by Kim Brown

Tackling stress at work… little by little

Tackling stress at work… little by little

Stress Awareness Month is a highlighted campaign in our wellbeing calendar and this year, we are asking our employees to do something #LittleByLittle in their everyday lives to help combat stress.
Stress affects almost everyone at some point in their lives and it can affect us in different ways. Stress can be a positive thing; it can challenge us and push us out of our comfort zone. It can build confidence and helps to boost our energy, which in turn keeps us motivated and focused.
However, too much stress and we feel unable to cope. This is where it can have a bad effect on how we manage our lives, our work and our relationships.
During our latest employee engagement survey, 70% of our employees feel supported by their manager when experiencing stress or pressure which is very positive but there is still work to do to increase this result.
Bidfood’s dedicated Health and Wellbeing strategy highlights the importance of looking after our wider wellbeing to help make sure our people are healthy, happy and motivated to be at their best and thrive in a business that really cares. 73% of employees agree that our company is committed to their health and wellbeing and this has increased by 5% in 2 years since we launched our strategic approach where we regularly run campaigns like Stress Awareness Month, and support different themes to cover physical, financial, social and mental health and wellbeing.

So what can people can do to help their stress?

We have lots of internal resources available for tackling stress at work, such as the health and wellbeing guide, the men’s health manual, the mental health signposting sheet as well as top tips like these below:

  1. Work out what you find stressful – Try to identify what’s making you feel overwhelmed or anxious at work as it happens. Understanding why you are stressed can help you work out what to do next.
  2. Focus on what you can change – Once you know what’s making you feel stressed, work out what’s within your control to change and what’s not.
  3. Learn how to deal with stress in the moment – When we feel under pressure or anxious, our heart beats faster, our muscles tense up and our breathing changes. Try breathing exercises or meditation for a calming effect.
  4. Talk to someone you trust – Talking about how you feel and the pressure you’re under can help when tackling stress at work. Speaking to your manager or a colleague and gives you a chance to help improve things. (72% of our employees agreed that “If I had an issue regarding my wellbeing, I would feel confident raising it with someone at work”).  
  5. Build your resilience – Don’t try tackling stress at work all at once, it will only stress you out more when you can’t achieve it. Do the small things, like reframing negative thoughts, or making lists to help you look at problem solving in a practical way.
  6. See things differently – Make a conscious effort to change the way you view an issue or feel about a problem at work, these could help ease some of the pressure you feel.
  7. Set boundaries and switch off – When you’re feeling the pressure, setting clear boundaries to your day can help – this is particularly important if you work from home. Try to leave work worries at work and switch off in your free time.
  8. Look after your physical health – This has a big impact on how we feel. At times of stress, it can be easy to develop unhealthy habits, which can make you feel worse. Try to think about different ways you can be healthier while you’re at work such as talking a lunch break, eating healthily or going to the gym on your way home.

Rob Jeffs, Head of IT Risk & Security shared:

“More now than ever, we need to be looking out for one another and offering support in times of stress, anxiety or burn-out so it’s really great that as a business we are supporting this awareness campaign. Everyone will at some point suffer from stress and it’s important that people feel comfortable discussing this with their peers.”

This year’s theme of #LittleByLittle, encourages people to take small positive actions on wellbeing overall. Examples of these could be having 30 mins tech-free before bed, taking a lunchtime walk and getting fresh air, practicing good posture, spending time on a hobby or reading for 30 minutes a day.
Whilst these steps may be small, cumulatively it can have a profound effect on reducing stress and can offer significant improvements in mental health over time as you focus on taking time out to do the things you enjoy.
We’re all undoubtedly going to experience some stress and anxiety in our lives so here at Bidfood, it’s important we talk about it openly and treat others with compassion and empathy as you never know what someone is going through.
Our vision continues to ‘have a positive impact on our people by being committed to their wellbeing, helping both them and our business to be at their best’. To do this, we are pleased to be able to offer a wide range of health and wellbeing support and signposting; by providing tools, resources and opportunities for our people to get the support they need and when they need it.

Learn more about what it’s like to work at Bidfood here.

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