Eco-anxiety in the workplace: a complete guide for businesses that care


With temperatures rising and the rapid destruction of our environment, we can see an increasing amount of people experiencing eco-anxiety. This form of anxiety is a natural reaction to the current challenges and future risks that we are facing as a species.

Climate anxiety already affects people in their private lives. It would be unreasonable to assume that eco-anxiety in the workplace doesn’t exist and that these negative feelings stay at your office doorstep. We created this guide to help your company and your employees navigate these difficult times and deal with eco-emotions.

We will share how to detect eco-anxiety in your workforce, how it affects them, and how you can help them catalyze their climate anxiety into action.

Ready to explore a complete guide for businesses that care about their team members as much as the planet?

Let’s dive in!

What is eco-anxiety?

Even research is not entirely agreeing on a universal definition yet. In most research, media, and co., eco-anxiety refers to the fear and anxiety that is triggered by the changing climate and destruction of nature. As well as the impact this will have on the individual and future generations.

However, new research proposes that eco-anxiety is just the tip of the iceberg and that there are actually a number of various eco-emotions we feel, such as sadness, guilt, anger, and others.

Nevertheless, we also refer to these as eco-anxiety to keep things simple here.

Are your employees suffering from climate anxiety?

Eco-anxiety is a rising mental health issue

In a recent U.K. study, it was found that 41% of people report that they are very much up to extremely fearful about climate change.


Research in other countries points to similar numbers.

The number is so high (and still rising) that there is a big chance that you collaborate with eco-anxious people.

As long as we don’t prioritize and tackle biodiversity loss and climate change head-on, we will see an increase in the number of people who will feel this way.

👉 Read more eco-anxiety statistics to see how this feeling already affects our lives!

Climate anxiety affects all aspects of people’s lives


Mental health challenges don’t stay at home. They join us and our colleagues when we are coming to the office.

So, if we see yet again some devastating news about drought or a feeling that we are not doing enough to stop this current trend, the emotions will not magically disappear as soon as we open our laptop to work.

If employees have eco-anxiety, it affects every aspect of their lives, including their job, performance, and productivity.

Eco-anxiety surveys are the best way to find out

Instead of trying to guess if your colleague’s mental health is affected by the current state of the planet or not and how strongly it impacts them, ask them.

You know your team best. You can jump directly into direct conversations or ask them to fill out an anonymous survey.

The good news is that we have just launched a free eco-anxiety quiz.

So you don’t have to create a questionnaire and wonder which questions to ask. Our team of experts has already done the job for you.

👋 Share and take our eco-anxiety quiz!

How does eco-anxiety in the workplace affect your employees’ performance?

The impact on employee well-being

If something as big as the climate and nature crisis looms over your staff’s heads, it is most likely it affect their wellbeing.

Examples of how eco-anxiety impacts your team’s wellbeing:

  • Depression;
  • Panic attacks;
  • Lack of focus;
  • Demotivation;
  • Sleep deprivation;
  • Isolation;
  • Sense of powerlessness;
  • Grieving about the loss of nature;
  • Guilt or shame because of personal behavior;
  • Post-traumatic stress from extreme climate events like heatwaves, floods, cyclones, etc.

Companies are more likely to flourish when they have an engaged, motivated workforce that feels good and happy when they come to work.


The increase in cognitive exhaustion

Cognitive exhaustion is the weakening of the capacity to think effectively and maintain focus.

Eco-anxiety is taking us back to the time when we were hunted, not hunters.

As much as we think of humans as incredibly developed, our brain is still coded to our natural life.

Thousands of years ago, it was lions, tigers, and co. that we needed to be aware of. So, whenever we felt in danger, our brain would send us signals to focus and save ourselves.

The same is happening now. Climate change and biodiversity loss are risking our survival. Therefore, your team members focus on switching to the risk they perceive.

And because they get bombarded with primarily negative news, it leads to cognitive exhaustion.

