<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=349935452247528&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
Search
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

A Guide to Reducing Workplace Stress and Improving Productivity

Feb. 26, 2019 | Posted by The Alternative Board
bigstock-young-stressed-overwhelmed-man-83153765

Everyone experiences stress at some point, but when it occurs in the workplace, the effects can become dangerously widespread. Job performance is diminished, productivity lessened, and if left unchecked, stress can dominate the entire environment and impact a business’s capacity for growth.

On the other hand, a company culture dedicated to employee health and well-being often sees a  spike in productivity, higher morale, and a greater willingness to contribute above and beyond one’s job responsibilities.

It seems, therefore, that businesses have a genuine stake in helping ensure that stress be kept to an absolute minimum in the workplace. Here are suggestions for achieving this laudable objective:

Be aware of signs of stress. Some employers either neglect to track employee well-being or simply miss signs that stress is creeping into the environment. But once you start looking, signs of stress or overwork can be fairly easy to spot:

  • Employees working long hours (after it’s time to go home)
  • Projects completed in a rush, with subpar results
  • A workplace atmosphere that feels tense and irritable
  • Decreasing levels of focus and attention in staff meetings
  • General sense of discouragement in the workplace

Any of these signs should serve as a warning, but if you detect more than one, it’s time to take action.

Promote physical activity. We all know human beings simply aren’t designed to sit at a desk for hours at a time. But unless it’s approved by senior leadership, your hard-working team isn’t inclined to take a badly needed break from their duties and move around.

Even a little bit of exercise, such as walking at a brisk pace in the company parking lot, can alleviate stress and improve focus. Encourage workers to take regular breaks that involve some minor physical activity or consider offering discounted memberships in a local gym.

Want additional insight? Download Productivity Hacks for Business Owners 

DOWNLOAD

Be transparent (as much as possible) about organizational changes. A common source of stress is confusion and anxiety about changes affecting the workplace. Employees who lack any concrete information about such changes fall victim to rumors and gossip, which only increase stress levels and diminish productivity.

Keeping employees updated is critical because, as business advisor Shaw Gibbs notes, “there is nothing worse than being kept in the dark.” In an atmosphere of open communication, employees are more likely to “share concerns, ideas and thoughts, making for much stronger working relationships and a healthier company culture.”

Demonstrate your appreciation for employee contributions. When employees feel their work isn’t valued, they experience stress about their future with the organization. Taking time and perhaps incurring some minor expense to show your appreciation is well worth the effort, when the result is less employee stress and greater productivity. Here are effective ways to show employees that they matter:

  • Provide written recognition and share with the entire workforce
  • Give employees “pet projects” that move the business forward
  • Show interest in their lives beyond the workplace
  • Host an employee appreciation lunch
  • Provide regular, constructive feedback on their job performance

Demonstrating appreciation improves your company culture, boosts morale, prevents costly turnover and benefits your bottom line.

Encourage the use of PTO and vacation time. In some corporate cultures, employees feel that taking earned time off will somehow work to their detriment. Make sure you’re not sending the wrong signals (i.e., never stop working) by actively encouraging employees to use their PTO and vacation time to get away from the work environment and “de-stress.”

At the same time, it’s smart to ensure you have “adequate back-up procedures, so employees don’t feel obligated to stay in the office” and to discourage employees from “checking in while they’re away.”

Finally, keep in mind that employees always follow your lead. Make it clear, by both your actions and words, that promoting a stress-free environment is a company priority. You’ll likely see an upswing in morale and productivity when this message comes across loud and clear.

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

DOWNLOAD

Written by The Alternative Board

Related posts

How to Reduce Organizational Complexity and Boost Productivity
Sep. 2, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
  As in our daily lives, the world of business has grown a great deal more complex in recent times. Generally speaking, every organization finds itself challenged by innovations in technology,...
3 Technology Hacks to Improve Workplace Productivity
Aug. 31, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Ironically, technology enables us to get our work done anywhere and become more productive but also takes us down many time-wasting activities and paths. When we are on our devices, it is easy to get...
Why Your Business Needs Standard Operating Procedures
Aug. 26, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Running a business is a costly, time-intensive process. Costs and time can grow exponentially if an organization lacks a system whereby products are made, or services rendered in a consistent manner....
5 Productivity Hacks for Busy CEOs and Business Owners
Aug. 24, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
It’s too bad there are only 24 hours in a day. Think what you could get accomplished if you had twice that time! Still, effective business leaders know how to make the most of their precious time....
Break the Bad Habits Limiting Your Productivity
Aug. 13, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Even the most dedicated CEO or business owner finds that, upon occasion, it’s an uphill battle to remain productive. With so many distractions both inside and outside the workplace environment,...
5 Ways To Keep Virtual Employees Motivated
Jun. 30, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
The pandemic has created a new work order. Remote work is no longer considered uncharted territory. As companies worldwide are moving toward a virtual work environment, they are also struggling to...
Use Your Company Culture as a Competitive Advantage
May. 18, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Every business needs a competitive edge, whether it’s in the quality of their products or services, their dedication to customers, or some other aspect they can leverage to outdo their competitors....
6 Tips on Making a Family Business Partnership Work
Apr. 20, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
We often hear stories about the difficulties of making a family business partnership successful. Yes, there are unique hurdles that differ from other types of business models, but with the right...
Tips on Achieving the Elusive Work-Life Balance
Apr. 16, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
Among CEOs and business leaders, the search for the best work-life balance has been going on for years. Only recently has the crucial importance of this balance become crystal-clear for everyone....
Time-Saving Tips for Hyper-Busy Business Leaders
Apr. 13, 2021 | Posted by The Alternative Board
There may be only 24 hours in a day, but with effective time management, business leaders can get a lot done within that limited timeframe. The key is taking steps to eliminate clutter and...