Employees and employers alike have all experienced stress in the workplace and it can be hard to manage at times. Here are five ways employees can take action to ease their stress and five ways small business owners can help them do so without hurting their budget.
If you’re an employee, try these tips to help you manage stress:
- Practice meditation
Meditation, even for as little as 10 minutes a day, can help alleviate stress and keep you calm. When you meditate, clear your mind of what’s causing you stress. Focus on your breathing and relaxation. There are many different ways to meditate, so it might take some time to find the way that works best for you. Keep trying different meditation practices until you find the best way to relax.
- Go on a walk / Stretch your legs
Sometimes, you just need to get up and clear your head. Going on a quick 20-minute walk outside or doing a few small laps indoors around the office can help boost endorphins and reduce your stress levels. Studies also have shown sitting down for too long can be damaging to your health (including increased blood pressure and higher blood sugar levels). If you’re tired of looking at a screen or need to recharge, step away from your desk and go on a walk.
- Organize your desk
Believe it or not, a cluttered desk can add more stress to your plate. A cluttered desk distracts us with too much visual stimuli as well as being a physical reminder of the stress we’re under. Decluttering your desk can help you declutter your mind.
- Turn off interruptions
If you’re feeling overloaded, take an hour a day to focus specifically on one task. Turn off notifications from emails or instant messaging apps. Be sure to tell your teammates so they know you aren’t ignoring their questions or concerns or just block off an hour on your calendar to let them know not to disturb you during this hour (unless it’s an emergency).
- Positive reinforcement
Thinking negatively can have a large effect on your productivity. By constantly putting yourself down, you eventually begin losing confidence in yourself and in your work. Write down positive affirmations on post-it notes to say to yourself when you’re feeling stressed out. Positively reinforcing yourself through stressful issues helps you get through them.
If you’re an employer, see if you can implement some of these helpful, non-expensive methods to reduce stress in your workplace:
- Wellness programs
Wellness programs, like company yoga or boot camps, tell your employees that you care about them and not just the work they produce. Try implementing health initiatives like fitness competitions or having doctors come in for checkups. You could also schedule yoga or another low-intensive physical activity during lunchtime to help boost productivity for the rest of the day.
- Volunteer programs
Volunteering helps employees feel better about themselves because they’re giving back to their community, focusing on something besides work, and are participating in gratitude. It also makes them look at the company they work for more positively for helping its community. See if you can organize volunteering opportunities (like the Kabbage Kares program) for employees to participate in around the community.
- Relaxation area
This can be anything from a small corner in the office designed like a café to a few comfortable chairs or couches to relax on. Providing an area for an employee to decompress shows them you care about their well-being and value them as team members.
- Positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is important to keep up employee motivation. Working with no reassurance can lead your employees to feel dejected and questioning their purpose within the company. Having managers set up one-on-ones with their employees or even providing incentive programs can help to show employees that their hard work isn’t going unnoticed and unappreciated.
- Team building events
Taking people away from work to get to know each other is another great way to reduce stress in your business. It allows them to take a break from their hectic work schedule and get to know each other outside of work. By bonding with other teammates, employees might be able to develop better communication skills with one another, thereby reducing work-related stress.
Managing stress isn’t always easy, especially if you work in a busy environment. Oftentimes, we ignore our body’s signals telling us we need to relax. With these tips, small business owners can help their employees reduce the stress in the workplace and improve the overall wellbeing of the company.