If you’re in a management position at a company, or you own your own business with employees, one of your key tasks should be keeping them motivated and happy in their work. Doing your part to keep your employees’ stress levels down can work wonders for their enjoyment of their work, which often means increased productivity for them and thus your business. But how exactly do you go about reducing the stress of your employees?
If you’re an on-site boss, one that’s often in the building, or even if you’re rarely there, you can always talk to your employees. Whether it’s just an informal chat about non-work things or if you’re keeping them in the loop about plans within the business, it certainly makes people feel more valued if their boss talks to them. They might be your employees, but they’re not just there to generate profit or sell things – they’re people too! It might sound obvious, but a quick chat or email with your staff can go a long way to improving their mood.
This might not sound like an effective choice for reducing stress, but studies have shown that the presence of plant life in an office can soothe people and also increase their productivity. Non-flowering plants reduce blood pressure levels, anxiety, fatigue and even anger, according to a study by Sydney’s University of Technology, and other studies have shown that plants can help improve memory retention as their presence engages our brains. Plus, they make the place look nice, and who doesn’t like that?
When we say flexitime, we don’t mean that you should allow your staff to choose if they want to work for two hours a day instead of eight. Flexitime can simply mean allowing staff to come in an hour early and leave an hour early, or, depending on the type of work you do and your personal preferences, come in at midday and work till late in the evening if they so choose.
This won’t work for every business, and certain employees will obviously need to be present at certain hours, but if you can find an amicable flexitime solution, you’ll see the benefits show in your staff. Flexible hours offer independence and more leeway, which can reduce stress. Of course, staff need to still get their work done and meet their targets, but sensible flexitime agreements can reduce their stress levels without negatively impacting their work.
Everyone has targets to meet and jobs to do at work, and at the end of the day, it’s important that those targets have been met and jobs have been done. However, relentless pursuit of objectives and races to meet deadlines can take a significant toll on our mental and physical wellbeing. Short breaks of 5-10 minutes every two hours can work wonders, and such breaks should be encouraged. If you notice a staff member having a walk around the office or nipping outside for a breath of fresh air, consider the benefits of taking a break from a screen or a workstation and let them enjoy it. Of course, these breaks should not become too regular or too long, but a happy medium is beneficial for everyone.
During the hours between clocking in and our lunch breaks, we might start to feel the pangs of hunger, which can distract us from our work. Some people often bring snacks to have at their desk – the impatient ones among us might even eat their lunch at 10am if the hunger becomes too much – but having healthy snacks available in your place of work, from fruit to nutritious treats in vending machines can provide a welcome source of vitamins. Vitamin B is said to be good for mental health, whereas whole grain carbs help us to regulate our serotonin, which is the neurotransmitter that helps to keep us calm.
There are plenty of ways to keep your employees happy and minimise their stress at work, and as their boss, you have more influence than anyone over what practices and methods are introduced to help facilitate stress reduction. The steps above are just a few ways you can help decrease the stress of your employees, so why not try some of them out?
Written by Airway Air Conditioning – keeping stress levels down by providing high quality air conditioning services to homes and businesses across the UK.