It is well known that high stress levels are detrimental to workplace productivity.
An article by CAMH shows that prolonged stress can lead to decreased concentration, memory problems and difficulty with decision-making. Other research shows that stress can lead to presenteeism, where employees are physically present at work but cannot function to their full capabilities.
Decreasing stress among employees is a good way to increase work productivity in your business. Keep reading to learn about ways to create a less stressful work environment.
While the law requires employees to take a certain number of breaks, many employees neglect them, particularly when under pressure. This is especially true for employees who work from home. A survey conducted by OnePoll found that 43 per cent of employees who work from home skip meals at least once during the week in favour of working more.
Encouraging regular break times allows employees to rejuvenate themselves, making them more productive when they return to work.
Be flexible with time
While having regular break times can be beneficial, allowing employees to take breaks when necessary, not just when they’re officially scheduled, can also help with stress levels. This way, employees will not push themselves past their limits just to get to the next break period. Instead, they can take time to step away from their work and feel more prepared to be productive when they return.
Allowing for more flexibility with work hours also means that employees will feel a greater sense of autonomy. This will make them feel more in control of their work life instead of their work being in control.
Make use of natural light
Whenever possible, install windows to allow sunlight to enter your workspace. Arrange the workspace so employees’ desks or workstations are closer to natural light sources.
A study published by the Public Library of Science found that exposure to natural elements, particularly sunlight, is associated with decreased levels of depression and anxiety and increased attentional capacity. Overall, exposure to sunlight can help reduce the harmful impacts of stress.
An active social life at work can help employees feel connected to each other and improve their happiness. Creating a community among employees encourages everyone to share ideas, work in teams and collaborate on projects and tasks. It’s important to cultivate an inclusive space where employees feel comfortable sharing their ideas and are recognized and rewarded for their achievements.
Micromanagement can be a significant source of pressure for employees. Feeling like someone is always watching their every move can make employees uneasy and places unnecessary stress on them. Similar to how being flexible with time can provide employees with a sense of autonomy, allowing them to work without constantly checking up on them gives them control over the work they produce.
Provide mental health support
Connecting your employees with mental health support makes them feel more secure at work. This can include implementing mental health training, holding workshops, providing wellness benefits or promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
Not every workplace will benefit from the same resources, so observe what works well with your team to ensure they get the support they need.
There are many ways to help reduce stress in the workplace, and these are just some of them. Continue to research and communicate with employees to find out what your workplace needs to become a more relaxing environment.
Kyle is a reporter for Business Hub. He enjoys art, music and reading, and is prepared to take a nap at any given time.