Happy employees can be productive employees. Reducing workplace stress can create a positive work environment while simultaneously boosting your company's bottom line. The problem is that honing in on the causes of workplace stress isn't always easy, and you may not always know how to help someone who is stressed. Fortunately, there are some easy and budget-friendly steps you can take to boost morale, calm anxiety and keep negative feelings at bay.
Recognize Signs of Stress
To combat workplace stress, you need to be able to recognize it. From there, you can acknowledge the problem and take steps to help create a positive work environment. Common signs of stress in professional settings include mood swings and irritability, impatience, aggression, and a lower tolerance of frustration. You may also notice that stressed employees are absent more often, and they may have difficulty with interpersonal relationships. Additionally, you may find that stressed employees isolate themselves or seem disinterested in activities. Stress may also reduce motivation and creativity.
Reduce Anxiety with Exercise Equipment
If your employees are stressed, physical activity can help. Just five minutes of aerobic exercise can reduce anxiety. Regular exercise can also reduce fatigue, improve alertness and concentration, decrease tension and boost self-esteem. You may not be able to offer your employees a full in-house gym, but you could find some room in the office for some basic exercise equipment. Compact exercise products can be stored and used even in a small room. For example, a mini stepper exerciser or an aerobic pedal exerciser takes up minimal room, but that equipment makes it easy for an employee to turn a quick break into an effective workout session. Other good options for office-friendly exercise gear includes balancing boards, stability balls, resistance bands and jump ropes.
Promote a Tranquil Environment with Yoga
When employees have too much on their mind, it can be natural for them to become stressed out. Yoga and meditation can help to clear the mind. The health benefits of yoga include reduced fatigue, lowered blood pressure and an improved sense of well-being. While you may not want to turn the office into a full-on hot yoga studio, you can incorporate the practice into the workplace with minimal effort and spending. If you have a spare room, you could provide yoga mats and allow employees to take breaks to meditate and refocus their minds when stress hits. Holding regular group yoga classes is a good way to boost morale and improve relationships among employees.
Give the Gift of Comfort
Comfort and workplace stress reduction go hand-in-hand. If your employees are uncomfortable, they're not going to feel or work their best. Upgrading your staff's office chairs can boost morale in the long term. If getting new chairs for everyone isn't a feasible option, consider outfitting your break room with more comfortable seating. Giving employees a place to unwind in comfort during their off time can create a better work environment. A few couches, massage chairs and some lumbar cushions can show your employees that you really care about their well-being.
Allow Employees to Listen to Music
Sometimes, all it takes is blasting your favorite song to calm anxiety and make all that stress melt away, but that's not always practical in the workplace. If your employees can work with earbuds or headphones without disrupting workflow, consider allowing it. Listening to music can actually help improve focus, and it gives your staff something to look forward to throughout the day. If listening to music on headphones wouldn't work in your office, consider permitting it during certain times or just for projects that don't require person-to-person interactions.
Hydrate for Happiness
If your employees are dehydrated, there's a good chance that they can be stressed, too. Human organs require water to function properly, and that includes the brain. Staying hydrated can also help to keep stress hormone levels down. Making drinking water readily available is a good way to promote a positive work environment and productivity. You can provide your team with water bottles to reduce frequent trips to the water cooler.
A good way to solve workplace stress can be to communicate with your staff more effectively. Since not everyone knows how to ask for help at work, you may need to reach out. You may also find that some employees feel overworked, undervalued or underpaid. Taking these steps to brighten their days can go a long way, but try to acknowledge the core issues that can make workers unhappy. A warm smile and a friendly greeting take only a moment, and they can go a long way in keeping the workplace mood upbeat and friendly.
The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and are based on scientific and technical research noted below. The information does not constitute a medical consultation and cannot replace medical advice. Any information should never be used as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other health care provider.
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