The Stress Epidemic and Why Telework Is the Solution

April, which was Stress Awareness Month, saw a wealth of discussion concerning the causes of stress in the workplace, and how to manage it, taking place online. One noteworthy example of such discourse was the Stress at Work Report from LinkedIn Learning. This research was conducted through a survey of 2,843 working individuals, producing a comprehensive overview of workplace stress.

The results of the study indicate that a staggering 49% of respondents reported feeling stressed due to their employment. This is certainly cause for concern, not just for those affected by the stress, but their family and friends, who must deal with its effects on a daily basis. It is well-established that stress has a detrimental effect on productivity, and so it is important to note that any notion that stress is necessary for optimal performance is simply untrue.

The American Institute of Stress has estimated that the US economy loses a staggering $300 billion every year due to workers being under stress. This is a result of several different factors, which include absenteeism, but it is also largely due to stress-related illnesses such as headaches, stomachaches, and backaches causing people to miss work. Other common reactions to stress include forgetting things, being disorganised, having difficulty concentrating, and difficulty sleeping. It comes as no surprise that such a stressed-out workforce produces less work.

Despite the potential benefits of remote work, it is not yet evident how this approach could help to alleviate the stress that many of the participants identified. Further exploration into the sources of stress is therefore needed in order to determine how remote working could be used to address this issue.

Why Stress Happens at Work

LinkedIn Learning conducted a survey that included a stress questionnaire, asking respondents to identify which elements of their professional lives caused them the most anxiety. After analyzing the results, they were able to ascertain the top five sources of stress in the workplace. These are as follows:

The Work-Life Balance/Overload

A survey of seventy percent of those polled highlighted the presence of stress in the workplace. Despite LinkedIn Learning’s classification of them as a collective problem, we view these issues as being distinct from one another.

Many individuals face difficulty in achieving a satisfactory work-life balance. They desire to be successful in their career, fulfil their aspirations and reap the financial rewards that come with it, but they do not want to sacrifice quality time with their family and loved ones in the process. It can be challenging for working parents to miss out on their children’s school activities, or for young people to miss out on the opportunity to visit an ailing or elderly relative in hospital. To restore our energy and well-being, we must make time to pursue our passions and hobbies. It is easy to feel overwhelmed when having to deal with late Friday dismissals and a long Monday morning commute.

Offering employees a more flexible working schedule is a potential solution for this issue. Allowing them to work remotely either full-time or part-time provides an opportunity for them to work at their most productive times and take time off to focus on other aspects of their lives. However, it is essential that the boundaries of this autonomy are clearly outlined in the remote work policy to ensure that the workforce is both satisfied and healthy.

When it comes to workload, it is important to have realistic expectations regardless of where your employees are based. However, it is a proven fact that remote workers are more productive due to the reduced stress of avoiding a daily commute and the increased likelihood of putting in extra hours, such as during a commute or on the weekend. As such, encouraging remote working can be a great way of ensuring that employees are able to effectively manage their workload.

Hope for One’s Future in One’s Current Job (64%).

It is clear that telecommuting is becoming increasingly popular for a valid reason; it is likely to become the norm in the near future. Having employees who are open to working from various locations is beneficial for businesses in this globalised world, as well as helping to tackle environmental concerns.

By conducting interviews remotely, businesses are able to find and employ the most qualified candidates for a position, regardless of their location, and save money in the process. This approach not only provides a great foundation for the company’s future growth and prosperity, but it also offers employees the opportunity to gain remote work experience. Furthermore, the flexible scheduling that this approach enables is beneficial for businesses as it is less likely to lead to staff turnover. Therefore, businesses can benefit from conducting interviews remotely in numerous ways.

Meaning and Direction in Life (64%).

It is important to consider the use of management consultants if your business is struggling, as remote working alone cannot solve all of the issues. We believe that a lack of purpose in a role is often the primary cause of stress in the workplace, and so enlisting the help of experienced professionals can be extremely beneficial in addressing this.

People who work from home tend to be highly self-sufficient and are usually not reliant on needing close attention and guidance. This autonomy is an important trait for a successful remote worker. Furthermore, it is imperative that there is a regular flow of communication throughout the remote team in order to ensure that each member is aware of their role and tasks, so that they do not feel uncertain or confused at any point. By providing the necessary resources, any member of the remote team should have all the information they need to do their job effectively.

Coworkers/office Politics (63%).

A frequent grievance expressed by people who work remotely is the lack of opportunities for informal conversations that tend to take place around the office water cooler. This is an issue that can be alleviated by taking advantage of the many applications and software tools that are available; however, this is only part of the story. Working in a professional environment can also bring its own tensions, stemming from having to interact with colleagues on a daily basis.

Telecommuting inherently reduces interpersonal interactions, which can be seen as both a positive and a negative. It is true that distributed teams can maintain open communication channels, however it is often easier to work with a difficult colleague when they are in another country. Writing rather than speaking or face-to-face communication can reduce the potential for misunderstandings or disagreements, as long as Hanlon’s Razor is applied.

Ability to Use the Appropriate Equipment for the Job (62%).

It is unlikely that employers would want to pay their remote staff to spend the whole day in their pyjamas; therefore, it is important that they have the necessary tools and resources in order to effectively complete their work. Developers are investing a great deal of time and energy to ensure that working remotely is both practical and comfortable for employees.

At Works, we have an extensive series of posts designed to provide you and your remote team with the tools they need to work effectively and enjoy their time at the workplace. These posts cover a variety of topics, such as chat, collaboration, file-sharing, task management, version control, video conferencing, and more. We want to ensure your remote team members have all the resources they need to do their job effectively and feel comfortable and valued while doing so.

Relax, We’ve Got This

Making the transition to working with a remote team can be daunting. Hiring and managing individuals who are located in different parts of the world can be intimidating if you are used to working with people in a traditional, face-to-face setting. To make the switch easier, we have compiled a range of blog posts to help you lead a distributed team effectively.

Recruiting the best talent for our organization is a priority for us. We take great care to ensure that every candidate we present to you is thoroughly evaluated for their technical skills and ability to work remotely. Rest assured that today is the perfect day to get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about how we can help you find the perfect candidate for your organization.

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