There is no doubt that work can be a stressful experience. From relationships with co-workers to heavy workloads, the pressures of daily work life can take a toll on the physical and mental health of your team. Thankfully, there are many steps that business owners and managers can take to make their workplaces less stressful and more rewarding for their employees. Here are some of them.
Protect physical and mental health
Allow a healthy work-life balance
Ensuring that your employees are getting enough rest can help reduce stress and improve their productivity at work. Flexible working hours and remote work arrangements can help your staff to achieve a good work-life balance and avoid them feeling pressured to spend time in the office when they could be more productive elsewhere. By giving your staff control over their work schedule, they will be less stressed and more motivated to work hard and achieve results.
Offer wellness programs
Workplace wellness programs can help to promote good health among employees and improve their quality of life. This can include offering gym memberships, yoga classes, and healthy eating workshops to help improve employee health and reduce stress levels. Virtual meditation classes for employees are a great way to help your team members cope with the day-to-day pressures of their job. By supporting the wellness of your staff, you help them to bring clarity and focus to their work.
Encourage nutritious eating habits
If you have an office pantry, try to provide your employees with healthy snacks and drinks throughout the day such as fresh fruit, nuts, and non-caffeinated beverages to help them to stay energized and nourished throughout the day. Encourage your team members to take their lunches away from their desks to recharge their minds. Contrary to common opinion, studies have shown that taking meals at a work desk increases stress and thus reduces productivity and creativity.
Build a positive environment
Create a collaborative environment
Many studies have shown that employees perform better when they are provided with an environment that encourages communication and allows them to easily share ideas with their colleagues. An open work environment helps to create a positive and creative culture within the workplace and improves morale among your team. Be sure that your team members not only feel comfortable talking to their co-workers but also with you and other members of management as well.
Recognize and reward hard work
Encouraging your staff to take pride in their work is an important part of maintaining a healthy and productive workforce. By taking the time to recognize and reward individual achievements, you can help to boost employee morale, avoid burnout, and motivate your staff to perform at their best. It also tells your team members that you see them as separate people and not merely cogs in the system. Be sure that your reward system is fair and allows each team member an equal chance to succeed.
Provide support and training
Your team members may be excellent at what they do but it can be hard to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the industry. Investing in the training and professional development of your employees can help you to retain top talent and improve the confidence of your staff. Offer opportunities for continuing education to help your employees learn new skills and knowledge. This can be in the form of in-house training or financial rebates for third-party professional development courses.
Make the office comfortable
Provide good lighting
Staring at computer screens can cause eye strain which in turn leads to headaches and fatigue. Encourage your team to follow the 20-20-20 rule and rest their eyes. Have plenty of lamps and ceiling lights positioned throughout the office that can be adjusted to meet specific needs and provide adequate light for reading and other desk-based tasks. As much as possible, incorporate natural sunlight to brighten the feel of your office space, and be sure that computer monitors are fitted with anti-glare screens.
Add a touch of nature
Plants in the workplace can help to reduce stress. Research has shown that plants can reduce the amount of indoor air pollution and create a more relaxing environment for your staff. Try incorporating potted plants or live walls into the décor of your office space. You could also encourage your team members to bring in plants of their choice for their desks. If your workplace does not have enough light to sustain plants, try using artificial plants or water features to create a more natural feel in the office.
Incorporate an escape
If you have space in your facility, try to incorporate a relaxation space for your employees. This can be a simple Zen room with floor mats and beanbags or a mini-gym where team members can sweat it out for half an hour. Even a small nook with a comfortable couch and some cushions can provide your staff with a place to escape momentarily from their work. This is also conducive to your team members building stronger connections with each other. After a short break, they can return to their tasks with renewed focus and energy.