Stress is a very real emotional issue but, not all stress is bad. When under control, it can be the force that propels us on to bigger and better things; deadlines, for example, provoke a very necessary 'stress reaction' in order that we get the job done!
However, stress, when it is out of control can cause employees serious issues. From depression to anxiety, it is a very real emotional health issue that needs to be addressed; many employers, however, assume it is the employee that needs to deal with it. At a time when they feel at their lowest, it can be hard for an employee to approach their line managers or supervisors to tell them where the stress is coming from, and why.
Many employers are becoming increasingly proactive in helping employees manage stress, as well as reducing the factors that can induce it. These actions and deeds are also becoming wider and more varied; a session of paint ball or a 'pint down the pub' is no longer sufficient, however welcome they may be! Proactive employers are looking at Onsiteplus corporate massage, for example and reaping the rewards of stress-free, happy staff!
So, how can employers look to reduce and eliminate unnecessary stress from a workplace? Here are 6 top tips…
Tip 1: the working environment
In an average week, staff and colleagues will spend more time in the office or work environment than they do at home. Some employees may see their colleagues more, than they do their own spouses or partners. It makes sense to spend time, effort and money on the work environment, making it as comfortable as possible.
It may only be the small things, like a constant supply of soap, clean towels etc. in the bathrooms, but also additional considerations such as the amount of physical space someone has in which to do their work. Cramped and stuffy is not good! Clutter-free and clean, make sure the environment is welcoming.
Tip 2: Work overload OR not enough
People automatically associate stress with too much work and whilst this is true, not having enough to do – inducing boredom, irritability and restlessness – is also a source of stress for many employees. Look at how work is proportioned and distributed through the team; is one person shouldering a massive burden, but another bereft of work?
Tip 3: Interruptions and noise
Two factors that can significantly add to stress as it bubbles under the surface is interruptions and noise. When people are trying to get things do, the constant interruption to their focus or distraction through noise – this could be a noisy office, radio or loud TV – it can be harmful to the flow of work.
Looking at the work environment and working out what can change, and how this is for the better, is really important step when addressing stress in the workplace.
Tip 4: Feedback and feeling valued
People need to know they are doing a good job.
In many cases, it really is that simple. Going to work every day, can be a grind, no matter how great the job is or how much someone loves working for the business. The fact they have an exemplary attendance record, with very few days sick, on time and always function to the best of their ability are all accolades that need to be acknowledged. But, as employees are often working for the business for a long time, the management team can forget to say 'thank you', or to realise and value the contribution of employees.
Without your hardworking staff, your business would not be the success that it is!
Tip 5: Purpose and trust
Many people go to work with purpose; they understand their role, what is expected of them and, in the main, they trust and like their employer.
However, there are times when this can become skewed and blurred; add to this a dollop of stress and what you can have is an unhappy employee. In some instances, issues of trust are not easily or quickly resolved; it can take prolonged input over a longer period of time.
Making sure that people know they have a purpose and are given the responsibility to follow this through makes staff feel empowered and motivated.
Tip 6: Time Out
In a busy workplace, it can be difficult to take a break; over 40% of workers surveyed in a recent study stated they were 'too busy' to take time away from their desk to eat lunch. This 'eating at the desk' is not only harmful to your employee, but it is also hurting productivity.
Taking time out should be encouraged. On site chair massage, for example, is a great choice of activity to prize workers away from desks or work stations. Without taking any clothes off, a fabulous massage is delivered to the neck, back and shoulders – in 15 to 20 minutes!
Stress is something that affects us all, at one time or another. Some stress can be 'good' but when it goes on and on, it can really harm both the individual and the business. What action do you take on stress in the workplace?
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