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In the modern workplace, stress is one of the leading health hazards. Workplace stress can significantly influence business revenue and performance. If left unaddressed, a stressful work environment can threaten a company’s existence.
Numerous studies show that office stress costs businesses in the United States approximately more than $300 billion annually. The common factors that add to this number include employee turnover, diminished productivity, absenteeism, accidents, workers’ compensation awards, and legal, medical, and insurance costs.
As a business owner or company manager, you must handle this serious issue right away. Moreover, you need to utilize a tailored-fit strategy for your employees. You can use some of these methods listed below to reduce office stress. But remember to customize your approach based on your workforce.
Decrease Stress with Remote Working and Flexible Hours
If you want to cultivate an open and adaptable work environment for your staff, you must be flexible with their work hours. Your employees should feel that they are not defined by when they clock in and out of work, but rather on their job performance. Look for alternative arrangements for those who have trouble balancing their personal and work life.
Keep in mind that since not all businesses are alike, remote working may not be an option for all companies. However, you must provide them an option, especially for emergency cases. For instance, if your employees just had a baby, and they have no one to leave the baby with, allow them to work from home until they get everything settled.
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Balance the Workload for a Less Stressful Office
If your employees are struggling with their workload, understand that this is a stressful situation for them. Moreover, it will ultimately lead to excessive burnout. Make sure that they have enough break time so they can momentarily disconnect from their tasks. Encourage them to go outside for a walk or connect with their colleagues. Their workload should also be compatible with their strengths and capabilities. If their job expectations are unaligned with their abilities and talents, they will be less engaged with their work.
To ensure that their roles suit them, conduct one-on-one sessions. Use this time to discuss their interests, career goals, and current challenges. Set reasonable deadlines and avoid micromanaging your employees. They should be able to have complete control over their tasks without their bosses breathing down their necks. If you want to make sure that they can work independently, have them shadow you on a task, then let them accomplish it with your guidance.
Cultivate a Culture of Recognition
Recognizing your employees for their hard work will increase their engagement and productivity and make their work lives less stressful. The more valued they feel, the lower their stress levels will be. Keep in mind that every employee is different, so be mindful when giving out recognitions. Some people are comfortable being praised during a team meeting, while those who are more reserved might appreciate a congratulatory gesture in person.
Consider incorporating a monthly reward system to acknowledge your employees. Work with your human resources department and design various rewards that can encourage your employees to work harder. By appreciating their efforts, you can make your employees more committed, happier, and less stressed.
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Open Channels of Communication to Reduce Stress
Communication is an integral factor in a company’s growth and success. When your employees cannot communicate properly with their managers, they cannot execute their tasks effectively.
So make sure all communication platforms are open. Utilize tools that can foster a less stressful environment and more efficient workplace communication. You can organize small meetings or face-to-face sessions to give them an avenue to voice their concerns.
Always keep them in the loop for any organizational changes and never disregard their concerns. These discussions will help you identify what type of counseling you can provide to manage their work stress better. In addition, you will be able to resolve internal conflicts that you were unaware of.
Promote Wellness in the Workplace to Make It Less Stressful
To further reduce employee stress, encourage a healthy and active lifestyle in the workplace. Experts say they cannot overstate the benefits of regular exercise. From regulating your weight, safeguarding you from diseases and health conditions, boosting your energy, and improving your mood, exercising is an excellent way for your employees to manage their work stress.
Therefore, incorporate wellness programs for your staff. To do this, you can:
- Give gym membership discounts
- Provide wearable trackers
- Provide free healthy snacks
- Hold yoga or meditation classes
- Offer free classes on stress management
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By showing your employees that you care about their overall well-being, you will be helping them feel more valued and minimizing the chances that they will burn out.
Be a Positive Role Model to Your Employees
As the business owner or manager, it is important that you lead by example. Show your employees how you prioritize your mental and emotional health. When dealing with difficult situations, always keep your emotions in check and never transfer your stress and negativity to your employees.
Participate in group meetings and wellness programs. Take breaks and vacations often so that your employees will be comfortable doing it as well. Your employees need to know that it is important to take a break once in a while so they can recharge and reset.
Create a Comfortable Working Environment
How the workplace is designed can also add to your employees’ stress levels. Perhaps it’s time to revamp your office space. Make it more conducive to well-being and comfortable for your employees. Ask for their suggestions and incorporate those during renovation.
Go for a more favorable color scheme or add motivating decors to stimulate your employees to perform better. Add plants and comfortable furniture. Create a safe and private space where they can release their pent-up stress. This can also serve as their meditation or quiet area.
Remove the clutter and make sure to regularly clean and disinfect their workspace. Get help from a reliable cleaning company such as Mint Condition commercial cleaning services to ensure that your employees are safe from harmful viruses that can cause serious diseases.
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There are several ways employers can reduce workplace stress. To create a healthier environment, employers and managers should clearly understand the effects of stress on their employees and be innovative in implementing methods to combat it.