It is common for employees to become stressed out in the workplace from their daily tasks. Looming deadlines, busy meetings, not to mention everything else going on outside of their job. Stress is a natural occurrence in the workplace – and when gone unchecked, high stress levels can be the cause of many health issues. Relaxing or de-stressing is all about freeing your mind from the stresses in life. There are a multitude of ways for people to de-stress, and everybody prefers their own method when it comes to unwinding. However, the following are ways that employers can make the lives of their employees a little less stressful, and add some energy back into the workplace.
Encourage and allow for downtime in the form of providing a quiet space
Many times, people just need to take a mental break in order to relieve some of the daily stress that builds up. Having a relaxing, quiet space set aside for employees to go during their workday that will allow them to be alone could be just the thing to rejuvenate stressed-out employees. Many companies offer these spaces in the form of “nap rooms” – where there is a single recliner chair in a dark room that can be “checked out” for thirty minute intervals – yoga studios – where employees can go to meditate, stretch, or just quietly sit – a walking path around the office building, or by bringing in a masseuse each week that employees can sign-up and pay for ahead of time. All of these options are easy ways to help reduce stress within the workplace and also allow employees to feel as though they have a “safe” space to go during a hectic work week to unwind.
Provide on-site workout facilities or offer gym membership discounts
It has been scientifically proven that a healthy body can lead to a healthy mind; however, many professionals do not have enough hours in the day to hit the gym after work, or do not want to pay pricey gym membership fees. Therefore, by providing on-site workout facilities or offering local gym membership discounts, employees will be encouraged to stay healthy and be more likely to exercise. Exercise is a great way for the body to release endorphins and also creates a nice healthy balance in one’s day – by balancing mentally challenging work with some physicality that helps strengthen the body and foster an overall healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Mandate generous paid time off and sabbaticals for long-time employees
Oftentimes, employees feel that they are overworked, unappreciated, stressed-out and generally burned out. If a company were to offer generous PTO, as well as sabbatical opportunities for long-time employees, employees may be more motivated if they knew a holiday was just around the corner. Getting away from the office for a week or two can result in more productive employees once they return to work after their time off.
Offer on-site childcare
If on-site childcare were available, parents of young children would be available to pop in during their workday and visit their child. Additionally, at the end of the workday, parents would not feel as though they had to rush home to be there for their children, or to pick them up from childcare.
Flex-hours are a great way to alleviate stress – rather than have a typical 9-5 workday, have options for 7-4 or 9-6 instead, so that employees can have a work schedule that better suits them. This type of scheduling also helps to promote work-life-balance.
Allow for employees to work from home
Understandably, people don’t always feel up for the same-old morning routine, followed by their commute to work. Allowing employees to work from the comfort of their home on a negotiated basis is a great way to allow them to rejuvenate and de-stress.
Offer healthy snack and food options in the workplace
Personal health can be stressful, especially when you work a full-time job and have many other responsibilities to take care of. By offering healthy snacks and food options in the workplace, employees do not have to think about making the healthy decision, as it has already been made for them. As we said earlier – a healthy body promotes a healthy mind – both of which are beneficial to employers.
Place plants and flowers in the office space
Many contemporary office spaces do not have much greenery or natural sunlight. By having plants, flowers or designated “green spaces” throughout the office, along with ample natural sunlight, is an easy way to boost moods.
Bring your pet to work or have an office pet
Studies show that a pet can increase one’s health and have a calming effect. So, why not allow employees to bring Fido or Fifi to work one day a month, or have a full time office pet. This is an easy way to foster a happier workplace that doesn’t cost a cent.
Create projects that allow for job-sharing
Job-sharing is an excellent way to help spread the work of a project by delegating different tasks to multiple individuals – not to mention it takes the stress off the project manager to know that they are not the sole one responsible for the completion of a task.
Why giving out compliments to people is important for worker satisfaction
Nearly everyone loves to receive compliments – whether it be on their appearance, style, a goal they have achieved, hard-work, or a compliment bringing attention to their character, compliments rarely go unnoticed, and are generally very well appreciated. However, oftentimes compliments in the workplace are hard to come by, or when given, are usually followed up with, or prefaced by some sort of critique. Employees deserve to be praised when they work hard, exceed expectations, take the initiative and go above-and-beyond.
Imagine that you have recently started a new job in a large and innovative company, and have just been given a huge project – one that requires more work than previous projects you have been assigned to complete – and also requires you to manage a team – something that you have yet to do in your role. Throughout the course of the project – whose deadline is three weeks away – you put in loads of work to ensure that the end result is to your boss’ high standards, and effectively manage the team you have been assigned, ensuring that each person is pulling their weight and contributing their fair share. At the end of the three weeks, you are told you must present the project to your seniors for approval. While public speaking has never been your strong suit, you are determined to impress your boss and win over the approval of your seniors.
The weeks pass and the project ends up being something that you are very proud of. After presenting the project to your seniors, your boss calls you into her office. She asks you to sit down, and you brace yourself for the constructive criticism you are sure is about to come your way. However, rather than give you pointers on things you could have improved, your boss compliments you on your hard-work, determination and the delivery of your project. She commends your strong communication skills, ability to successfully manage a team, as well as all of the work you have put in over the past few weeks to complete this project. You beam with pride and next time you will be equally focused, to earn this praise again!
The above story could have gone one of two ways – the review could have been primarily full of praise or criticism – and the outcome would have let the employee elated or defeated.
- “Atta’ boy’s” are an important component of a happy workplace
- Positive reinforcement enhances a work relationship
- Public praise – for example, posting successes in a public workspace- has shown to be as gratifying as a monetary bonus for many workers
- The “praise-criticism-praise” approach can be very beneficial and well received by employees
- Recognizing effort, as well as success, is important when building an effective team
- Happy employees- those who feel appreciated and valued – tend to remain as employees, reducing employee turnover cuts costs
There are many ways to help ease stress in the lives of your employees and the ones listed above are a few ideas to help bring back a little energy into your workplace. Stress can creep up in many different areas of one’s life – home, personal, relationships, work, etc. – so when an employer goes out of their way to ensure that his/her employees have a comfortable work environment that helps to eliminate stress in one of the key aspects of a person’s life – which in turn creates a more focused and productive employee!
Written by: Taylor Ryan CMO at Valuer.ai I’ve co-founded 5 startups. Current the CMO of a venture-backed Ai company Valuer.ai. Published a few marketing e-books. Consulted on SEO/SEM for 3+ years in the Washington, DC area Grew up in Washington, DC but have been living in Copenhagen, Denmark for the past 2.5 years. Mentor, startup junkie, technical marketer, and growth hacker.