Supporting employees with mental health issues such as anxiety is more important now than ever before. Anxiety is one of the most prominent mental health issues and studies show 1 in 3 of the UK’s workforce has been diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their life. Similarly, research carried about by UKCP found that anxiety among employees has soared by 30.5% since 2013.

So, if you’re an employer, manager or HR professional, its highly likely one or more of your employees are struggling with anxiety. In this blog, we’re going to outline why supporting employees is essential and we’re going to provide tips on how you can support your anxious employees.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a natural human response, which leaves us feeling worried, tense or afraid. Much like stress, anxiety can occur during a life-changing event or if someone is having problems at work, at home or within their relationship.

Unlike stress, anxiety is persistent and can affect someone even when the cause is not clear to the sufferer. Anxiety comes with both physical and psychological symptoms and some people may experience more symptoms than others.

Common physical symptoms include increased heart rate, hyperventilating, dizziness, tight feeling in the chest, hot flushes, tension headaches and palpitations. Common psychological symptoms include feeling detached from the environment, feeling a need to escape, feeling overwhelmed, feeling as if you might lose control and feeling as if you’re having a heart attack.

How To Tell If Your Employees Are Struggling With Anxiety

Some employees may feel comfortable telling their employers they’re struggling with anxiety. However, most employees may not feel comfortable sharing their mental health problems with their employer or Manager. Others may not even recognise their symptoms as anxiety.

If you think one of your employees may be struggling with anxiety, there are a few things to look out for:

  • Wanting to leave: Does your employee make excuses to leave, whether it’s a meeting, work event or even just a crowd? Or are they avoiding workplace events and meetings?
  • Tired: Have you overheard them complaining that they’re tired? Or do they look overly tired?
  • Anger and frustration: Has your employee become unusually short-tempered?
  • Absences: Are they taking more sick days?
  • On-Edge: Do they appear to be on-edge and irritated?
  • Chest pains: Have they ever complained about having chest pains or difficulty breathing?
  • Disinterest: Have they suddenly lost interest in their work or job?
  • Tears: Has your employee unexpectedly cried at work?
  • Quality of work: Has the standard of their work dropped significantly?

If you have noticed one or more of these symptoms, have a one-to-one chat with your employee and ask how they are doing.

You could also use a workplace wellbeing app. A wellbeing app encourages your employees to track their sleep, activity and mood. Using an online portal, you can then identify which of your employees is struggling and support them. A wellbeing app is a great way to improve the health and wellbeing of your workforce.

Make the time to talk when supporting employees with anxiety

Our Top Tips For Supporting Employees With Anxiety


Supporting employees with any issues, whether they’re health issues, work-related issues or personal issues is essential. By focusing on the health and wellness of your employees, you can drastically reduce the number of employee absences, increase the productivity and engagement of your workforce and create a healthier, happier workplace culture.

Take The Time To Talk

As an employer or manager, it’s unlikely that you’ll have a lot of free time on your hands. However, if you believe one of your team members is struggling with anxiety, it’s important to make the time for them. Arrange a one-to-one and ask them if everything is OK. Take the time to listen and assure them that you’re going to do what you can to support them.

Eliminate Workplace Stress

Supporting employees with anxiety often means re-evaluating their workload. This can be challenging if your employee has a lot of responsibility within the business. However, work-related stress is one of the biggest causes of burnout and is a popular cause of anxiety.

Talk to your employee to identify any work-related pressures that may be adding to their anxiety, such as a looming deadline, big project or heavy workload. If you can help reduce these work-related pressures, it will make a big difference to your employee.

Provide Wellbeing Training

Help your team members improve their health with wellbeing training. Wellbeing training will give your team the knowledge and tools they need to change unhealthy behaviour patterns and make sustained improvements to their physical and mental health. Focused wellbeing training concentrates on various topics including sleep, nutrition, or stress management.

Create A Positive Workplace Culture

A toxic workplace culture with a negative atmosphere can have a damaging impact on the health and wellbeing of your employees. If an employee feels unhappy when at work, it can lead to stress and anxiety. By creating a positive, uplifting workplace culture, you will boost employee morale and increase productivity and creativity.

Offer Flexibility

We understand that working flexible hours isn’t possible in all jobs. But if it’s a possibility within your business, we think it’s something you should offer to your team members. Especially those struggling with health issues. Supporting employees with anxiety by offering flexible working will give them the opportunity to schedule work around family, appointments and other commitments.

Raise Awareness For Mental Health Issues

Educating your team on mental health issues is an important first step in supporting employees with anxiety and stress. By tackling the stigma surrounding mental health and creating a safe environment, your employees will start to look out for each other more and will be more willing to ask for help if they need it.

Get In Touch

If you’d like to find out more about supporting employees with anxiety or improving workplace wellness, get in touch with Wellspace. Here at Wellspace, we are experts in workplace wellness. We are aiming to revolutionise workplace wellness with our leading app, online portal and tailored wellbeing training.

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