WACO Logo

Courthouse Journal

The Courthouse Journal is the official newsletter of the Washington Association of County Officials. Along with a newsletter to members, WACO also hosts the Courthouse Journal blog.

View All Posts

Sep 15

Managing Stress in the 2020 Workplace

Posted on September 15, 2020 at 9:23 AM by Melanie Terry

Courthouse Journal Blog Post 

September 18th, 2020  

Managing Stress in the 2020 Workplace  

 

COVID-19 sent shockwaves through the American workplace, as millions were laid-off, and others were sent to work from home. County Government employees were no different from the general workforce, as Elected Officials sought innovative ways to allow their staff members to work from home while still finding ways to carry out their essential duties.   

Now, six months later, as different counties enter different phases of re-opening, some government offices have returned to the office, while others are balancing working from home and social distancing their staff members. Regardless of where employees are working, more employees are finding work and life more stressful in 2020. In a recent poll, 88% of workers experienced feeling extreme or moderate stress in the beginning of COVID-19. Additionally, 91% of employees working from home reported feeling more stressed since the beginning of COVID-19.   

Although stress levels are higher than 2019, employees are working harder, as job security if a fear in the back of everyone’s mind. A recent Monster poll found that over two thirds of employees are experiencing “burnout” symptoms in 2020, however 59% of employees are taking less time off than they did in 2019.  

In addition to the changes of personal lives in 2020, many county government offices were required to find totally new ways to serve their public, as elections, land surveys, trails, taxes and audits still needed to occur.  

Many County Officials and managers may find themselves wondering how to better manage their employees stress level during this time.  In a recent articlethe Society of Human Resources Management offered steps for managers to take to better monitor their employees stress level: 

  • “Encourage your team to take advantage of stress-management webinars, wellness tips or programs, and yoga or meditation classes. Set an example by using these resources yourself. 

  • Make sure workers are taking regular breaks and be sure to take them yourself. 

  • Encourage employees to exercise daily, take time for friends or a significant other after work, pursue hobbies, listen to music and take time off.” 


Employees can also find resources to assist them with their stress level in the workplace. The Center for Disease Control recomeneds the following to create a routine:  

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule 

  • Take breaks from work to stretch, exercise, or check in with your supportive colleagues, coworkers, family, and friends. 

  • Spend time outdoors, either being physically active or relaxing. 

  • If you work from home, set a regular time to end your work for the day, if possible. 

  • Practice mindfulness 

  • Do things you enjoy during non-work hours. 

 

Resources for Stress Management: