Stress is a natural byproduct of most jobs. Although irrational clients, a despicable boss, and upcoming deadlines are a source of stress at work, a lot of stress in the workplace stems from employees who want to do well in their jobs and struggle to meet those expectations.
To add to it, many people are stressed at work because they bring personal stresses and issues from home into the workplace.
So, for all you virtual workers, cubicle dwellers, and office soldiers, it’s time to ask yourself how to create a stress-free environment at workplace.
Here are 7 ways to create a work environment that’s calming, relaxing, and inviting space.
How To Create A Stress-Free Environment At The Workplace?
The negative effects of high-stress levels in the workplace are well-documented and can have serious consequences for both individuals and organizations.
From decreased job satisfaction to increased absenteeism, stress at work can take a toll on your physical and mental health, and your ability to perform your best on the job.
Here, we'll explore the various ways how to create a stress-free workplace.
1. Create favorable working schedules
Creating favorable working schedules or flexible hours can help reduce employee stress in the workplace by allowing employees to have more control over their work-life balance. And give them the freedom to manage their personal and professional responsibilities more efficiently.
This can reduce the stress of trying to balance conflicting demands and can result in better mental health and well-being.
Moreover, when employers establish reasonable workloads and realistic deadlines, it can reduce the pressure and anxiety that come with stressful jobs or overwhelming workloads. As a manager, it's important to ensure that the workload assigned to each employee is reasonable and allows for adequate downtime.
If necessary, consider hiring additional staff to ease the burden. You can also invest in time management courses to help employees better prioritize their tasks and avoid feeling overwhelmed. And why not create a designated relaxation space where employees can take a breather and recharge their batteries?
Remember, a healthy work-life balance is key to a happy and productive team.
2. Advocate for workplace wellness
The work environment is one of the top contributors to stress levels. An excellent way to show your employees you care about them as well as ensure they’re healthy is workplace wellness programs. It helps create a stress-free work environment and prevent fatigue, illness, and burnout while improving overall well-being.
Workplace wellness programs can provide a significant advantage for both employers and employees. Their aim is to encourage employees to achieve specific health goals and healthy behaviors such as weight management, exercising more, healthy eating, or quitting tobacco use.
This results in a healthier and more productive workforce which, in turn, can lead to reduced organizational healthcare costs.
For employees who spend a significant portion of their week at work, having access to resources and support systems through their workplace to better manage their health is a highly desirable benefit.
By promoting healthy behaviors and creating a work culture of wellness, employers can create a stress-free, positive work environment that can lead to improved job satisfaction, employee retention, and higher employee engagement.
Loop offers a comprehensive approach to employee wellness, providing access to a wide range of holistic wellness sessions that focus on multiple aspects of well-being. Whether it's emotional, physical, mental, occupational, financial, or other areas of wellness.
Loop ensures that your employees have the support they need to thrive both personally and professionally.
By taking a well-rounded approach to wellness, your employees can stay healthy, engaged, and feel good, which can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.
With Loop, you can be confident that your employees are receiving the support they need to contribute effectively to their job and achieve their personal and professional goals.
3. Effective communication
Whether remote work on in-person, ineffective communication is a significant contributor to workplace stress. When employees are unclear about their roles and responsibilities, it can lead to uncertainty and a sense of helplessness that can increase stress levels.
To reduce uncertainty, it is essential to improve communication between employers and employees, as well as encourage open communication among colleagues.
By providing clear guidance and direction, employees can better understand their purpose and role in the shared vision, leading to a reduction in stress at the workplace.
High levels of stress are often related to a lack of perceived control over a given situation. Effective communication can help employees better understand their objectives and responsibilities, which can lead to a reduction in stress and better management of expectations.
In addition, effective communication can increase employees' knowledge of the support available to them through the benefits offered by their employer.
However, our research from last year revealed that 9 out of 10 HR professionals face challenges when communicating benefits in the workplace, indicating a need to address this issue.
Overall, improving communication in the workplace is crucial for reducing stress levels and promoting employee well-being.
By providing clear guidance, encouraging open communication, and effectively communicating benefits, employers can help their employees feel more supported and empowered, leading to a more positive work environment and a more engaged and productive workforce.
4. Find your good pressure
Achieving a stress-free workplace does not mean eliminating all stress. Rather, it involves finding a balance where pressure operates at an optimal level to promote progress and create a thriving workplace.
This balance is critical because of the detrimental effects that stress can have on employees and their productivity.
Stanford University economist John Pencavel found that productivity declines when people work more than 50 hours per week. Even worse, those who work 70 hours or more per week produce the same amount of work as those who work only 56 hours.
His research highlights the negative impact of employee fatigue and stress on productivity, which can lead to errors, accidents, and sickness.
