According to the American Institute of Stress, 83% of US workers suffer from workplace-related stress. Of those suffering from stress, 63% of them are willing to quit their jobs to reduce their stress levels, and 54% admitted that workplace stress had affected their home life. Several factors can contribute to stress, so it is crucial to find ways to manage them. Discover the creative ways to reduce stress at work and improve productivity.
Creative Ways to Reduce Stress at Work
Employee stress is a serious issue at work. While stress can be good, too much can wreak havoc on employee health and productivity. You must implement workplace stress management strategies to promote mental health and well-being.
Try these creative ideas to reduce stress at work and see your productivity improve.
1. Implement workplace wellness programs.
Put priority on wellness in the workplace to combat the effects of stress. At the same time, focusing on wellness can take employees’ mind off whatever is causing them to feel stressed.
You can implement a weekly exercise routine and encourage your employees to attend those sessions. Try to vary the activity to promote overall wellness and to make things exciting enough for your employees to want to participate. For example, you can have yoga for one week and then spin cycle sessions the next, and so on. Get everyone’s input on what exercises they want to do as a group.
2. Hold weekly wellness competitions.
A weekly fitness competition is another way that you can reinforce the wellness mindset in the workplace. It can be a nice change of pace from sitting in front of a computer all day. Competitions are also a gamification technique that will improve employee engagement.
3. Host interactive events.
Come up with different themes for interactive events in which everyone can participate. This theme does not have to be work-related at all. The goal of holding these interactive events is to take the employees’ minds off work and to establish a good rapport among co-workers. It has been shown that a good relationship with co-workers can overcome stress at work.
4. Hold regular team-building activities.
Team-building activities are beneficial because they increase employee engagement and improve co-workers’ relationships. Think of team-building activities that require creativity and problem-solving. This will reduce stress at work and improve essential skills that will benefit work performance.
5. Start a walking group.
Exercise is a natural stress-buster and walking is one of the most effective ways to incorporate movement into your day.
Organize walking groups to get employees motivated to participate. As a group, employees can go for a walk outside the office during lunch or in the afternoon. Regardless of how long (or short) and when these walks take place, the important thing is that employees can get an exercise boost to beat stress.
6. Switch to an active design workplace.
There are several health benefits to standing at work and incorporating movements into your day. An active design workplace is a design approach that subtly encourages movement and physical activity within the corporate space.
For example, you can build an ergonomic workstation for employees by installing a sit-stand desk. Incorporating accessories such as balance boards can also help promote movement when your employees are working. Physical activity can do a lot to give their mood and motivation a boost.
7. Promote nutritious food at work.
Stress can easily result in poor eating habits. If your employees indulge in an unhealthy eating habit, it could put their health at risk in the long run.
Promote healthy eating at work so your employees can feel energized and be productive. You can either provide healthy snack options in the pantry or coordinate with the canteen staff about providing healthy meal options for your employees.
8. Make positive messaging a culture.
Stress is a negative emotion. You can beat stress by promoting a positive attitude in the workplace.
Promoting positivity should be instilled within the company culture. Positive messaging is a good start. Make it a habit to send positive emails to your employees at the beginning of the workday. Share inspirational stories with your colleagues, and do not be stingy when giving out compliments. You must exhibit a positive mindset through words and interactions at work.
9. Flexible scheduling is the key.
The lack of a healthy work-life balance is one of the leading stressors in the workplace. Advocating a flexible work schedule is an integral part of beating stress at work. Allow your employees to choose their work schedule. As long as you promote accountability at work, you can give your employees more flexibility in managing their work schedules.
For example, you can allow your employees to work from home two days per week. This schedule will give them more control over their work schedule and they will not have to sacrifice time spent with family.
10. Make meetings more meaningful.
If you can communicate something via email, there is no need to hold frequent meetings with the team. Regular meetings can be a constant source of stress for employees and disruptive to their productivity. Don’t hold meetings just to “catch up” with the team.
Consider other possible channels of communication before you drag your employees into the conference room. If you deem a meeting necessary, keep it short and interactive.
11. Organize shared spaces.
An unorganized space can heighten your employees’ stress levels. Most employees aim to organize their workstations. Therefore, bring that same level of commitment to organization in the shared spaces.
The break rooms, conference rooms, and bathrooms must be appropriately laid out to accommodate a group of people while being easy to navigate.
12. Have a “bring your pet to work” day.
Pets are good for health and well-being. There is such a thing as dog therapy. Dogs, and puppies in particular, have been known to help reduce stress.
One of the creative ways to reduce stress is to encourage employees to bring their pets to work. Even spending a few hours with these pets can effectively relieve stress.