Shifting the Focus: Why Reducing Stressors is Key to True Workplace Wellbeing

published on 06 March 2024

Workplace stress has become an all-too-common experience for employees across industries, with far-reaching consequences for both individuals and organizations. The World Health Organization has even classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon, highlighting the severity of this issue. Despite growing awareness of the problem, the prevailing narrative continues to focus on stress management techniques rather than addressing the root causes of stress. It's time for a paradigm shift.

The Limitations of Stress Management

Picture this: your team is overwhelmed with tight deadlines, endless meetings, and conflicting priorities. In response, your organization offers a stress management workshop, teaching employees mindfulness techniques and yoga poses. While these techniques can provide temporary relief, they fail to address the underlying issues causing stress in the first place. It's like putting a band-aid on a broken arm – it might cover up the problem, but it won't heal the fracture.

Stress management techniques place the burden of coping with stress on the individual, rather than the organization taking responsibility for creating a healthy work environment. This approach is not only ineffective in the long run, but it can also lead to feelings of frustration and helplessness among employees who feel they are not being supported by their employer.

The Power of Reducing Stressors

As leaders and managers, we have significant control over the work environment and the power to make impactful changes. By identifying and addressing the root causes of workplace stress, we can create a healthier, more productive workplace. Small adjustments in working practices, such as improving communication, providing clear expectations, and encouraging work-life balance, can lead to substantial improvements in employee wellbeing.

Imagine a workplace where employees are supported, valued, and empowered to do their best work. By focusing on reducing stressors, we can create an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and innovation. When employees are not constantly battling against unnecessary pressures and obstacles, they are free to focus on what really matters – delivering exceptional results.

Common Workplace Stressors and How to Reduce Them

Let's take a closer look at some common workplace stressors, categorized by Ambr's focus areas, and how we can tackle them head-on:

Working Demands 

Excessive workload and unrealistic deadlines:

  • Prioritize tasks, set clear expectations, and ensure adequate resources
  • Encourage open communication about workload and capacity
  • Regularly review and adjust priorities to ensure a manageable workload

Back-to-back meetings and insufficient breaks:

  • Establish meeting-free blocks for focused work and rejuvenation
  • Encourage employees to take regular breaks and step away from their desks
  • Promote a culture that values balance and respects personal time

Work-Life Conflicts

Expectations of availability beyond standard work hours:

  • Set clear boundaries and communicate expectations around work hours
  • Encourage employees to disconnect and recharge during off-hours
  • Lead by example in respecting personal time and maintaining a healthy work-life balance

Disruptive communications during off-hours:

  • Establish guidelines for communication outside of work hours
  • Use asynchronous communication tools to reduce the pressure for immediate responses
  • Respect employees' right to disconnect and enjoy their personal time

Challenges in using annual leave:

  • Encourage employees to take their allocated leave and lead by example
  • Ensure adequate coverage and support to minimize stress during absences
  • Regularly review and address any practices that hinder the use of annual leave

Working Relationships & Support

Lack of managerial and peer support:

  • Provide training and resources for managers to effectively support their teams
  • Foster a culture of open communication, feedback, and collaboration
  • Encourage peer support and create opportunities for team building and bonding

Limited engagement with leadership:

  • Regularly communicate company vision, goals, and progress
  • Create channels for employees to provide feedback and engage with leadership
  • Demonstrate a commitment to employee wellbeing and addressing concerns

Isolation within silos and challenges in cross-team collaboration:

  • Promote cross-functional collaboration and knowledge sharing
  • Encourage the use of collaboration tools and platforms
  • Foster a culture of inclusivity, trust, and mutual respect

By proactively addressing these stressors, we can create a work environment that enables employees to thrive.

The Benefits of Reducing Stressors

When we prioritize reducing workplace stressors, everyone wins. Employees experience improved wellbeing and job satisfaction, leading to increased productivity and performance. A study by the American Psychological Association found that employees who feel valued by their employer are more likely to be engaged, satisfied, and productive at work.

Organizations benefit from lower rates of absenteeism and turnover, as well as an enhanced employer reputation that attracts top talent. A healthy work environment is a key factor in employee retention, with studies showing that employees who feel supported and valued by their employer are more likely to stay with the organization long-term.

Furthermore, reducing workplace stressors can lead to significant cost savings for organizations. The World Health Organization estimates that depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. By investing in employee wellbeing and reducing stressors, organizations can mitigate these costs and create a more sustainable and successful business.

Changing the Narrative: A Call to Action

It's time for leaders and managers to recognize their role in creating a healthy work environment. We must shift the focus from individual stress management to organizational responsibility. By prioritizing the identification and reduction of workplace stressors, we can create a culture that values and supports employee wellbeing.

This shift requires a commitment from all levels of the organization, from senior leadership to front-line managers. It involves regularly assessing and addressing the root causes of stress, as well as providing employees with the resources and support they need to thrive. It also means fostering a culture of open communication, where employees feel safe to speak up about their experiences and concerns.

How Ambr Can Help

At Ambr, we understand the importance of a data-driven approach to identifying and addressing harmful working practices. Our platform provides insights and actionable recommendations to help organizations reduce workplace stressors and create a healthier, more productive work environment.

By analyzing anonymized data from various sources, such as communication patterns, HR systems, and project management tools, Ambr can identify patterns and trends that indicate the presence of workplace stressors. Our platform then provides targeted recommendations for addressing these stressors, empowering HR leaders and managers with the tools they need to make a real difference in their organizations.

Ambr's approach is grounded in the latest research on workplace wellbeing and stress reduction. We understand that every organization is unique, and our platform is designed to provide customized insights and recommendations that are tailored to each organization's specific needs and challenges.


It's time to change the narrative around workplace stress. By focusing on reducing stressors rather than simply managing stress, we can create a work environment that enables employees to thrive. As leaders and managers, we have the power and responsibility to prioritize employee wellbeing and take action to address the root causes of stress.

At Ambr, we are committed to supporting organizations in this endeavor. Our data-driven platform empowers HR leaders and managers with the insights and tools they need to create a healthier, more productive workplace. Together, we can shift the paradigm and build a future where employee wellbeing is at the heart of every successful organization, without sacrificing performance.

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