If there’s one thing that gets in the way of employee engagement and productivity, it’s stress. Helping workers manage stress so they can stay focused and engaged often requires making changes around the office. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution that will help every workforce, but the ideas below are a good place to start.
Start a Workplace Wellness Program
Stress in the office sometimes originates at home, as people’s lifestyle choices have a huge impact on their moods and mental health. Starting a workplace wellness program that offers perks like office yoga and healthy snacks is a great way to start helping workers make positive lifestyle changes. Starting a workplace wellness program also comes with the added bonus of making employees feel more valued.
Create a Calming Environment
The environment plays a large role in determining people’s stress levels, and there is no one place where most Americans spend more of their waking hours than at work. Creating a calming space that makes it easier for workers to relax and unwind can help to reduce stress levels. Even something as simple as adding some plants or changing the color scheme to eliminate drab, depressing grays can reduce employees’ stress burdens and improve their morale.
Encourage Social Connection
Today’s office workers spend a good deal of time together. The more comfortable they feel, the less anxious team members will be about interacting with coworkers. As employees get to know each other, communication improves and collaboration becomes easier, all of which can contribute to a more pleasant and less stressful work environment.
Employers can help to encourage social connection by creating more comfortable spaces in break rooms, organizing office events, or even giving workers paid time off to volunteer together. There’s no need to force everyone to attend team-building seminars every year. Most people will take the reins and start forming social bonds if they’re offered the opportunity to do so.
Consider Providing Counseling
Gone are the days when there was a negative stigma surrounding counseling. Now, people from all walks of life embrace counseling to get the help they need dealing with stressful situations both at the office and at home.
Given that nearly half of all modern workers feel they could benefit from learning new coping mechanisms for dealing with workplace stress, employers who offer either on-site or online counseling are likely to see quite a difference in employee stress levels and performance. It’s fine if not everyone takes advantage of a new counseling program. Offering people the tools they need to manage their own stress is enough.
Start Making Changes
Changing office culture to prioritize employee wellness and reduce stress levels can take some time. The best way to go about making changes is to take them one at a time and to solicit feedback from employees frequently to ensure everyone is on board. Because there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for workplaces, a process of trial and error is really the only way to find a stress-reduction plan that works for everyone.