Stress doesn’t always have to be bad. As a matter of fact, it is considered to be a normal way in which your body responds to extreme situations. It can be seen as an alarm which your body sends to your mind and, as such, it is essential for surviving dangerous situations. It is only when stress lasts for longer than necessary that it becomes detrimental to our health.
When your body perceives something as dangerous, it shifts to a special mode in which the blood from all around your system is directed to the core of your body.
Stress is actually a very positive feeling in the sense that it focuses your mind to the problem. Every system in your body is employed to fight the problem. This, of course, consumes a lot of energy.
Here is a good comparison to help you understand what effect stress has on your body: Imagine driving a car and never letting go of the gas pedal – the car would go really fast until all the fuel would be spent. This would also affect the engine, possibly damaging it.
This is precisely what happens with your body when after a stressful period. Anxiousness and depression are often the consequences of exhaustion caused by your body draining all your resources quickly.
At work, stress can cause anything from underperformance to injuries. This is why it is important to deal with stress systematically. First aid kits can be helpful once the injury happens, but preventing injuries should be the priority of any company.
Every employer and business owner needs to know that their employees undergo stress on a daily level, regardless of how friendly the atmosphere is and how good the working conditions are in general. Employees are human beings – they have their own troubles which may not even have anything to do with their jobs. If their stress levels are left unchecked, their productivity may drop and affect the company in a significant way.
Dealing with your employee’s stress is by no means an easy task, but it is the task that can be tackled with confidence, because the right measures will yield the right results.
The following article will list 22 important things to keep in mind if you want to take this problem seriously and attempt to solve it.
1. Reward good performance
Of course, things can always be better and your employees can always work more. But commenting about the things that could be done better puts unnecessary pressure on your already stressed out workers.
Instead, make sure that you acknowledge good work among your employees.
Have the employee of the month, offer small rewards for extra effort put in and announce the praises publicly. It will help your employees feel appreciated and they will know they work doesn’t go unnoticed.
2. Find Out Where The Stress Is Coming From
Some people are as cool as cucumbers most of the time, but they absolutely lose their nerve when it comes to something seemingly minor, like – there’s no more fresh coffee. In other words, everybody has a different way of dealing with things, so everybody has different stress triggers.
Encourage your employees to identify their stress triggers and to deal with them. If you hate the smell of meat, don’t go to the butcher’s.
On the other hand, if you are forced to do something that stresses you out, try to find a different angle of looking at it. To use the same metaphor, if you have to go to the butcher’s, focus on the fabulous lunch you are about to have.
3. Deal With Interruptions Properly
Nothing stresses workers out more than constant interruptions. But, they are a part of everyday work. So, the trick is to find a way to deal with them instead of letting them influence you.
Quickly asses the interruptions and see if it is worth your while. After that, shut it off or accept it and give it your attention. However, don’t get stuck dwelling on the fact that you’ve been interrupted. It will make you think that you have no control and that is what causes frustration and stress. Take control and you’ll feel better.
4. Understand Your Limits
Modern world makes us all alway push for more. It is always ‘Go! Go! Go!’ throughout the day. The real truth is that nobody can keep up with that tempo without burning out. Of course, you need to do a lot of work, but some days, enough is enough.
Knowing when to push yourself more and when to just sit back and relax is all the wisdom you need. Learn to work smarter instead of harder and that will save you a ton of nerves.
5. Go Green
Properly chosen office plants can offer stress relief in many ways. They provide you with more oxygen which allows you to think more clearly. They offer you privacy and cancel out a lot of noise. Therefore, think about making a green wall between you and the busiest part of the office.
6. Eliminate Clutter
Clutter makes people feel messy, overwhelmed and hopeless. That is such a fertile ground for a stress outbreak. So, prevent it and have a strict no-clutter policy around your office.
The same goes for the office cleanliness. Every single room around your workplace needs to be clean and odour-free. That is the only way people can feel good in that space.
7. Good Lighting Makes Everything Better
Too little and too much light can cause stress, depression, and anxiety at the workplace. Whenever possible, opt for the natural light, but when it is out of your hands, design the office light carefully.
Think about hiring a professional to set up ergonomic lighting for your office space. They will do it properly and lighting is essential for the life and work quality of your employees.
8. Consume More Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acid helps your brain deal with stressful situations. It nurtures your body in a way that makes it more stress-resilient. You can find this in fish such as salmon or mackerel. Make sure that you have these among your office lunch options, at all times.
9. Make Green Smoothies
Greens are good for you. Even your grandma used to tell you that. Scientists agree. Greens positively affect your hormone levels, acidic balance, and are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. In other words, they prepare your body to deal with stress and reduce it.
Cooking kills of a lot of enzymes that are needed for the greens to work their magic, that is why it is the best to make some green smoothies instead. Offer the ingredients and the equipment in the office and help your employees drink their health.
