In recent years, we have seen a major uptick in employees’ experiencing stress in the workplace. It is important to reduce workplace stress and provide employees the support that they need in order to be happy and healthy. Maintaining an unending high level of stress is proven to be a silent killer. I have personally experienced this and I recently took an entire year off of work. I learned a lot and here are my tips on 5 ways to reduce workplace stress.
Identify the Impact of Stress in the Workplace
Studies estimate that stress costs U.S. businesses an estimated $300 billion annually, and the workplace has been identified as the number one source of stress for American workers. Stress causes physical problems including anxiety, depression, and heart problems. When workers are stressed, they are not healthy, and they are not productive. Here are my top 5 tips to reduce stress in your workplace.
Tip 1 – Offer Flexible Hours and Remote Working
You should have confidence in your employees’ ability to do their jobs well and be productive. You need to provide a working environment that facilitates teamwork and productivity. Let your employees know that their job is defined by the quality and timeliness of their work, not when they punch the clock.
Allow your employees to work remotely, and give flexibility for start and end times. This freedom is great for office morale, and the policy shows employees that you trust them enough not to babysit. When there is high morale on your team, your employees will be more productive as they come together to solve problems.
Tip 2 – Don’t be a Micromanager
In a healthy work environment, employees feel that management trusts them to do their job effectively. Employees appreciate a sense of autonomy because there is a level of trust between them and management. If you don’t trust your employees to do their job well, then why did you hire them in the first place?
Micromanaging in the workplace is a management style where a manager closely oversees employees and everything they do. Managers who micromanage prefer to stay in control rather than empower their employees to innovate and create. They also tend to excessively look at details even though their main focus should be on the bigger goals of their team. Since many employees prefer a bit more freedom at work, micromanagement may decrease employee morale in the workplace.
Tip 3 – Daily Yoga, Tai Chi, or Meditation Breaks
A great way to reduce stress is to provide employees with daily Yoga, tai chi, or meditation breaks. It is best if these breaks are led by someone in your organization but you could also bring in consultants. This is a great way to break up the day to ensure that your employees take a few moments every day to get up and move.
If you’re a fully remote organization, you could host these breaks via video conferencing. If you have a hybrid of some on-site and some remote employees, you should have a camera set up so that remote employees can participate. With that said, these breaks should be optional but you should encourage your employees to participate.
Tip 4 – Set and Work Toward Personal, Wellness, and Professional Goals
It is very important to set and work toward personal, wellness, and professional goals. This is true for all employees as people generally need something to work towards. Understanding the impact of physical health on your mental health and vice versa will go a long way to increase the impact of your treatment.
Professional goals are also important and you should set reasonable goals so that when you reach them, you feel a sense of achievement. If you set unreasonable goals, then you are not set up for success.
Tip 5 – Reflect on Positive Experiences and Express Happiness and Gratitude
Take the time to reflect on positive experiences and express happiness and gratitude. This is something that you can focus on especially during meditation. It is healthy to have a positive outlook on life and not focus on the negatives. When you do this at work, it can also help people feel appreciated which leads to higher productivity.
Showing gratitude to your employees and co-workers is a great way to form personal relationships. This goes a long way to build trust on your team which will enforce a collaborative environment.
Reduce Workplace Stress – Courses on Pluralsight
You can learn more about reducing workplace stress in my Pluralsight course, Increasing Mental Health Awareness for Improved Inclusiveness. This course includes animated scenario-based training and you will watch as an organization develops their mental health initiatives and how their initiatives impact their employees. Visit hoffstech.com/mentalhealthawareness to get started with a free trial today!