Managing uncertainty and anxiety in the workplace

Purple and Pink Floral Get Well Soon Card (3)

The outbreak of a pandemic such as COVID 19 can create a sense of uncertainty which can then lead to fear and anxiety in many people. This is particularly the case where there so many stories being released via social media, on the news and the internet. People can become overwhelmed and experience symptoms of anxiety and stress.


Signs and symptoms of stress to look out for in your teams:

Irritability                                     Hyperactivity

Mood Swings                               Memory issues

Anger                                             Changes in usual Personality

Feeling low                                  Conflicts with others

Tiredness                                     Low Motivation

Sweating                                      Withdrawing

Getting Sick                                Reduced Performance


Tips to manage and respond to stress in your teams:

  • Keep yourself up to date with official requirements;
  • Have a plan for different scenarios, including working from home and office closures;
  • Communicate with your teams and focus on the facts and positive steps you are taking as a team and organisation;
  • Know when to stop communicating. It is easy to overload staff with information. Make sure you communicate just enough to keep staff up to date with organisational developments without contributing to a sense of overwhelm;
  • Follow official advice and practice good hygiene in the office;
  • Ensure those in leadership positions stay calm and demonstrate positive behaviours;
  • Talk to staff individually who appear to be demonstrating signs of anxiety. Listen to their concerns and assist them in problem-solving;
  • Help keep things in perspective and balance. Encourage staff to take care of their health and practise good self-care as this helps maintain a strong immune system
  • Refer your staff to medical assistance and/or counselling services where available;