Simple Ways to Reduce Employee Stress
$300 billion – that’s the estimated cost of work-related stress in the US according to the American Institute of Stress. Helping employees reduce stress does not have to be expensive. Employers can easily implement one or two initiatives to help employees alleviate stress.
A recent article in Inc. magazine cites the example of Drizzly, a Boston-based e-commerce company that sells beer, wine, and spirits. The founders couldn’t afford a formal wellness program when they launched the company so they asked their employees what they were interested in; the answer: competitive sports. The company began organizing competitive sports teams of their employees’ choice. The employees who participated were given a small monthly credit to offset any health or fitness related expenses. As the success of the program grew, Drizzly started redirecting these funds to additional initiatives such as yoga, boxing and healthy food deliveries.
If your office culture is not sports-minded, try some of these ideas to help your employees manage and reduce stress:
Provide “getaway zones” where employees can step away from their workspace and relax. This can be an area for ping pong, a room with comfortable chairs or an outdoor space for walking.
Offer in-office massages on a monthly or bi-monthly basis – even a 10-minute chair massage can reduce stress levels and return employees to their office feeling refreshed.
Provide a program on meditation or mindfulness or offer employees the use of a quiet room to clear their minds.
Offer a financial fitness class to help employees manage basic finances, college expenses and/or retirement planning. Research shows that finances play a large role in employee stress.
Offer flex time. As long as the job gets done, this sense of independence and flexibility can reduce stress even more than shorter hours.
Set up an art room for coloring and creative activities. Art and other creative pursuits are an innovative way to lower every day stress. See our recent post “Lower Employee Stress With Art.”
Offer fresh fruit and healthy snacks as well as water infused with lemon and rosemary or cucumber and basil. Eating healthfully and staying hydrated keeps stress levels at bay.
Introduce a sleep awareness program or create a nap room to allow employees to recharge. Stress impacts sleep and sleep deprived employees can experience higher stress levels.