The feeling of being lost and lacking purpose

This feeling of being at risk now or in the future can lead your employees to really dark places, like:

“Why shall I work on this project while the planet is currently dying and nobody cares?”

This is not the kind of thinking you want to nurture in your workforce. The reason is that, eventually, it can lead to your best talents leaving your company.

In this hectic and connected world, people are stimulated 24/7 with news, ideas, perspectives, opinions, etc., leading employees to frequently question if who they are is still matching your company.

Eco-emotions have now added an entirely new level to this.

The risks of burnout

Burnout is probably one of the impacts of eco-anxiety that would come first to your mind, and you are absolutely right.

Here are a couple of ways in which eco-anxiety can lead to burnout:

  • If your company works on positive change, your employees can feel like they need to work every possible hour to make up for global inaction.
  • If the values of your employees are not aligned with the actions of your company.
  • If they have the feeling your company is not acting enough or fast enough to tackle these global challenges.
  • If they don’t recognize the milestones or positive developments you already took with your business.

🌼 Discover the Wild tools you can use to help your employees with eco-anxiety!

What can you do to support team members with eco-anxiety in the workplace?


Be open to conversations and genuinely listen to their concerns

First and foremost, you need to reassure them that their feelings are a normal reaction to what is currently happening in this world.

To be frank, we all should be more concerned by the state of our climate and nature.

Allow your team to talk to you or your HR team about their climate anxiety.

When you do sit down with them, make sure to listen truly. You won’t have all the answers on how to fix the climate and biodiversity crisis, but you don’t have to.

It already makes a huge difference just to feel heard and understood.

Ask how you can support them best

There is a good chance that you are reading this and haven’t heard much about eco-emotions. So please don’t beat yourself up if you can’t provide all the answers to your team members.

What you can do, though, is to:

  • discuss with them what they have tried before to catalyze their eco-anxiety.
  • ask them if they have noticed when their eco-anxiety is especially severe.
  • find out how it affects their private life and work.
  • simply offer your support if needed.

Nothing crazy, but this support goes a long way because people with eco-anxiety often feel frustration and loneliness when they are in this state.

Implement sustainable practices in your working model

Help your employees to channel their eco-anxiety into action by helping your company to become more sustainable.

It can start with simple actions like:

  • getting green energy for the office.
  • Reducing transport like flights, car & co.
  • Subsidizing bikes that they can take to work.
  • Switching to vegetarian/vegan meals in the office.
  • Collaborating with NGOs where employees can volunteer their skills & time.

But don’t forget, the most significant impact you can have with your business and to help your people with eco-anxiety is critically reflecting on your business model.

Work actively together with your staff to make the core of your business not only sustainable, but regenerative.

Provide them with the Wildya app to transform their eco-anxiety into action

At Wildya, we are entirely focused on helping people transform their eco-anxiety into action.

So, if you are looking for a great starting point to help your employees with their eco-emotions, you can subscribe to our app, where we guide and support them.

With our app, they are part of a community, learn more about eco-anxiety, get coping techniques, and learn through courses how to funnel their anxiety into action.

Additionally, 15% of our revenue goes into paying nature, so your employees not only see that they feel better but also that you contribute to nature restoration.

🌱 Learn more about Wildya’s impact on nature!

All of this can become a bit intimidating if you are new to eco-anxiety in the workplace.

Always remember to take it step by step. This new field is emerging, so no one out there has all the answers about how to deal with climate anxiety at work.

But we are here to help you and your team catalyze this feeling into meaningful actions so that we can turn the tide. We have to because climate anxiety is here to stay. With the current trends, even more people are likely to be affected.

It will stay until we stabilize the climate and move toward a nature-positive future.

There is still a long way to get there, we all know it. But by reading this article, you have taken the first step on your journey to turn eco-anxiety into action.

Are you looking for the next step? Download the Wildya app to enable your employees to do the same and help them deal with eco-emotions!


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