With workplace stress at an all-time high, the vast majority (85%) of business leaders say employee mental health must be a top priority. Yet only 27% of business leaders say their organizations are making it one, according to new research from Harvard Business Review (HBR) Analytic Services.
It’s not for a lack of focus on workforce mental health. Most organizations offer employee assistance programs (EAPs), for example, and many are expanding those benefits to make counseling more accessible and affordable for employees with clinical depression and anxiety.
But to help the majority of employees manage their day-to-day stress or anxiousness, employers need to offer more preventive support. While 71% offer EAP support, only 39% offer preventive tools and apps for mental health support, according to the same HBR study. Digital mental health tools like Calm Business, for example, can help employees find relief in a matter of minutes. By providing tools to help employees defuse stress and anxiety in real time, employers can help them avoid developing chronic stress that may escalate to anxiety, depression, or burnout.
New “For Work” sessions tackle work-related stress
In recognition of this year’s Mental Health Awareness Month, Calm is introducing five new resources focused on tackling work-related stress, the primary cause of stress overall in the U.S. general population, Calm research shows.
Narrated by Jay Shetty, former monk, best-selling author, and award-winning podcast host of On Purpose, Calm’s new For Work sessions are designed to help employees reduce stress associated with common workplace challenges, such as overwhelming workloads and frustration with colleagues.
Here’s a preview of the five new sessions featured on the For Work Carousel in the Calm app:
- Settle Down by Single-Tasking
Slow things down and focus on the simple act of breathing, an exercise in “single tasking.” Jay helps you settle your nervous system, relax your mind, and focus so you can regain control and move forward productively.
- People Pleasing
Are you saying and doing things merely for validation? Jay will help you observe your behavior and explore its roots. He’ll guide you back to being your authentic self, which is the best way to connect with others in a meaningful way.
- Uncovering Purpose at Work
It’s easy to get bogged down in the daily grind and lose a broader sense of purpose at work. But mindset makes all the difference. Jay will show you how you can add more meaning to your day and align your work to your values by taking a new approach through action or intention.
Perfectionism can undermine the quality of your work and the quality of your life. Join Jay to learn simple, concrete strategies for navigating perfectionism, beginning with awareness and ending with compassion.
- Frustration with Colleagues
Working with others can be frustrating. There’s a lot of room for miscommunication and conflict in relationships at work. Whatever the cause, you can find relief in the moment. Jay guides you to a place of relaxation, acceptance, and compassion.
The toll of chronic stress in the workplace
Chronic workplace stress risks the health of both employees and organizations. A birth cohort study estimated that at age 32, 45% of cases of depression and anxiety in previously healthy young workers were attributable to job stress. Persistent stress also can lead to a wide range of physical health challenges, from headaches and high blood pressure to heart disease and diabetes.
For organizations, employee stress can lead to higher healthcare costs, lost productivity, turnover, and absenteeism. About one million Americans miss work each day due to stress.
Stress can be interrupted in less than two minutes
It takes just 90 seconds for stress hormones to flood and clear the body in someone who doesn’t continue to feed the negative emotions that triggered it. Taking a mental health break for just a few minutes can help an employee settle their emotions and derail stress.
Explore the new work-focused content by Jay Shetty and other resources on Calm to tackle workplace stress in your organization.
For more information on supporting employee mental well-being, connect with our Calm specialist today.