Lets face it, workplace stress is a mess! Ever experience headaches within a couple of hours of arriving to work? How about light headedness, back or neck pain, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, worthlessness, reduced productivity, lack of motivation or irritability? All of these are symptoms of stress and may be related to workplace stress. WorkSource offers three stress relievers that may help reduce tension among your staff.
Offer EAP and Other Free Services
According to the American Institute of Stress, stress among staff costs companies billions of dollars annually. Low motivation, high turnover and reduced productivity are bottom line killers. Easing tension at your business involves understanding the condition and creating outlets to relieve stress and tension. Your company can help employees manage tension and reduce stress by offering free seminars and self-help services in stress-reducing exercise activities, Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) to allow employees confidential outlets for communication, and suggest methods to build interpersonal workplace relationships. Companies that offer tips for establishing healthy work habits and weekly planning along with outlets for safe and confidential communication see significant tension reduction within the first year of implementation. On-site training sessions help staff and managers deal with stress and manage tension from both work and home life.
Offer On-Site Wellness Activities
Many companies these days understand the need for employees to get up and get moving. Don’t frown upon your staff needing to stretch their legs throughout the day. Whether in an office setting or on a job site, your staff need to be able to exercise or “take a break” from the normal work routine. Keep bicycles on site for staff who want to go riding during their lunch hour or during a 15 minute break. Develop work “sporting teams” that play or compete a couple times a week. Many companies will offer volleyball or softball and will sign up to play within the community against other community or business teams. Allow space for yoga or mediation rooms on-site that offer hours of service before and after work, and during lunch hours. Getting involved in the community is another great way to help reduce stress. Activities such as heart walks, 10K’s for cancer campaigns, bike rides for wellness and other such activities are offered throughout many communities across the U.S. and give employees a chance to get active for a good cause.
On-site Physicians and Dietitians
A very popular trend these days is on-site physician offices and dietitian services. Healthy eating can reduce stress in a number of ways. According to the American Heart Association low blood sugar can make you feel anxious and irritable, while eating too much can make you lethargic. By eating smaller frequent meals, you can help your body maintain an even level of blood sugar, stay focused, and avoid mood swings. Eating healthy while reducing sugar and sodium intake and trans-fats can reduce blood pressure, regulate digestive sensitivities, reduce headaches and increase energy levels. Having physicians on-site motivates your staff to regularly check blood pressure and find ways to stay fit. Having dietitians accessible to staff give them a chance to ask questions about the foods they eat, and offer better choices in cafeteria’s.
Making minor adjustments in your workplace and offering outlets for stress and tension can have a major impact on your work productivity, save you money long-term and increase staff retention. Research supports that work-related stress can not only shorten life spans, but have serious implications for emotional and physical health. With so many programs out there for reducing work-related stress, it is well worth the effort to make some minor changes in your workplace.
For more info on workplace stress, here’s a helpful link: Workplace Stress
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