According to the Mental Health Organisation, stresses related to work “already cost costs Britain 10.4 million working days per year”, and stress is as infectious as the common cold or viral bug. Once one employee starts to show the signs of suffering from workplace pressures, others will soon succumb and the results can be detrimental to your company. The quality of work will drop, you’ll start to see a decline in staff retention and your reputation will be damaged. These are three things no business owner wants to encounter, so it’s your responsibility to ensure that your workplace is a stress-free environment and there are a few different ways you can do this.
Work is important, but it’s not as important as taking care of your health and well-being. One way to ensure employees are doing this is by promoting a work-life balance with you leading by example. Make sure employees aren’t working themselves into the ground every single night, but if they have to for a certain project, reward them with some time off once it’s finished. Giving them the time to spend it with family and friends will not only boost their productivity when they’re at work, but mean they enjoy what they do.
We all know how frustrating it can be when you’re stuck in the middle of a problem and can’t find the solution. It’s scenarios like this that can make employees feel like they’re under pressure, so to prevent it from escalating, create different zones in your workplace that staff members can escape to. By taking themselves away from their routine, they can clear their mind and give themselves a space to breathe and rejuvenate.
More often than not employees spend more time with their colleagues then they do with their family at home, so it’s important that everyone gets along. Not everyone has to best friends, but in order to create a collaborative culture you need to ensure your employees are amicable with one another. To do this, set aside time for team building in and outside of work. Go out for lunch, organise training courses, spend an evening out- these are all activities you can carry out to reduce stress and boost morale in your workplace.
Breakaway zones are ideal, but sometimes employees need a little prompt to take themselves away from their work, so ensure you’re actively encouraging staff to take breaks, especially if they work on a computer all day. This will not only relax their busy minds, but increase their productivity when they return to their desks.
Over the past few years, more and more research has gone into the connection between nature and our well-being, leading to the ideologies of bringing the outside in, especially in the workplace. Maximising natural light, purchasing indoor plants and taking meetings outside will make a huge difference to your employee’s mood. Don’t worry if you work in the middle of a busy city, or have a small amount of space as there are still ways you can harness natural elements. Try changing your lights or incorporating natural materials into your décor.
One of the most important things you can do to reduce stress in your workplace is listen to what your staff have to say. Those that don’t listen often find themselves losing more employees than retaining which can obviously have a damaging effect on those who work there and the company itself. Even if you can’t act on their wishes instantaneously, by taking on board what staff have to say will leave them feeling more content with their workplace and increase the morale.