Happy employees make for high productivity and loyalty.  Many companies realize they need to invest in their employees’ well-being to keep the workforce performing at the required levels for the business to succeed.  With the prevalence of the substance abuse crisis and stress-related issues at all levels, these are things that can no longer be ignored and can save an employer thousand in healthcare costs.

Symptoms of Work-Related Stress

There are both physical and psychological signs that you are stressing out about work. Here are some symptoms you should look out for:

  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Tension
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea or constipation,
  • Tension
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Moodiness or irritability
  • Overwhelmed feelings
  • Decreased ability to concentrate
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Reduced creativity
  • Lower work productivity or performance
  • Issues with co-workers
  • Frustration
  • Lack of interest

What Causes Stress at Work

There are many reasons for stress-related work.  Among them are long hours, excessive workload, lack of stability in the organization, poor management, little growth opportunity, and feelings of not being appreciated.  Other triggers may be the feeling of being undervalued, strict deadlines, lack of flexibility, job insecurity, lack of resources to do the job, bad relationship with supervisors or colleagues, and others.

How to Deal with Stress at Work?

According to the American Psychological Association, more than one-third of workers suffer from chronic work stress.  This problem is becoming a significant expense for companies in the U.S., costing billions in lost productivity and medical bills.  Stress can lead to a host of more serious health issues for a person, not only physically, but emotionally.

It is crucial that we, as a society, do something about this, because the consequences are farther reaching than just one individual or one company.  Stress-related illness can impact society if it’s not controlled.

One of the first most important things you can do if you think you suffer from work related stress is to do something about it.  Whether your employer gives you the tools to take care of yourself or you do it on your own, don’t let stress take over your life.  We put a lot of pressure on ourselves, our families, and our kids.  Everything in today’s society is about instant gratification and success.  Unfortunately, that attitude is hurting millions of people in this country.

You should also keep in mind that stress comes from within and you can learn to control how you handle the pressures at work.  Some of the most popular techniques people use to overcome or manage their stress are relaxation and meditation.  These ancient practices allow a person to be more in tune with their body and mind to take charge of their lives.  Other things such as physical activity, promote additional ways of dealing with stress.

Promoting a Drug-Free Workplace

With the escalating effects of the drug and opioid epidemic, many companies are adapting.  For decades, employers have used drug testing during the hiring process as a tool to promote a drug-free work environment for all.  But even more action is needed to help employees who suffer from drug addiction. People who are dealing with drug abuse can, not only feel physical symptoms because of their addiction, but emotional ones that affect their mental health and work performance.

If employers do not address these problems, they risk incurring high costs in lost productivity and medical bills.  For this reason, many companies are becoming more proactive in how they handle employees who are trying to clean their lives from substance addiction.  By being flexible, understanding and compassionate, a company can earn the gratitude and loyalty of their workers.  Everyone understands that there is a business to run, but without employees that feel appreciated and valued, no company can succeed.

How Companies Handle Drug Abuse

Some companies, such as those in the transportation industry, require their employees to take random drug testing.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is one organization that expects companies to drug-test workers in safety-sensitive jobs.  Other DOT employers have their own set of standards for employees who perform tasks that affect public safety.

It is vital that companies have a written drug-free workplace policy all employees sign when brought on board.  Testing new hires is also a deterrent.  Another essential factor to help those suffering in silence is to have pamphlets available in break rooms or office areas so those who need to find help know what to do.

Some companies perform random drug tests when able.  Not all states allow this practice.  It is illegal for companies to discriminate in the United States, so any drug policies should be written and reviewed with employees who are hired by the company.

There are other things companies can do to take care of employees who struggle with addiction, including providing information about top drug rehab centers  in the area, explaining the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), having educational workshops that allow them to interact with healthcare providers who can answer questions in confidence. Having a happy and healthy workforce will not only translate into good levels of productivity, but your employees will thank you and appreciate.

Author Bio:

Charles L. Watson is a willing writer contributing in the health arena.  If you don’t catch him at a Detroit Tigers game, you will see him reading updating material from his favorite author Tim Ferriss.  Currently he is a freelance writer for https://www.sunshinebehavioralhealth.com