What is anxiety and worry costing your company?

So let us look at the stats on worry.

Research shows that the average person loses 1 hour and 50 minutes to worry, also known as general anxiety.

The coronavirus has presented us with panic over the fear of transmission, stock market volatility, and a complete shift on how we work. So I would imagine worry time has quadrupled.

This virus is an increasing source of stress that has implicated both employee and business productivity as the article below highlights.

In fact, this article highlights that 42% of U.S. workers who did not telecommute previously are doing so now, according to a CNBC All America Survey released this week. WFH as additional distractions since responsibilities like homeschooling, child-minding and cooking whilst managing new ways of working can cause higher rates of anxiety.

I haven’t even touched on those living with obsessive-compulsive disorders and living in fear of contamination, or like the average jo, just exhausted with the shopping and social-distancing.

Premium: Remote work
my heart goes out to parents having to WFH.

Let us calculate your losses as a company director, managing an employee with anxiety.

We are going to say on average an employee spends 1 hour a day engaged in worry or anxiety, that accumulates to 5 hours a week, which I will round up to a day of work a week lost.

1 hour per day spent worrying, i.e. 48 days per year, and an average of 2 months’ salary lost

Let us compare US and UK productivity rates.

Research suggests that in an eight-hour day, the average worker in the US is only productive for two hours and 53 minutes, productive for around three hours a day.

The productivity gap continues to make headlines with recent OECD statistics showing that British workers are on average 8 percent less productive per hour than workers in the US.

According to a nationwide survey, the average British office employee manages to get through just 3 hours of actual work per day, despite working longer hours than anywhere else in Europe.

Brits are probably productive 2 out of 5 days a week.

How are you managing business productivity and company well-being?

What I mean by this direct question is, because the stigma of mental illness prevents employees from reporting stress and anxiety. So company directors are having to take initiative. Is a webinar with a productivity specialist enough, is a recommendation to use habit tracking apps to self-monitor sufficient, or will a personal training session suffice, or maybe, just maybe, an online CBT course from SilverCloud will be just enough to manage your employees’ emotional crises?

I am afraid none of those in isolation are sufficient because guess what they all lack? They all lack accountability.

As a company director, even if you are aware of the signs of anxiety, how are you going to assist your employees?

I am not suggesting that this is a health-related issue, but a growing concern and responsibility of companies that want to retain and attract talent . Well-being strategies are competitive strategies because they increase job satisfaction, and improve employee productivity and well-being.

We would love to walk into an office of alert and engaged employees, but the reality is, we are not quite sure if we have should leave that up to Elon Musk and his 100-hour work week to lead that discussion.

Anxiety management could be fun to learn about. In fact, anxiety fuels creativity. Let us get employees to recognise the signs of anxiety first, because it is scary and requires psychological input. I would encourage team collaboration on this as well, possibly HR training, change management implementation that bridges the gaps between business coaching and therapy. The great news is, this is why I am writing this post, to help you through this tough patch as a CEO.

My suggestions for those CEOs WFH .

  1. Set 3 intentions for your day and knock off the most anxiety-provoking one first thing in the morning.
  2. Engage in at least one joyful activity, and please stay away from physical exercise you do not enjoy.
  3. Meditate at least 30 minutes per day – it is going to impact your decision-making processes and we need the frontal lobes to help us through the uncertainty.
  4. Get assessed, anxiety is common and we can neglect the early signs and symptoms easily. For example, disrupted sleep a by-product of anxiety directly affects productivity, focus and performance, but we overlook its importance.
  5. Get into the art of self-monitoring. Track your thoughts, track your anxieties and how much time you spend worrying.
  6. Get some accountability and guidance from a professional who understands business-related anxiety.

Fill out my survey here and grab the opportunity to get some feedback on how you can better recognise and manage anxiety in the workplace.

References:

Read more on productivity levels in America

Read more on productivity levels in the UK


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