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How stress affects businesses

Julianne Leybag
04 April 2018 3 minute readShare
red eyes stress affects businesses

When employees get stressed, this affects how employees accomplish individual tasks and the work environment in general. My Business discusses how employee stress can impact businesses and what business owners can do to effectively manage work-related stress among employees.

The impact of stress in the business world usually manifests among business workers. When employees are faced with strenuous workload levels, low morale, job dissatisfaction, and lack of motivation from their superiors they could possibly experience work-related stress.

While stress cannot be completely absent from a business workforce, extremely high levels of stress could be dangerous to the business’ overall performance.

Below are some effects of stress on businesses:

  • Decline in productivity and employee health
  • High employee turnover rates
  • Frequent absenteeism
  • Legal costs
  • Increased training and recruitment costs

Decline in productivity and employee health

Physical cues are the most evident signs of stress, particularly for businesses with a labour-intensive working environment. As employees get subjected to unmanageable levels of stress, they could experience depression, anxiety, and lose focus on their job.

As a result, employees can commit more mistakes and quality of work  may be compromised. This can make employees constantly seek medical attention and take more time off work.

In addition to health-related complications, chronic stress among employees could lead to a decline in productivity, which isn’t good news for any kind of business. Learn more about reducing stress here.

High employee turnover rates

High rates of employee turnover within businesses are one of the more direct effects of work-related stress. Since stressed employees are most likely not satisfied with their jobs and their working environment, they tend to simply leave the organisation if they see that the company itself will not be able to help them in addressing these concerns.

A lot of businesses and organisations tend to overlook this and fail to realize that their business might not be handling their employees’ stress well.

Frequent absenteeism

Employees who experience chronic stress are more likely to get sick, prompting them to take more time off from work to properly recuperate.

Absenteeism could also be caused by employees who feel that they cannot cope with the stress levels of their work environment—prompting them to work from home to avoid stress.

What’s worse is that a lot of businesses and companies dismiss these occurrences as mere irresponsibility and lack of discipline among employees, unaware of the fact that the stressful work environment could affect performance.

Legal costs

If an employee feels that the business failed to provide a safe and healthy working environment during their stay at the organisation, they have the option to settle matters by seeking legal assistance.

A safe work environment includes a harassment- and bully-free workplace, satisfactory safety guidelines (for labour-intensive workplaces), and proper training provisions for employees.

Legal disputes could be very costly for business owners and can lead to irreversible damage to the overall reputation of the business.

Increased training and recruitment costs

Businesses experiencing high levels of employee turnover will also have to spend more on acquiring new workers as replacements for resigned employees, leading to additional training and induction costs.

Moreover, business owners might be compelled to spend more on additional training to make sure employees remain satisfied and motivated as part of efforts to avoid increased turnover levels.

What can business owners do?

The impact of stress management on business organisations can be seen in improvements in employee productivity and decreased employee turnover rates.

If business owners notice that some, if not all, of their employees experience high levels of stress, consider incorporating wellness and stress management programmes for employees. This will help alleviate stress and increase motivation.

Business owners should also re-evaluate employee workload and discuss them in order to determine whether workload is too strenuous or otherwise.  Learn more about the benefits of meditation here.

Employers should also take corrective action within the organisation and address possible working environment issues, such as cases of bullying or harassment. This can be done by setting up meetings with employees and discussing their individual concerns.

Pinpoint the root cause of their concerns and addressing them with  some of the stress-busting strategies business owners can use.

Ensure employees are motivated enough to accomplish their tasks and thrive in a stress-free working environment to reduce their stress levels. While investing on stress management might be regarded as unnecessary by some businesses and employers, keep in mind that these will be beneficial for the business in the long run and will ensure that employees remain loyal to the business while helping the business grow.


How stress affects businesses
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Julianne Leybag

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