesting that poor physical health can increase the risk of developing mental health problems, and vice versa. People with chronic physical health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, or chronic pain are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. The stress of managing a chronic condition, as well as the impact on quality of life, can contribute to mental health issues.

Companies can offer audio or video consultations with mental health professionals to employees experiencing stress or anxiety. This allows employees to receive counselling or therapy from licensed mental health professionals in the comfort of their own homes. The Employees can express their anxieties and fears, which helps the counsellor to provide realistic, workable solutions while keeping the company's work culture in mind. This program can also aid the employees in dealing with issues like lack of concentration, anxiety before a meeting, and extended office hours, leading to stress in personal relations.


2. Health Education

Health education is another way to help employees manage stress and anxiety. By providing health tips, newsletters, or webinars, employers can empower their workforce with knowledge and tools to improve their mental health. In fact, a study by the American Heart Association found that health education programs can reduce employee healthcare costs by up to 55%.


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3. Health Checks

Employers can offer health checks to screen for conditions that can impact mental health, such as diabetes or high blood pressure. Early detection and management of these conditions can help prevent physical health and mental health issues from arising. With early detection of underlying problems, employees can bring in necessary changes in their lifestyle or dietary habits.


4. Psychologist-on-call

Employers can provide access to psychologists who can be reached via phone or online chat to provide immediate support to employees experiencing mental health issues. In a 2022 survey by the American Psychological Association, 81% of individuals said they will be looking for workplaces that support mental health when they seek future job opportunities and 75% of employees said they would feel more comfortable talking about their mental health if their employer provided confidential counselling.


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5. Apollo 24/7 Circle Membership

Apollo 24/7 circle membership wellness network offerings and discounts can also be a valuable resource for employees looking to improve their mental health. By offering discounts on wellness services such as yoga or meditation, employers can encourage their workforce to prioritize self-care and stress reduction.


6. Online HRA

Online Health Risk Assessments can help identify employees who may be at risk of developing mental health issues and provide them with resources and support to manage their mental health. By completing an HRA, employees can receive personalised feedback and recommendations for improving their mental health.


Related Story: How To Stress Less, Live Long And Be Healthy


7. Yoga And Wellness Programs

Yoga and wellness programs often incorporate breathing exercises and meditation, which can help individuals reduce stress and anxiety levels. These practices activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for the body's "rest and digest" response, helping to decrease the levels of stress hormones such as cortisol. It also involves mindfulness practices, which can help individuals develop focus and concentration skills. These practices can be useful for managing symptoms of attention deficit disorders, such as ADHD.


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By implementing these strategies, companies can create a workplace culture that promotes mental health and well-being, leading to a more resilient and productive workforce.


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