All of us need to learn how to cope with stress and learn how to reduce stress in the workplace. Employee stress isn’t just a personal issue. How your team feels at work can have a big impact on productivity, engagement, and even your bottom line. For employers, a stressed workplace can mean low morale among employees, lost productivity and difficulty attracting new employees. In contrast, taking steps to reduce employee stress can bring the business up: happy employees are 20% more productive, and employee happiness has been shown to improve sales.
Simple Ways to Reduce Stress in the Workplace
Although the problem is serious, the good news is that the solution for employers can be simple. While there are certainly some elaborate ways to create a more stress-free workplace — including regular staff parties or hiring massage therapists for the break room — relieving your employees’ stress doesn’t have to be a full-time job.
Stress happens when we feel overwhelmed or irritated by annoyances that don’t seem to end, so even something as simple as encouraging employees to take a 15-minute break can be extremely helpful in reducing the stress level in your workplace.
As an employer, there are numerous strategies you can try to help your employees feel less stressed and boost their morale. Many of these things are as easy as encouraging tiny breaks throughout the day or keeping your office door open to encourage ongoing dialogue.
1. Set clear (or clearer!) goals for your team members
By setting clearer goals, your team members do not have to think long and hard about what their initial task was supposed to be. It gets them going and focus on the important task at hand, instead of doing it their way, which could lead them on the wrong track. This would also mean valuable time lost and they having to redo it again or you would have to do it for them. This gives your team members peace of mind because they know what they need to focus on and why.
2. Encourage employees to move their bodies
The mind needs that break occasionally. In order to reduce stress in the workplace, encourage your team members to take time from their day to exercise at the gym, take a walking lunch or meeting or try a yoga class. The mind and body will have greater focus and clarity of thought. Physical activity such as yoga and running is also a good way for staff to learn how to pace themselves at work.
You can also set some quick 5-minute reminders for your team members after every 2 hours of constant staring at the computer. Get them off their chair and on their feet to stretch their body and rest their eyes by looking out of the window.
3. Offer a flexible work environment
Nowadays, everyone is looking for that flexibility at work. Allow your team members flexibility by not monitoring them often, so long as their work is completed by specific deadlines. Remember that salary is not everything. Allow that team member who has children by letting them come into the office early and leave early to pick their children up. Or allow working from home once a fortnight so team members can have a change of environment once a while.
4. Workplace recognition
Another way to reduce stress in the workplace is by encouraging workplace recognition. Employees who feel they have a positive personal rapport with their management are more likely to be engaged, and they would feel appreciated when they or their work gets noticed.
Whether you lead a regular office meditation session, introduce flexible work schedules, or provide some healthy snacks in your break room, you can cut down on the amount of stress your employees experience every day. You’ll not only help them feel better about their jobs, but you’ll also put them in a better position to do their best work for your organization. The following guide should provide you with some inspiration as you try to make your workplace less stressful for your employees.