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Anxiety and Workplace Productivity

Updated: Sep 11, 2021

According the Anxiety Disorders Association of America over 19 million adults and children have anxiety disorders. Only 1/3 of those affected seek treatment. In fact, 1/3 of our country's mental health bill is accounted for by anxiety. An astounding $42 billion dollars a year. The total loss to workplace productivity and low morale because of anxiety is over 300 billion dollars (American Institute of Stress, 2013).

Signs and symptoms of excessive workplace stress include: feeling anxious, irritable or depressed. Problems sleeping. Fatigue and low motivation to get things done. Trouble concentrating. Headaches and stomach problems. Using alcohol or drugs to help cope with the stress. Stress and anxiety can increase as employees feel the pressure to meet new demands, work at high productivity levels for a long time, deal with staff shortages.

It's important for managers to help their employees reduce their anxiety. Managers can help employees stay positive in the face of pressure. They can help the team to become more cohesive and supportive of one another. Managers can help employees focus on the outcomes of new endeavors, pointing out how what they are doing is part of a bigger picture that is benefiting the entire organization. It's also important for managers to be able to refer employees for treatment when needed and be supportive of that treatment.

If you are an employee, then be mindful of negative thoughts about work or going to work. Try changing things up at work to increase your own positivity. Like, taking a walk during your break or during your lunch period, re-arrange your office, put up some poems or quotes that inspire you. Drop "positivity bombs" on your office mates. When they are doing a good job, then tell them. Ask them, "what's the best thing that's happened today". Help others look for the "silver lining" in the tasks that they are completing.

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