It seems like everywhere we look these days, we hear about the dangers of workplace stress. Studies show that chronic stress can significantly impact your health, increasing your risk for heart disease, stroke, and depression. Yet despite all this information, many employees remain bombardment by work-life stress daily. This article will cover six techniques for reducing and managing work-related stress.
Causes of Stress in the Workplace
The World Health Organization declared stress to be an epidemic. The causes of stress in the workplace may seem pretty obvious to any working professional. Lack of job security, miscommunication, and being overworked are some of the most common sources of stress for workers. Workplace stress drags down satisfaction and can decrease productivity. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to the workplace stress epidemic, there are ways to make the office more relaxed and enjoyable. Before instituting any of these techniques, it is important first to ask your employees what would benefit them. This way, you can personalize any programs or techniques you use to the needs of your employees.
1. Refresh Your Office Environment
The average worker spends around 90,000 hours working during their lifetime. Dull colors, too-bright lights, and a lack of fun can cause the office to feel monotonous and slow. If it is within your budget, give your office an update. This can be anything from putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls to changing out the color of the lightbulbs you use. Small changes can make a big difference for your employees. An office refresh can help employees feel reinvigorated and more productive.
2. Get Off-Campus
Planning office outings to grab a drink after work or visit a local attraction on the weekends can be a great way to build camaraderie in the workplace. As employees spend more time together and get to know each other, work-life relationships will become easier. These social activities can break down stressful communication barriers and improve teamwork across the office. Additionally, taking the time to get out of the office and not talk about work can be a great stress reliever for employees.
3. Offer Flexible Work Hours
Even with a friendly, refreshed environment, the office can feel like a prison cell to some employees. If it is within reason for your company, offering flexible work hours and locations can be a great way to relieve some stress from employees. Flexible work situations can improve worker productivity and allow them to take mental breaks when needed. Even if offering flexible hours or working from home is not possible for your business, you could try offering flexible seating in the office to allow employees to switch up their routines.
4. Encourage Wellness
It is no secret that chronic stress can hurt one’s physical health. Stress can cause high blood pressure, migraines, and gastrointestinal problems. Encouraging mental and physical health and wellness can have a significant impact on stress levels in the office. Exercise releases stress-relieving endorphins which not only take the mind away from stress but can also improve one’s mood long-term. Encourage employees to take walks during the work day. If it is within your business’s budget, subsidizing gym memberships is a great way to encourage employees to care for their physical health.
5. Create Designated Break Times or Places
Sometimes, all someone needs is a quiet space to get away from their normal workspace to gather their thoughts. Designated quiet spaces or times can help employees have time to reorganize their thoughts and relax. Additionally, having a day during the week or even just part of a day where no meetings can be scheduled builds this quiet time into their day-to-day schedules.
6. Managers Set an Example
If managers are overworking themselves and taking on too much, chances are their employees will as well. As a manager, it is essential to set an example of how to care for your mental health in the office.
It is impossible to eliminate stress in the workplace completely, but you can reduce it. Try out one of these tips this week and see how it affects the stress levels in your workplace!
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