It’s not hard to understand why there’s more stress in the workplace now than in the past. Technology has sped up turnaround time, access to information and receipt of payment. More than ever, time is money and quicker work equals more dollars in the bank. But the effects of stress haven’t changed with the times. Consequences from this include more absenteeism, careless errors and even violence in the workplace. Here’s how to help your employees manage their stress.
1.Allow your employees as much control and choice over the work they perform as possible. Nothing causes stress quicker than having a manager constantly breathing down your back. Trust your staff to find efficient ways to get the job done.
2.Offer flexible hours whenever possible. Consider whether it’s absolutely necessary that everyone in the office be present every day during business hours. Encourage your staff to take some time off in the afternoon to exercise, go shopping, read a book or do whatever de-stresses them.
3.Let employees work from home when appropriate. This shows you trust they will get the job done and produce quality work even when you’re not there to check. Studies have shown that productivity increases when a motivated employee is allowed to work from home.
4.Create an ergonomic environment to relieve physical stresses in the workplace. Make sure all the furniture is comfortable. Buy flat screens and ergonomic keyboards and mice for the computers. Pay for strong lighting and get someone to clean the windows at least once a month.
5.Build a relaxation room and encourage your employees to use it. Include comfortable furniture, healthy snacks and books, magazines and videos or DVDs on relaxation techniques like yoga, meditation and visualization.
6.Schedule fun events periodically to help your employees and managers bond out of the workplace. The key is not to require anyone to attend but make them so enjoyable that people feel left out if they don’t.
7.Treat your employees right. The best way to manage stress in the workplace is to prevent it. Make sure no one’s working longer hours because they don’t earn enough from a 40-hour week. Reward excellent work with bonuses and special privileges.