5 Simple Ways to Reduce Stress and Boost Mental Health in the Workplace
Stress at work can be a real problem, causing employee turnover and decreasing productivity, not to mention the health effects accompanying it. But there are several ways in which you can reduce stress and boost mental health in your workplace. Here are the top five recommendations:
Importance of Reducing Stress in the Workplace
Stress is a normal part of life. It’s what people feel when they are under pressure or have too much to do in a short amount of time. However, stress can damage your employees’ health if it continues for too long. Stress can affect their relationships, work performance, and mental health, and that’s just the beginning.
In addition to worsening anxiety, depression, and other mental health problems, chronic stress may increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. The sad part is that almost all employees face workplace stress. A recent survey by FlexJobs shows that 75% of respondents have experienced burnout.
Hence, you must reduce stress at work as much as possible so that it doesn’t negatively impact your physical or emotional well-being over time.
Ways to Reduce Workplace Stress
While there are several ways to reduce workplace stress, here are the best ones that are easy to implement and effective.
Take a Break
Taking a break is essential to reducing stress and boosting mental health. Whether you’re an employee or the boss, taking breaks helps everyone in the workplace to be more productive and focused on their tasks.
A meta-analysis of 19 articles and 22 independent records was conducted to study the importance of micro-breaks. The results published in the PLOS ONE journal reveal that micro-breaks effectively boosted vigor, reduced fatigue, and improved overall performance.
When taking a break, make sure that you set aside time for it every day. It’s important to take at least 10 minutes away from your desk or computer screen to relax and recharge before returning to work mode.
There are many different ways in which people like to take breaks. Some people prefer listening to music, while others prefer reading or sitting quietly alone with no distractions. No matter what type of activity suits your personality best, try experimenting with different things until something clicks, and stick with it.
For employees’ mental health needs to be met effectively by employers through work policies such as paid sick days, telecommuting opportunities where possible, and flexible scheduling options such as shift swaps, etc., these policies need not only exist but also be communicated openly.
Throw a Happy Hour Party
A happy hour party is a great way to encourage socialization in the workplace. It’s also an opportunity to show your employees they are valued, which can help reduce stress and boost mental health.
Here are some tips for making it successful:
- Make sure everyone knows what’s happening. Send an email or post on social media, so everyone has ample time to RSVP.
- Pick an exciting happy hour theme that your employees will love. While you cannot cater to everyone’s preferences, ensure that most of them like them and participate.
- Organize mini-events like digital games, guest speeches, Trivia, or Karaoke.
- Set up food and drinks beforehand so that everything is ready to go when people arrive. Don’t forget the snacks.
If you have trouble planning the party, you can look for happy hour ideas online. This will give you a list of things you can do for your party. You can either go with a plan and theme already given online or customize it based on your employees’ preferences.
You will certainly find something that attracts all your employees. But the best way to ensure everyone arrives to enjoy the party is by looking for happy hour ideas with food, snacks, and beverages. You can connect with a happy hour catering service provider like CaterCow and select some dishes your employees can enjoy.
Encourage Workplace Wellness
If you’re a manager, consider offering your employees a gym membership. If they don’t already have one, they might be more likely to use it if their employer provides it.
You could also offer yoga or meditation classes at the office after work hours. It’s vital for mental health that people take time out from their hectic days and relax. If you want to go all out, offer healthy snacks like fresh fruit or nuts at work instead of sugary sweets.
Finally, consider having a mental wellness program where employees facing mental health issues can get counseling. This is crucial because mental health problems are something that many people face at some point.
Mental health wellness programs can also encourage employees who took mental disability leave to return to work. According to a Bloomberg Law article, employers who offer mental health wellness programs are twice as likely to see an employee return to work after a mental health-related leave.
Promote Social Activities
Social activities are a great way to reduce stress. They allow you to connect with coworkers, build trust and strengthen relationships. If you don’t have time for lunch or coffee breaks, consider hosting a happy hour after work monthly or holding regular potlucks at your office. This can create a greater sense of community within the organization, giving employees time away from their computers.
If you’re looking for other ways to encourage participation in social activities:
- Consider offering incentives such as extra vacation days or flexible hours if employees participate in healthy activities such as yoga classes or marathons
- Offer wellness programs through healthcare providers offering discounted gym membership rates.
The first step to preventing micromanaging is to understand what it is. Micromanaging is when a manager gets too involved in the details of a project, making them feel like they have no autonomy and can’t make decisions on their own.
This type of behavior can lead to stress for both employees and managers, which then causes anxiety for employees as well as decreased engagement with work tasks. Additionally, micromanaging has been shown to reduce productivity because people will start working less efficiently.
However, micromanaging is not only involving too much in a project. It is also about not giving the right feedback at the right time and then pressuring employees to rectify the problem. A Gallup survey shows that 47% of employees receive feedback only a few times a year or less.
You can reduce stress and boost mental health in the workplace in many ways. It’s important to remember that not all of these methods will work for every business, so it’s up to you, as an employer or manager, to decide which ones best suit your company culture. If people feel happy at work, then they’ll do better work.