Occupational stress, work stress, and office stress, all refer to the same thing. Stress.
According to the World Health Organization, the average person spends one-third of their adult life at work.
Since your employees are spending such a big chunk of their lives helping you achieve your goals, it’s only fair to make their experience as painless as possible, if not outright fun. Though stress cannot be completely eradicated from work, there are some factors that you, as an employer, can do something about.
Here are 5 simple ways to deal with office stress:
- Assess the work environment – Before anything else, make sure that your employee is comfortable at work. Does their chair have back support? Is there enough room under their desk for their legs and feet? Is their computer monitor elevated to eye-level? Make sure that these are evaluated among other factors by conducting ergonomic assessments. Ergonomic assessments can help you identify workstation and work environment stressors so you can take action and make the necessary changes. After all, providing a healthy work environment for your employees to thrive in is a key component of your company’s success.
- Perform employee evaluations – About half of all the employees in the world are not happy with their jobs. With the current job market, more and more people are “settling” for jobs they’re not happy with because they need money. Internally, employers can do something about this by performing employee evaluations. This type of evaluation is typically used by HR professionals to monitor employee performance and gather employee feedback on their job and management. Using the employee’s feedback, management can identify stressors and assess the changes that can be made to reduce them. It may be as simple as adjusting the employee’s shift, assigning them to a project they prefer, or if possible, even transferring them to another department they’ve expressed desire to join.
- Promote Work-Life Balance – Working too much leads to a laundry list of problems for both the employee and the employer. Employees who work over 55 hours in a week are more likely to have coronary heart disease and stroke, as well as depression, anxiety, and higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. Bad work-life balance can adversely affect an employee’s personal relationships, causing a drop in overall morale which translates to poor productivity and higher turnover rates. You can promote good work-life balance as an employer by offering flexible work schedules, allowing remote working, and restricting employer-employee work contact outside of office hours among other things.
- Time Management – According to a survey, the most common cause of workplace stress for employees are deadlines. Since deadlines are an inherent part of work, the best we can do is to practice good time management to meet them with minimal stress. Employers can assist employees by carefully considering the complexity, amount, and nature of the work before establishing a deadline. Setting daily, weekly, and monthly goals help compartmentalize a big task into several small tasks and prevent employees from feeling overwhelmed.
- Promote Healthy Living- “Garbage in, garbage out” said George Fuechsel, an early IBM programmer. Though he was talking in the context of computer processes, this philosophy applies just as easily to health and wellness. If you consume nothing but fried, sugary, fatty processed food and drink, and operate on just 5 hours of sleep per night, your body will perform accordingly. Employers can encourage the practice of healthy living by serving healthy, whole foods and fruits in the pantry as well as providing fitness gym sponsorships or discounts to their employees.
Effective stress management provides all pros and no cons for both the employer and the employee. Employees perform better, are more enthusiastic, and are more likely to stay with a company that cares about their mental and physical well-being, not just their productivity. Employers benefit by having an energetic, efficient, and loyal employees that will always see their work through. Just as Sir Richard Branson claimed, “Take care of your employees, and they’ll take care of your business. It’s as simple as that.”
Last modified: January 25, 2019