Stress is a major issue for the construction industry. 48% of workers have taken time off due to unmanageable stress, while a third deal with elevated stress every day – and 91% say they have felt overwhelmed at work.
But despite these statistics, the negative impact of workplace stress is still not widely talked about. Which is exactly why National Stress Awareness Month is such an important event for the industry.
What is National Stress Awareness month?
National Stress Awareness month is all about raising awareness of the connection between mental and physical wellbeing. Held every April since 1992, the goal is to remove the shame and stigma from mental health – and encourage an open dialogue about how to improve people’s experiences.
But this raises the question: what can construction leaders actually do to tackle stress? Mental Health at Work provides some extremely valuable advice on building a more inclusive, open workplace culture. (You can find it here.)
But more than anything, the key to reducing stress on-site is empowering workers. And to do that, you need to provide the right environment on-site – which is how providing the best mobile welfare units can help.
Mobile welfare units can help tackle stress in three key ways:
1. Creating a safe space
One of the most powerful ways to tackle stress is simply by talking about it openly. But research finds that 78% of construction workers don’t do this due to ‘shame and stigma’ – while 77% don’t because they fear the judgement of their peers.
A comfortable welfare unit creates a better environment to tackle this problem. Workers can relax, and feel they are in a safe space to discuss their problems either with management teams or their co-workers.
2. Enabling regular breaks
Construction shift work can be brutal: long hours of physical working, out in the open. Research has shown that not taking enough breaks has a detrimental effect on stress levels – as well as a host of other negative repercussions for both physical and mental health.
Mobile welfare units enable workers to take regular breaks that help them replenish their energy and recentre themselves. Welfare Hire’s units offer extra space, too – to ensure everybody who needs to take a break can do so.
3. Signalling employers’ intent
64% of construction workers want their employers to do more to support their mental health, while 55% won’t open up about their struggles because they fear negative consequences to their job. Employers need a way to signal to their workers that it’s okay to talk – and investing in better mobile welfare units is a great way to do that.
Larger, newer mobile welfare units make clear that employees’ wellbeing is valued. They demonstrate leaders’ desire to do more for their workers. And most importantly, they show that it’s not all just talk – leaders are genuinely willing to act.