There's an invisible foe wreaking havoc in your company. The employees whisper about it (when they have the time). The boss and other departmental heads stick their heads in the sand to deny this adversary's existence. But, there’s nothing to deter the slithering and weakening effects of this enemy. The name of this enemy is STRESS.
Whoever said that pressure creates diamonds probably wasn’t thinking about humans. There's only so much stress we can take at the workplace. The major problem is that stress is like cancer. First, it spreads slowly and silently. Then, it comes creeping in, degrading energy, supping up concentration, and ultimately destroying your employees' confidence.
Stress is not a joke. Numerous studies done over the years tie excessive stress levels to physiological symptoms like ulcers, elevated blood pressure, headaches, insomnia, and the list goes on. Stress also contributes to psychological disorders such as depression, substance abuse, and anxiety. Stress remains one of the biggest occupational hazards in the modern workplace. Its symptoms contribute to over $190 billion of annual healthcare bills.
A little stress or eustress can be beneficial, but excessive levels won't create diamonds. The key to beating this invisible enemy is learning how to manage it in the workplace. That's often easier said than done. So, please bear with us as we share a few sure-fire ways of routing out the stress that lingers in your workplace- so you can get back to doing what you do best.
Organization and Prioritisation
Your company has quotas to fill and shareholders to satisfy. But, at times, how you go about this may overwhelm your employees. For example, some may skip lunch, leave the office late at night, and have trouble sleeping. Sure, this may help get the job done faster but maintaining energy, and concentration levels become harder if such stress remains constant.
Prioritizing and organizing tasks can help your company maintain a consistent workflow without stressing out your employees. Here's how to drive such an initiative:
Setting Clear Goals
Envisioning your desired goals helps you set your priorities right. It shows your employees that their efforts play a significant part in the endgame, so they are more motivated and focused on helping the company meet its bottom line. It may be wise to have occasional sit-downs with your department heads to clarify such goals. Such a move also ensures that each daily activity tracks back to your goals.
Setting Priorities That Match Your Goals
Setting random priorities is a big no-no because every task should contribute to the success of each goal. Therefore, it's essential to evaluate how every task gets your company closer to the goal. You can do this by initiating a mile-stone board.
Focusing on a Few Tasks at a Time
Employees get stressed when endless tasks bog them down because when every task is a priority, their goals feel murky. It can lead to an endless cycle of frustration. So, it may be wise to dish out 2 to 4 tasks at a time that play a more prominent role in attaining your end goals.
Having Clear Deadlines
Setting realistic deadlines ensures that your employees attend to their tasks within the desired timeline. In addition, this ensures they don't push tasks aside to attend to a later date, which may stress them when it's crunch time.
Using Organisation Tools
Stress has a trickle-down effect, so lower-level employees may feel pressured to perform when micromanaged. Calendars and to-do lists may seem arbitrary, but such tools reduce stress on the management level. Best of all, many apps and tools available today make organizing tasks with to-do lists and calendars easier.
Pay Attention to Workplace Ergonomics
Working in cramped and dimly lit offices contributes to physical workplace occupational hazards. Such hazards translate to muscular issues such as carpal tunnel, chronic back pain, nausea, headaches, and eye strain. If these issues go unaddressed, they can cause medical complications, which stress employees and their families.
Fortunately, you can do a few simple things to reduce these hazards and the stress that they induce.
Your employees may sit at their desks for hours. It’s hard for them to concentrate on their tasks when their office chairs and desks are uncomfortable. This can cause health and wellness issues that can stress them. This situation can be resolved by sourcing furniture from producers that take every ergonomic concern seriously.
Here is an office desk and chair combination that throws in some exercise into your ergonomic and comfort concerns:
Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair
The Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair puts a fresh spin on work and fitness. It’s comfortable and allows your employees to get some exercise done even as they help the company reach its goals. It comes with a mesh fabric backrest that mitigates back pains. In addition, this fitness chair features supportive seat cushions that enhance comfort.
This office chair is height adjustable to accommodate all your employees regardless of their physical stature. The Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair can also help you start and monitor company-wide fitness challenges to mitigate stress. It features a calorie tracker and a customizable cardio resistance level interface. Additionally, this comfortable chair has ultra-comfortable pedals and silent operation, so it won't distract your employees as they work. It also comes with durable caster wheels that make it easy for your employees to move it to different workstations or departments.
Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series
Sitting in the same position for hours leads to RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury). This manifests in muscular aches that can take months or years to show. Eventually, your employees' stress levels increase as their workflow rate deteriorates. Standing from time to time helps improve blood flow, which enhances your employees' concentration levels. Unfortunately, standing while working is complicated because of the mechanics of standard office desks.
