Stress in the workplace is common and it is usually expected especially if your employees have to keep up with a deadline and render more hours just to get the work done on time. However, if this has become an everyday thing, the work environment could prove to be toxic and overall unhealthy.
Constant stress and overwork can eventually lead to a burnout, and this is not good for both the employee and the company itself. When employees are burnt out, they will have no room to think of new ways to improve their craft or even think about how to streamline office processes – all they will ever worry about is how and when to get the job done fast.
The office will be a constant humdrum of beating deadlines and rendering the same, mediocre output. Creativity and innovation will be placed in the backseat. Worse, the stress will eventually take a toll on your employees. Productivity and contentment in the workplace will go down, and this will reflect badly on the company culture and performance.
To ensure that your employees remain productive and happy, it is best to find ways on how to manage stress in the workplace. It could be as simple as allocating an hour for yoga and exercise once a week or encouraging them to take a wellness leave once in a while. Below are five more tips that you can follow:
1. Provide more work flexibility
Allow your employees to get out from the four walls of their office cubicle and work from home or somewhere else. You can implement this once a week (like “Work from Home Fridays”) or only just half a day every once a week.
Allowing them to go out and work at home or in a cafe can give them a much needed creative boost and lessen their stress levels significantly – because work environment and ambiance are also huge factors of that.
You may also allow flexible working hours. Like employees can come in at a later hour as long as they can still punch in the required work hours, or even leave early if they have no other pending tasks for the day. This allows them to have more time to relax, unwind and recharge before going back to the daily grind by the next day. It also allows them to avoid the rush hour, where their stress levels can go high even without reaching the office yet.
2. Maintain strict work hours
Work hours should still be consistent, and once the employee punches out or logs off, avoid calling, texting or emailing them about work-related stuff. Allow your employees to completely zone out from anything work-related until they log in again on the next working day.
Constantly bugging your employees about work, even while they are already at home or out on a vacation will certainly burn them out quickly. The stress and worry can certainly ruin a rather relaxing evening at home or a once in a lifetime family occasion. Employees will feel trapped with all the revolving workload, and prevent them from having a good work-life balance.
3. Review your processes and streamline it
One of the sources of stress in the workplace are unclear job positions, tasks and processes. When some people on the team don’t know who’s going to work on which, then there is an internal problem. When employees don’t also know where to go when they have issues and clarifications, then there is certainly an organizational problem.
You have to review and reorganize your corporate structure and streamline work processes whenever possible. Make sure each person on the team knows what their actual responsibilities are, and that they have a set of tasks that are expected from them to be done each day/week/month.
Related reading: 7 Tools For More Productive Collaboration in the Workplace
With a clear and organized structure and work instructions, employees can easily focus on the stuff that are their main priorities and focus on delivering them according to the pace they are most confident with – not just randomly finish whatever task that is handed to them at the last minute.
4. Promote a healthy lifestyle
Aside from getting in good shape, exercising can do wonders for one’s mental health. It can improve overall mood since it boosts serotonin levels on the brain (which helps alleviate depression) and can give an extra energy to a rather slow day at the office. Some offices now offer a mini gym – or at the very least a yoga corner for that much needed stretching and meditative break in the office.
Exercises can help employees relieve stress and frustration at work, and it could help if they don’t need to go far just to have space for such activity. Nap rooms are also great – because aside from exercise, substantial amounts of rest is also part of a healthy lifestyle. Google for example allot a place for employees to take a nap in.
5. Encourage open communication
Last but not the least, encouraging your employees to voice out their concerns with the company can help lessen the stress they experience at work. Employees can take comfort in the fact that someone in the company cares about them, and that they can voice out their concerns without fear of retaliation. However, always remember that communication is a two-way street. Aside from letting them voice their concerns freely, make sure that you actually listen – and take action whenever necessary.
Of course, another obvious tip is to avoid creating unreasonable expectations and deadlines for your employees. Too much pressure is the last thing any employee needs, for this will not only increase stress, but will also push them to do mediocre work instead (just to meet the required deadline). So be reasonable. Allow them some fair time to craft quality work, but make sure they don’t have too much time to slack off as well.
This a guest post by Gemma Reeves of FindMyWorkspace. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Zegal may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Zegal here.
Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.
Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace