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79% of British adults in employment commonly experience work-related stress¹.
Stress can develop in any job, even if you love what you do. With deadlines, busy periods and big projects being a part of normal work life, workplace culture is full of potentially stressful situations. A build-up of stress can have negative consequences for employees ranging from fatigue to a lack of motivation and anxiety.
Stress not only takes a personal toll on employees, but it can also impact negatively on the organisation itself. It is important not to overlook workplace stress as it can undermine employee engagement and impact peoples’ ability to work effectively.
Employers need to create a working environment that inspires employees to work hard and enjoy coming to work every day. They also need to focus on counteracting sources of stress and giving employees a chance to feel motivated and re-energised.
Below are 6 ways to help employees de-stress at work:
Exercise and a healthy lifestyle are imperative when it comes to combating work-related stress. Employee wellness schemes, such as introducing office gym classes or running company-wide healthy eating challenges are a good way to help employees unwind and feel better about their wellbeing.
Employees spend a lot of time with their co-workers and therefore it’s important they get along with each other. The more people enjoy their time at work, the better the atmosphere will be – and a better office atmosphere leads to higher levels of productivity, creativity and collaboration. Setting aside an hour sporadically to bring your team together in a fun environment, can be great for reducing employee stress, boosting morale and team building.
Open communication is critical in leadership; keeping employees up to date regarding changes, expectations and their own performance not only keeps them on track but also reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. It is important to keep employees well-informed of the latest developments and departmental changes. What’s more, open communication is a two-way relationship and the more employers converse with employees, the more likely employees are to share concerns, ideas and thoughts. This will work towards creating much stronger working relationships and a healthier overall company culture.
Provide a ‘relaxation’ space in the workplace
Sometimes people need 15 minutes to relax, re-group, disengage from technology and general work-related interactions. Providing a quiet room or a ‘relaxation’ zone where employees can spend 15 minutes with their thoughts, can dramatically help reduce workplace stress. After taking a short break free from distractions, people often feel refreshed and re-energised to tackle the rest of the day.
By arranging staff fundraising for charities on specific awareness days, you are helping your employees manage their stress levels. By taking the focus off their own stress-related issues, you are encouraging your workforce to shift their attention onto helping others less fortunate than them themselves.
Within a busy office environment, stress often occurs as a result of situations that fall beyond the employees’ control, for example, a deadline being brought forward. In this instance, employees tend to adopt a frantic approach to their work in order to get everything done at once. Try to encourage your workers to focus on the things they can control and create numbered to-do lists that will prioritise their workload, rather than becoming overwhelmed.
¹ Perkbox, UK workplace stress survey, 2020.
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