Flexispot has a solution for this dilemma in the form of the Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series. This is not your ordinary cheap standing desk. Instead, it packs some innovative features that make life easier for its users. For example, this sit-stand desk has a programmable height pre-set that allows you to change the position with ease.
The Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series features a dual-motor lifting system that works silently. It can handle 275 lbs of weight, so you don't have to remove computers, files, and other workplace tools when standing. This allows your employees to get up when it's time to stand as they continue working. You can order the Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series with additional productivity accessories such as a file cabinet, mousepads, desk organizers, and MonitorStand workstation.
To top it off, it pairs well with the Sit2Go 2-in-1 Fitness Chair, so you can get this furniture as a combo for a healthier, fitter, and less stressed-out workforce.
Lighting has a direct influence on the mood of your employees. If it's drab and boring, then chances are your employees will switch to these moods whenever they step into the office. However, if it's sunny and cheerful, then your employee's disposition may also be cheerful.
If your office has loads of windows, why not open the blinds to let some daylight into the office? This can reduce eye strain and lift the spirits of your busy workers. You can also opt for warm white energy-saving light bulbs instead of those intense fluorescent tubes. That way, your employees can feel comfortable working night shifts or leave the office past sundown.
A Spot of Greenery
A few potted plants can help reduce stress. This is especially true if you encourage your employees to water and tend to the plants. This initiative draws them away from the bustle of office life as it helps them commune with nature.
A few posters, sculptures, and other works of fine art can have a therapeutic effect on your workers. The artwork gives them something pleasant to look at when their eyes are away from their screens. Some conversational pieces also allow employees to share their thoughts and feelings, which goes a long way towards mitigating stress.
Foster Positive Peer Relationships within Your Company
Creating meaningful bonds or friendships in the workplace is more challenging than it seems. Your employees may spend more time together than they do with their friends, family, or pets. Their tasks and business-related chatter dominate most of their interpersonal interactions. They can congregate at the water cooler or over a cup of coffee or lunch. But, you may be surprised how their chatter contributes to gossip and complex office politics. This usually leads to rivalries that can trigger anxiety.
The best way to nip such vices in the bud is to find meaningful ways to help them see each other as teammates. This way, they are less likely to view their peers as replaceable cogs in a well-oiled corporate machine.
Here are a few initiatives worthy of your considerations:
No Smartphones at Lunch or In the Conference Room
You’d be surprised how much smartphones distract people from interacting with each other. People are less likely to emote and communicate if they have their souls tethered to social media. So, you can encourage your employees to leave their smartphones on their desks during lunch or while conferring over leads in the conference rooms. This bold step "forces" them to have conversations instead of pouring their attention onto Instagram feeds.
Your employees have worked for you for different periods. And, even if your company is new, the life and work experience of your employees varies. So you can pair up the newbies with the more seasoned ones. This will help the newbies absorb hands-on technical skills from the veterans, making the work easier for everyone. In addition, the veterans get someone to gripe about their stress, and perhaps even some satisfaction from knowing they are helping mold some corporate culture into the new generation.
Offsite Team Building Events
Team building events have a multiplier of benefits when it comes to stress mitigation. First, they show employees that trust can benefit them outside an office setting. Secondly, vulnerability exercises such as group sharing sessions help employees spotlight the issues plaguing them in and out of the office. Finally, they also give employees a chance to let off some steam or de-stress.
Stress in the workplace comes in 2 variants. First, there's eustress, which is the good kind. Then there's the worst kind – distress. So, the key to managing stress in the workplace lies in cultivating more eustress in the office. It all starts with ensuring that the tools that your employees use daily don't distress them. Aside from these tips, it would be best to work to ensure that your employees experience loads of job satisfaction.
The ergonomic standing desk and fitness bike combination are excellent places to start because it attacks stress in a triple threat fashion. It helps them work out, enhances comfort, and motivates them to stay on task. They'll be ready, always primed, and focused on crushing those tasks. Some may even show up early for work as they can skip the gym or morning runs.
Sure, you could opt for cheaper and crappy furniture, but as a wise man once said, "cheap is expensive." If your employees are unfit and stressed then, they'll need more flex time. Your company's medical co-pay, employee turnover rate, and reputation may suffer. So, don't consider the initial cost of these stress relief tactics as a stumbling block. Instead, please think of how much you'll save when your employees are so enthusiastic that they even consider showing up on their days off.