Best Ways That Managers Can Facilitate A Stress-Free Work Environment
Today’s workplace is dynamic, collaborative and fast-paced. In this environment, stress has become a pandemic, with employers reporting high levels of employee stress on the job.
This can have long-term effects on employees and their families. Addressing stress in the workplace needs to be a top priority for organizations that want to keep their staff happy and healthy.
Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to minimize stress and create a more positive working environment within your organization. Here are some ideas on how to create a less stressful work environment, one that’s healthy and uplifting for everyone who walks through your doors each day.
Communication Is The Key
Communication is one of the most important things you can do to reduce stress in your workplace. After all, the root cause of most workplace stress is uncertainty and a lot of this uncertainty can be alleviated with clear and constructive communication. A successful communication strategy will include:
- Frequency: How often employees receive information
- Transparency: How open and honest you are about what’s happening
- Quality: The content of your communication needs to be clear and concise
Create A Room Dedicated To Relaxing
One of the first things you can do to reduce employee stress is to create a dedicated room for relaxation. This can be any room in your office, but research has shown that a dedicated room for rest and relaxation is more effective at reducing stress. A relaxing room doesn’t need to be expensive.
You can create a relaxing room with just a few items, including soft lighting, music, a restful colour palette, a comfortable chair and a small table. This room can serve as an oasis where employees can go to decompress after a long day or between meetings and it can even be utilised by employees who work remotely.
Declutter Your Home
While the workplace can be a stressful place, the home can be just as much of a source of stress. This can be especially true if you’re a parent, as there are many factors that can contribute to home-based stress, including over-scheduling, financial pressures, family issues and more.
A cluttered home can create unnecessary clutter and stress, which can have a negative impact on both your health and your productivity. Find a time every month to declutter and de-stress your home.
Tackle one room of your house at a time, making sure to get rid of items that don’t serve a purpose. You can even add a charity donation bin to your home to collect items that don’t belong in your space.
Create Flexible Work Opportunities
Most people enjoy their jobs, but not everyone loves their 9-to-5 schedule. Some employees may desire a flexible work environment where they can select their hours or work remotely. When you offer flexible work opportunities, you’re not only reducing stress for the employee, but also removing the stress of uncertainty.
While it’s important that you give employees who work remotely the same level of support that you would extend to employees who work on-site, creating a flexible work environment can reduce the stress and anxiety that comes from uncertainty.
Allow For Growth And Learning
Employees want to feel that their work matters. When they feel like their impact is limited, stress can increase. A way to reduce stress and anxiety in your workplace is to allow for growth and learning.
Create opportunities for your employees to learn new skills and expand their skill set, including opportunities that allow them to pursue passions and discover new interests. Build your workplace culture around lifelong learning, and you’ll help shift the focus away from stress and towards learning and growth.
Deliver What Employees Want
As you become more aware of how stress impacts your employees, it makes sense to shift your focus to identifying what your employees want and need. When employees know that their needs and wants are being met, they are less likely to feel stressed at work.
In fact, a recent study found that employees who felt that their company met their needs reported an average of 17% lower stress levels compared with employees who felt like their needs weren’t being met.
That’s why it’s important to create an employee engagement survey and then deliver on the results of that survey. You can use this survey to learn about the needs of your employees, and then deliver on those results.
Social is one of the most important ways to reduce stress in the workplace. Setting aside time each week to connect with coworkers outside of the office can help you feel more connected and less stressed.
When you spend time getting to know your coworkers, you can reduce anxiety and increase feelings of satisfaction and productivity. This can include connecting with employees on social media, attending social events or joining social groups. Social media is a great way to connect with employees and reduce stress.
You can use social media to reduce negative emotions, and boost productivity. When you set up an employee engagement and recognition program, you can reward employees for their hard work and reduce stress.
Provide The Right Digital Tools
Today’s organizations rely heavily on digital tools to improve productivity, communication and collaboration. When you provide the right digital tools for employees, you can help reduce stress and increase engagement. Here are some ways that digital tools can help reduce workplace stress:
- Employees can use social media to vent their frustrations
- Employees can use collaboration tools to communicate more effectively
- Employees can utilize time-tracking software to reduce feelings of uncertainty
- Employees can use digital tools to track their health and wellness goals
- Employees can use virtual coaching tools to learn new skills and discover new interests
Set Realistic Goals
The workplace is a stressful place when goals aren’t clear or if they’re unrealistic. This can lead to feelings of frustration, which can be exacerbated by other factors like tight deadlines or heavy workloads.
If you want to minimize stress in your workplace, be clear about what you expect from staff members, and set realistic goals that are attainable. Make sure your staff understands how their work contributes to the success of the organization, and be sure to acknowledge the contributions of your employees regularly.
Assign specific tasks to employees, and be sure to acknowledge when they’ve done a good job. If you notice a pattern of poor performance, take corrective action asap so that it doesn’t become a recurring issue.
If you have employees who routinely fail to meet expectations, consider coaching and mentoring them so that they have the tools they need to succeed.
Color can have a powerful effect on mood and productivity. Certain colors can create feelings of joy, excitement, and passion. these are the types of emotions that can fuel creativity and boost productivity.
On the flip side, some colors can induce feelings of anxiety and stress. When you’re trying to minimize stress in your organization, choose colors that promote a positive environment.
The colour blue has been shown to lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and improve mood. And, the colour yellow has been known to spark creativity and increase energy.
By selecting these colours, you can create a more relaxing and enjoyable environment for your staff. To create a cohesive look, choose furniture, flooring and wall coverings in similar colours. You can also choose items like lamps, clocks and rugs in colours that complement your colour scheme.
Change The Lighting In Your Workspace
The lighting in your office can have a significant impact on your staff members productivity and overall mood. When offices have too much light, employees can get stressed out.
Too much illumination can also cause eye strain and lead to headaches. If you want to minimize stress in your workplace, invest in good lighting. Change the lighting in your office at different times of the day.
Dim lighting can be used to promote relaxation and encourage employees to take breaks when they feel too much illumination from overhead lights. You can use lighting to create moods and drive productivity.
Natural light is best for creating a positive environment during work hours. However, you can use artificial light in the workplace for individual tasks such as reading and computer use.
Summarize What’s Important
It’s important to keep your staff focused on what’s important. During team meetings, summarize important actions and initiatives, and provide updates from managers.
Be sure to send out regular communications, so that everyone has a clear understanding of expectations. If meetings become too lengthy or repetitive, try to streamline the process by summarizing items quickly.
There are many factors that contribute to a stressful work environment, including tight deadlines and heavy workloads, or poor relationships with colleagues or managers. Fortunately, there are some simple things you can do to minimize stress and create a more positive working environment within your organization.
Stress can impact every part of your employees lives from their health to their relationships. It’s important to keep an eye out for signs of stress and be proactive about finding solutions.
Be transparent about company priorities, provide a relaxing and comfortable environment, and offer flexible work arrangements such as remote work or parental leave.