Poor teamwork may be at the root of much of the stress experienced in the workplace today. According to the Stress Epidemic Report by Wrike, the top stressors are “poor communication” (39 percent), “team members not pulling their weight on projects” (28 percent), and “bottlenecks” (25 percent).
“The pace of work has accelerated as a result of a number of converging trends from digitalization to the on-demand economy and globalization,” says Wrike CEO Andrew Filev. “Work is often expected yesterday, and in trying to keep up with the sometimes breakneck speed, workers are stressing themselves to the point of burnout. This report shows that communication and collaboration must be optimized – just like the assembly line during the Industrial Revolution – with digital tools that make work as frictionless as possible, increase productivity, and create a place where teamwork can thrive.”
The Stress Epidemic Report also found that stress is a slippery slope, and that all-to-common work practices, like after-hours emails and new assignments with unrealistic deadlines, affect high-stressed workers far more than those with low stress. Among these, “being unable to locate information I know I’ve seen in the past,” impacts already stressed workers 54 percent more than their less stressed colleagues. This suggests that investing in solutions that provide a single source of truth for everyone involved in a project, as well as visibility and accountability for teams could be a viable starting point for reducing stress.
“Communication isn’t just about one to one conversations – it’s about knowing where work stands and where to find information”, Filev added. “Businesses that implement processes that keep information moving should find workers are less stressed and better able to balance work and life.”
These survey results suggest that stress is causing employee retention issues for companies, especially larger companies, where 11 percent of employees are experiencing the negative impacts of stress at home everyday. From this group, 45 percent ultimately decided to quit a job due to stress, taking their invaluable organizational knowledge with them, which ultimately costs the company due to lost productivity, as well as the costs associated with recruiting, onboarding, and training new employees.
Portia Hickey co-developed Thrive Matters and advises Fortune and FTSE 100 companies on how to develop employees to have a resilient, high potential mindset. She said “Having worked with FTSE 100 companies and law firms, I am, sadly, rather familiar with findings from the latest Wrike report, that workplace stress is very common and has an effect on our lives outside of work. Many people suffer with lack of sleep as a result, which is so important for our mental and physical health. Our lives are so intertwined with work, largely due to the fact that we are more connected than ever before – the Wrike report found that some employees have to use up to 16 different apps every day – which can make us feel frantic and disengaged.”
“A good way to manage stress is to clarify and simplify your goals into 3-4 key priorities for the day. Just as we expect other aspects of our work to be automated and organised, we should take this same approach and apply it to workload management. In my experience, software like Wrike can really help people focus and prioritise and therefore be less stressed at work. If, as an employer, you don’t try to help manage stress on behalf of your employees, you’re at real risk of losing them to another company that does.”