How To Help Employees Manage Workplace Stress

In their paper, “Reducing Occupational Stress:  An Introductory Guide for Managers, Supervisors, and Union Members,” co-authors Janet Cahill, Paul Landsbergis, and Peter Schnall offer some useful information that may help you improve the health and productivity of employees.


Here are a few of their recommendations:

Increase the level of social support from co-workers and supervisors.  Approaches can include proactive supervisory training, conflict resolution training, and staff retreats.

Improve physical working conditions.  Approaches include improving indoor air quality, reducing hazards such as noise, toxins, and chemicals, and redesigning jobs to reduce the incidence of repetitive-strain injuries.

Suggest healthy ways to use computers.  Good ergonomics are a key to healthy computer use. State health departments may be able to help your organization choose the proper equipment and lighting. Also, involve staff in choosing new equipment.  The user should be able to make informed choices.

Maintain job demands at healthy levels.  Possible approaches include less overtime and reduced workload.

Provide healthy work schedules.  Rotate shifts, use flextime or other alternative schedules, and reduce forced overtime.

Offer relaxation training.  Stress management consultants are available to train employees in relaxation techniques. For example, the New York Open Center offers stress management and corporate programs.  One course, “Stress Relief for the Office Worker,” includes yoga, aromatherapy, and other self-help techniques.


Written for us by our associate Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC.

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