Not all pressure is negative. In fact, a certain amount of pressure can be beneficial because it motivates you to take action and stay focused. When you experience the right level of challenge and interest, chemicals are released in your brain (noradrenaline and dopamine), making you more alert, motivated, and ready to learn.
Researchers and educators often refer to this as the Goldilocks Zone, where the optimal performance occurs when working on a task or learning something that is neither too difficult nor too easy.
To find this optimal zone, you need to ensure your team members have challenging work and possess the right skills to perform their job effectively. If they lack the necessary skills, you may need to find more challenging work or provide additional coaching, support, and training to help them succeed.
Creating a stress-free workplace involves finding the right balance of pressure to promote employee well-being and productivity.
By providing challenging work and the necessary support, employers can create a thriving workplace where employees feel motivated and engaged, ultimately leading to increased productivity and overall job satisfaction.
5. Encourage breaks
When you're faced with a pile of work and it seems like there's no end in sight, the natural inclination is to push through and try to get everything done as quickly as possible. But this approach often leads to burnout and can leave you feeling dissatisfied with your performance.
Instead, it's important to recognize that our brains can only function for a limited period of time before needing a break.
Studies show that we can only stay focused for 90-120 minutes at a time before needing rest.
This is why it's so important for managers to encourage their employees to take regular breaks throughout the day. Whether it's getting up from your desk to stretch, taking a short walk, or just scrolling through social media for a few minutes, stepping away from your work, breaks ensure employees feel refreshed and perform better in the long run.
Even if you can't take a full half-hour lunch break, taking five minutes away from your desk every couple of hours can help you feel more refreshed and focused.
By breaking your day up into smaller, more manageable chunks, you'll be better able to manage your workload and avoid getting overwhelmed by specific tasks. Taking regular breaks can also help boost your mood and ease your stress levels, leaving you feeling more energized and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
So, instead of pushing through and trying to power through your work, take a few minutes to step away and recharge your batteries. Your mind (and your productivity) will thank you for it.
6. Indungle in social activity
Having positive relationships with coworkers is essential for creating a stress-free workplace. It's important to foster a sense of camaraderie and encourage employees to get to know one another.
This can be achieved by organizing team-building activities such as team lunches, social events, or even a day out of the office. These activities should be enjoyable and help reduce stress, boost morale, and promote collaboration.
Providing opportunities for employees to interact outside of work can also be beneficial. Having a designated Social Secretary on the team can help coordinate activities and ensure that everything runs smoothly. It's important to involve employees in the decision-making process to ensure that everyone is happy with the activities chosen.
Taking a break from work and talking about something else can also be a great way to reduce stress and build relationships. Organizing team meetings around a common interest, such as discussing favorite books or hobbies, can be a fun way to get everyone together in a relaxed setting.
In short, creating a stress-free workplace is not just about managing workloads but also about fostering positive relationships among employees. By organizing social activities and encouraging employees to get to know each other, managers can create a more relaxed and enjoyable working environment.
7. Develop a culture of physical fitness
One effective way to manage stress is by focusing on fitness. Engaging in regular exercise releases endorphins, which improve mood and enhance overall wellbeing. Improved fitness levels also boost the immune system, helping to combat the negative effects of stress and promoting better health.
To encourage fitness among employees, many offices offer mini-gyms or establish partnerships with gym chains to provide free or subsidized memberships. Yoga, aerobics, and meditation classes also promote physical and mental wellness, and play a crucial role in stress management.
Implementing workplace exercise programs can reduce health risks and improve employee productivity and overall quality of life, benefiting the company in multiple ways. Employers can provide gym equipment, healthy snacks, and ergonomic furniture, and arrange outdoor trips to promote physical health in the workplace.
To bring exercise to the workplace, employers can arrange with gym service providers to guide employee exercise during lunchtime or other designated periods.
Company events can also provide opportunities for exercise and informal activities to foster better relationships among coworkers. Activities such as online yoga or fitness, ball games, or dance battles can be incorporated into these events.
Employers can also make arrangements with local gyms to offer memberships to their employees, allowing for flexible exercise schedules.
Finding Healthy Ways Through Stress
In today's fast-paced and demanding work environment, it's essential to prioritize self-care and foster a positive work culture. While it's impossible to eliminate stress completely, there are numerous ways to manage it effectively.
By encouraging healthy habits, providing a supportive work environment, and promoting work-life balance, employers can create a happier, more engaged workforce.
When individuals feel empowered to take control of their well-being, they are more likely to thrive both personally and professionally. This helps a company’s bottom line. Modeling good choices for others can create a ripple effect, leading to a more productive and fulfilled team overall.