by Spectrum Wellness
The workplace is full of potential stressors – deadlines, presentations, big projects etc. While some workplace stress is normal, excessive stress can have negative consequences for employees from fatigue and sleep problems to a lack of motivation and anxiety.
Stress not only takes a personal toll on employees, it also impacts on business. Employees who are stressed are less productive and are more likely to take sick days. With this in mind, we have compiled 5 tips below which will help you to you reduce the level of stress on your employees and in your workplace in general.
1 Encourage Breaks
Staring at a computer screen for eight or nine hours a day isn’t good for anybody. In fact, studies have shown that the human brain needs a break every two hours and the body needs a break every hour. Make sure your employees know that it’s OK to take a break if necessary, even when they’re on a deadline. Taking a break allows any built-up stress to diffuse and just five minutes will do the trick.
2 Lead by Example
In order to reduce stress in the workplace, it’s important that managers lead by example. Remember, you are responsible for establishing the workplace culture, and if the culture you are creating is one of long hours and little work/life balance, you are probably a major factor in your employees’ stress levels. Practice what you preach and commit to modelling better work/life balance by working reasonable hours, taking breaks, and having a life outside of the office.
3 Listen and Engage
Sometimes, employees just need a chance to share what they are thinking and express their concerns or complaints. Having an open door policy where you make yourself available to hear and address these concerns is invaluable. Meeting face-to-face really conveys the fact that you care about what the person has to say. If employees know they can turn to you, they’re less likely to feel totally on their own during overwhelming times.
4 Allow Flexible Work Schedules
Most employees today lead hectic lives outside of the workplace. While not practical in all workplaces, allowing employees some flexibility in their work schedules can be a huge stress reducer also incites a tremendous amount of loyalty and goodwill among employees.
5 Create a Pleasant Working Environment
You might not be able to do much about the physical environment of your workplace in terms of layout or décor, but you can encourage employees to keep the place clean and the noise levels low. Stacked boxes, piles of paper and dim lighting all make for subtle stressors. In fact, studies show that excess clutter actually contributes to stress and anxiety, and makes it more difficult to get work done.
Have fresh potted plants or flowers dotted around the office, hang attractive art on the walls, and make the overall environment as pleasant as possible to help reduce stress.