How employers can reduce anxiety in the workplace

May 18, 2023


Anxiety is a common mental health issue that affects many people, including employees in the workplace. In fact, 3 in 5 professionals are currently experiencing anxiety at work. Therefore, it is important that employers learn to recognise anxiety and take steps to reduce it, so staff can feel comfortable and supported at work.

Here are our top tips on how employers can reduce anxiety in the workplace:

Promote a supportive and safe work culture

Employers can create a supportive culture by encouraging open communication between employees and managers. Managers can promote this by providing employees with resources they need to manage their mental health, such as access to mental health advice and an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). This shows employees that their mental health is a priority to the company, and they should feel comfortable reaching out for help. Normalising mental health in the workplace can also enable employees to comfortably seek out help and not fear judgement from their colleagues or mangers.

Encourage a work-life balance

A main cause of anxiety in the workplace is an unhealthy work-life balance. Employers can therefore help reduce anxiety by encouraging a better balance between work and the personal lives of employees. This includes offering flexible work arrangements, such as flexible hours or remote learning, and encouraging employees to take time off and have regular breaks to reduce stress.  Some employers are even encouraging employees to take ‘mental health’ days off work, to emphasise the importance of looking after their mental health.

Provide clear expectations and feedback 

Uncertainty about job expectations or insufficient feedback can contribute to increased anxiety. Employers can help prevent this by providing clear expectations and frequent feedback to employees. They can do this by setting realistic goals, providing regular performance evaluations, and offering constructive criticism. Regular meetings with managers are the perfect opportunity for this type of feedback, whilst promoting a positive, commutative relationship between the employee and manager.

Create positive relationships in the workplace

Work relationships can have a large impact on employee wellbeing; positive relationships can help reduce anxiety, whilst enabling a culture of respect and inclusivity in the workplace. As most people spend many hours at work, it is important that they feel comfortable and positive about the people they share a workplace with. Employers can promote these positive relationships by encouraging team-building activities and creating opportunities for socialisation between staff and managers. Employees may also feel more comfortable reaching out to colleagues and other members of staff for support if they have a positive relationship with them.

Train managers to recognise and address anxiety

Employers can help reduce anxiety in the workplace by training managers to recognise anxiety and how to address it. This includes teaching managers how to identify the signs of anxiety, providing them with the resources they need to support employees, and creating a supportive culture that prioritises employee mental health and promotes open and supportive discussion. They should also be taught that there is no one size fits all when it comes to anxiety, therefore a tailored approach to each employee can be beneficial when it comes to supporting each individual.

If you need advice on any of the above, please contact a member of our team here or on 02920 829 100 for a free initial call to see how they can help.

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