Have you taken proactive steps for employee stress management as your workforce faces the impact of COVID-19? For Stress Awareness Month 2020, we discuss:
- The link between working from home (WFH)/remote work and employee stress
- 5 employee stress management technologies you need during COVID-19
- Why these tools matter now more than ever before
April is National Stress Awareness Month, and April 16, 2020, is National Stress Awareness Day. There has never been a better time to talk about employee stress. As COVID-19 has compelled millions of employees to work from home (WFH), there are growing concerns about stress, isolation, anxiety, and other mental health issues that are emerging not just from being isolated, but from the uncertainty about stability in these times.
The link between remote work and employee stress is well documented. In an October 2019 article, the World Economic Forum cited a United Nations report that found that 41% of remote workers experienced high stress levels compared to just 25% of office workers.
Buffer’s The 2020 State of Remote Work survey of 3,500+ employees also shows similar findings – 20% report feeling lonely while 18% aren’t able to unplug after work.
As WFH volumes rise in response to coronavirus, it is time to rethink the approach to employee stress management. Traditional events that helped manage stress in the past – such as company retreats, outdoor activities, Casual Friday, etc. – are no longer possible. Instead, organizations must now turn to tech solutions for employee stress management that are contactless and digitally accessible from home.
5 Tech Solutions to Use for Employee Stress Management
For National Stress Awareness Month, we have curated a list of apps and technologies that could prove handy as you help your employees manage their stress, ensuring positive mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s dive right in.
1. A digital helpdesk for stressed employees
One of the biggest challenges that has come to light in forced isolation now is people’s limited access to mental healthcare.
On the one hand, the demand for therapists is expected to spike as people feel extreme anxiety and even paranoia in the face of COVID-19. On the other hand, individuals are unable to keep their regular appointments owing to large-scale lockdowns.
To help employees suffering from the extreme stress this situation is causing, you can offer certified mental health support through digital channels.
Try this app to manage employee stress: Snapclarity
Snapclarity is a comprehensive mental wellness platform that collects data for employee stress management and assigns corrective measures. Snapclarity comes with a digital coach, an on-demand therapist for one-on-one support, as well as the MyCare team to chart an action plan for your company.
Apart from stress, the app is also useful for tackling anxiety, depression, insomnia, and substance abuse.
2. A guided meditation platform
Meditation is a critical part of stress management. It helps sleep better, imbibe healthy habits, reduce anxiety, and stay focused on work.
A guided meditation app sends notifications through the day, with timely interventions before an employee starts work, during their leisure period, and before they go to sleep, based on their preferred time to meditate.
Try this meditation app to manage employee stress: Headspace
Headspace is a science-based mindfulness tool that suggests mini-meditation across the day. Headspace has teamed up with the U.K. National Health Service (NHS) to give all its employees free access to stress management aids. Workday, too, teamed up with Headspace a few weeks ago.
If you haven’t already, you can reach out to them and see how you can collaborate to bring this solution for employee stress management to your employees.
3. A voice analysis app to monitor employee stress
A person’s voice could reveal valuable cues about how they feel, apart from what they say.
As your employees adopt WFH en masse, they are likely to connect on voice calls – be it telephonic, VoIP-based, or SaaS applications like Zoom. Analyzing these conversations help you benchmark employee emotions and flag any worrying anomalies.
Try this app to monitor employee stress: Nemesysco
Nemesysco is an emotion detection and analysis platform, built around its Layered Voice Analysis (LVA™) technology. LVA runs in the background during real-time conversations or process recorded calls, in line with employee privacy policies, detecting those subtle indicators of employee stress.
“Many of our customers who traditionally use Nemesysco technology for recruiting are now applying it to better understand the mindset of employees who are forced to work from home,” said György Kis, CEO at ANIMA Polygraph (Nemesysco’s channel partner).
With no managers present in person to read expressions or interpret gestures, Nemesysco could help you read between the lines and help employees dealing with unacknowledged stress.
4. A social fitness tracker
Stuck home during the COVID-19 pandemic, employees are sure to miss the face-to-face interactions and non-work-related conversations that instill a sense of community. And in the absence of community, employees could feel a rise in stress levels, without a support system to induce a sense of calm.
A social fitness tracker builds a digital community where employees can share their workout routines and encourage each other.
Try this app to help employees manage stress: MoveSpring
MoveSpring builds micro-challenges around everyday exercise, complete with a leaderboard, gamified milestones, and digital stickers. Employees can even set shared milestones, where the total steps taken by your team contribute to the overall goal. It could be useful in, for example, turning the steps we take while completing our household chores into a contextualized workout plan!
You can use MoveSpring to help employees build a sense of camaraderie, so they feel less isolated and, as a result, less stressed when working from home.
5. Employee stress management embedded in productivity tools
As our surroundings are full of stress triggers, employers must control work-induced stress as much as possible. If you are switching to a new productivity tool right now, it will help to include a tool that is capable of acknowledging stress and helping relieve it.
For example, it could ask employees at the end of each workday to log their stress index, giving you better visibility into overall employee stress levels.
Try this app to manage employee stress: Bitrix24
Bitrix has partnered with Welltory to bring employee stress management features to its workplace productivity platform. Using Bitrix24, your employees can measure their stress levels by merely placing a finger on their smartphone camera. Bitrix24 measures a user’s heart variability to indicate how stressed they are and shows the indicator on the Bitrix dashboard, helping managers to urge employees to take corrective actions.
Learn More: Can AI Help With Workplace Stress Management?
Why Employee Stress Management Matters More Than Ever Before
Recent surveys reveal worrying statistics on stress levels at the time of coronavirus.
An Inpulse survey of 120 respondents between March 13–17 found that 6 out of 10 employees currently feel anxious, distracted, or stressed. Another poll of 1,000+ adults found that mental health has gotten worse for 22% of respondents. 29% said that their emotional well-being was taking a massive hit.
To address this, employers must urgently deploy employee stress management measures, particularly on digital channels that remain accessible to WFH workers. By taking care of employee mental health, organizations can ensure that they stay productive during these troubling times – and demonstrate care toward their employees and their well-being.
Autor and source of this article: Staff Writer – https://www.hrtechnologist.com/articles/compensation-benefits/employee-stress-management-app-coronavirus/