Tackling workplace stress: 7 inspiring TED Talks in summary…

  • TED Talks can provide valuable insights and strategies for dealing with workplace stress.
  • These talks offer practical advice and inspiration for managing stress and maintaining well-being in the workplace.
  • By watching these TED Talks, individuals can gain new perspectives and tools to effectively tackle workplace stress. Topics include how to make stress your friend, workplace mental health and the importance of humour at work.

This April is Stress Awareness Month: a national awareness event that’s taken place every April since 1992, with the aim increasing public awareness about both the causes and cures for stress brought on by our modern day lives.

And, the subject of stress – especially workplace stress – is something HR teams can ill afford to ignore. For example, research has discovered that people taking sick days because of work-related stress or burnout is costing the UK economy £28 billion a year. In addition, HR teams are also feeling the pressure, with a staggering 98% of HR professionals experiencing burnout over the past three years.

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Clearly, virtually everyone – including hardworking HR professionals – are feeling the pressure right now. So, to help you to discover effective ways to reduce and manage feelings of stress in your workplace, we’ve hand-picked 7 inspiring TED Talks that do exactly that.


How to make stress your friend – Kelly McGonigal

Psychologist Kelly McGonigal turns the notion that stress is a bad thing on its head by arguing that stress, when dealt with properly, can make you healthier. Workplace stress isn’t bad for you, it’s the belief that it’s bad for you which is the problem. Check out her talk and see if you agree.

Workplace mental health: All you need to know (for now) – Tom Oxley

“As an employer, all you need to do is give your people permission to speak safely, and be prepared to listen.” Seeing that a third to a half of us will experience some kind of stress, anxiety or depression during our working lives, Tom Oxley urges employers to have a more open dialogue about mental health and workplace stress.

The happy secret to better work – Shawn Achor

In this talk, Shawn Achor challenges the belief that you need to work hard and be successful to achieve happiness. The problem, he argues, is that every time we succeed, we immediately strive for the next win, and therefore change the goalposts of what success looks like. Real happiness comes from being positive in the present, and there are ways you can train your brain to be more optimistic.

The secret to building a healthy and happy workplace – Wolter Smit

A must-watch for HR and managers! Speaker Wolter Smit started his own software company and has since been widely praised for building a healthy and happy workplace. In this talk, he explains how his success is largely down to hiring the right people who are a good cultural fit, and reveals some of his recruitment secrets.

Humour at work – Andrew Tarvin

Most people think humour and work are at opposite ends of the spectrum, but research shows that employees who embrace it are less stressed, paid more, and happier in their role. Andrew Tarvin, Proctor & Gamble software engineer turned ‘humour engineer’, explains how bringing laughter to his projects reduced stress within his team.

The cost of work stress and how to reduce it – Rob Cooke

As we mentioned at the start of this blog, workplace stress and burnout is estimated to cost the UK economy over £28 billion. In the US, this figure is even greater; with over $300 billion lost to work-related stress.

In this TED Talk, respected Wellness Advocate and Relationship Manager Rob Cooke, shares his knowledge on how businesses and individuals can create effective strategies to help put mental, physical and emotional well-being back to the forefront.

How to turn off work thoughts during your free time – Guy Winch

Our last TED Talk video about stress focuses on the importance of switching off from the world of work during your free time.

In his talk, psychologist and author Guy Winch discusses how everyone should learn how to stop worrying about tomorrow’s tasks or stewing over office tensions. He also shares three simple techniques aimed at helping you truly relax and recharge after the workday is done.


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Paul Bauer

Paul Bauer is the Head of Content at Cezanne HR. Based in the Utopia of Milton Keynes (his words, not ours!) he’s worked within the employee benefits, engagement and HR sectors for over four years. He's also earned multiple industry awards for his work - including a coveted Roses Creative Award.

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