Companies like Google, Deloitte and Macquarie Bank are investing in the wellbeing of their staff for good reason. Poor physical and mental wellbeing, stress, burnout and absenteeism are a burden on business both in Australia and across the globe. Workplace stress is estimated to be costing the Australian economy $14.81 billion per year.

Stress and a stressful work environment impact on workplace health and wellbeing. The warning signs that stress is chronic and affecting performance can include headaches, difficulty sleeping, difficulty concentrating, irritability, upset stomach, weight gain, reduced productivity, low morale and reduced engagement.

Preventative measures can improve workplace culture and reduce the economic burden of workplace stress on employers and organisations. Identifying and addressing the causes of stress in the workplace are an important measure. One way organisations can address stress in the workplace is by providing support to staff, educating them in life skills and strategies for optimal wellbeing, including:

– Understanding stress

– Stress triggers, response and renewal

– Mindfulness techniques

– Emotional intelligence

– Habits: sleep, exercise and diet

– Self-care practices

– Daily practices for good health and wellbeing

The benefits of preventing chronic stress include reduced symptoms of poor mental and physical health, reduced absenteeism and turnover and increased productivity and employee engagement.

Creating a culture of care in the workplace begins with leadership conveying positivity and optimal wellbeing to their people. When people feel good they perform at a higher level and the organisation by default performs better. Having healthy, well and positive people is not only good for the individual, it drives performance and is good for business.