10. Breath Your Way To Relief
There are some quick techniques which can provide momentary relief from stress. Learning to control your breathing is probably the most effective one – breathing in through the mouth and out through the nose helps brain get more oxygen and calms the person down.
Organizing a training on breathing techniques can be a very beneficial move. Here your employees can learn tricks to reduce stress which can prove to be really useful in certain highly stressful situations. All you need is one free afternoon and a meditation expert.
11. Be The Change
Nobody will believe you when you talk the talk unless you walk the walk! Being a true leader means setting an example. Make all the necessary changes in your life and inspire the employees to follow your lead.
Get that healthy trend going around your office and people will join in no time.
12. Breaks Are As Important As The Actual Work
Studies have proven that many employees are hesitant when it comes to taking breaks from work, usually out of fear that they are wasting precious time to finish important tasks.
This is a very counter productive practice and needs to be eliminated because it both hurts the employees and your company’s productivity.
By not resting enough, employees accumulate stress which soon leads to steep falls in productivity and the sense of being overworked. This condition usually occurs due to the lack of proper communication between employees and managers.
Managers need to let employees know that lunch breaks are not only their right, but a necessary ingredient of their success at work. With their managers’ support, employees are much more likely to rest, and this is bound to maximize their productivity in the long run.
13. Deal With Self-Imposed Stress
The self-imposed stress is a very frequent problem in the workplace. This is the type of stress that doesn’t come from the environment, but rather from the person themselves.
People usually accumulate stress if they don’t know what to expect in relation to their work duties.
In order to avoid the self-imposed stress, you need to establish clear communication lines and make sure your employees always receive proper feedback on the work they do. This way, they will know what to expect from you at any time, which will significantly reduce their anxiety.
It is also necessary to be able to spot the instances in which some of your employees suffers from the self-imposed stress and treat this problem with care and patience.
Some amounts of stress originate from the fact that people don’t know how to express their wishes and needs, so they are left unfulfilled. This is where assertiveness courses come a long way.
If your employees learn how to achieve what they want, they will have much less stress build up.
Of course, there are things that cannot be obtained, no matter how assertive a person is. That is when the meditation classes come in handy.
Contemplating on these matters and letting them go means saving yourself from a lot of stress that takes you nowhere.
15. Make Your Office Cosy
Sitting in an uncomfortable chair with poor lighting. Being too hot or too cold for a prolonged period of time. Standing throughout your shift and enduring aches in your feet and joint. All these induce stress.
Therefore, do your best to make the office as comfortable as possible. Deal with the lighting, get ergonomic chairs, install the AC and rent anti-fatigue mats.
16. Physical Activity For Mental Health
It is a well-known fact that exercise reduces stress. This happens because, when under stress, our body is in the ‘fight or flee’ state and exercise provides the outlet for all that built up energy.
Encourage physical activity among your employees. Offer discounts on gym memberships, organise hiking trips and encourage exercise breaks within working hours.
17. Use Team Building To Create Friendly Atmosphere
People feel much more relaxed when they are among the people they know. That is why team building is a good way of reducing stress at the workplace. The closer your team is, the better they will feel working together.
18. Learn To Listen
At times, it is not up to you to provide the solutions. It is enough only to listen. Your employees might be under a lot of stress that is not work-related. They are under a lot of pressure to keep their problems at home.
That is not possible, of course. So, at least listen to what is on their mind and offer your compassion. They will feel a lot better for not having to suppress their worries and feelings.
19. Be Flexible With Work Schedules
Another big stressor is the inadequate life-work balance. This can be helped by allowing for flexible work schedules. Allow for some days of work from home and similar flexibilities. Your company productivity won’t suffer because of these -if anything, it will increase.
20. Learn To Think Positively
Positive outlook on the world helps you with fighting off stress. If you look at the brighter side of things, it means that you don’t focus on the ‘danger’ that lurks from those corners.
Consequently, your body and mind don’t need to go into the defense mode and you are not under stress.
21. Make Employee Safety One Of Your Priorities
Workplace is full of potential dangers, be it various kinds of possible injuries or emotional and psychological risks. You can’t possibly manage to eliminate all the risks involved, but you can show your employees that you care about their well being.
Making first aid kits readily available in the office is a great first step. Ensure that they are fully equipped and fresh. Training your employees in first aid is a good way to make sure they are able to offer help to others, as well as help themselves if there is a need.
If this looks like a considerable financial investment, keep in mind that with Alsco you are able to rent all the necessary material. This will significantly cut the costs while still providing you with all the safety and protection your company needs.
22. Turn Washroom Into An Oasis Of Peace
This takes us to the topic of office breaks. When people want to get away from it all, they usually head to the washroom for some privacy.
That’s where they can refresh themselves and catch their breath. Washroom is important. And it is important that it is clean, well-stocked and perfectly equipped. Turn your workplace washroom into an oasis of peace.
Contact Alsco now and work with the experts to come up with a solution which will satisfy all your needs for the price which will not hurt your company’s finances.