11 easy things businesses can do to reduce employee stress

Workplace stress is no picnic. A report reveals that, according to data from ADP, most Indians (70%) feel stressed at work at least once every week on a regular basis. 

Another study suggests that Indian professionals suffer from the highest stress levels when compared to other workers around the world. 91% of the 1,100 Indian respondents in the study said that stress greatly impacted their lives, as compared with the 80% global average. 

Besides affecting the morale of employees, workplace stress is also bad for businesses. Stressed employees are far more likely to be disengaged, less productive and off sick than their un-stressed colleagues.   

Luckily, there are plenty of little things you can do to make your employees happier and more productive. Here are nine ideas to get you started.

1. Set clear goals for your employees

People are most productive when they know exactly what they’re working towards. A lack of clear goals can lead to a lot of anxiety about roles and responsibilities and consequently makes employees more stressed. 

2. Listen

It’s always important to ensure your employees don’t have too much on their plates, and raising concerns should be encouraged.

3. Promote the productivity benefits of rest

Many of us might think that working ourselves into the ground increases productivity, but there’s always a point of diminishing returns.

4. Become a mono-tasking evangelist

Multitasking is another productivity myth that also happens to be pretty stressful. Email is one of the biggest temptations, so consider encouraging your staff to check email just a couple of times a day and to change their email signatures to say that they’re available by phone for anything genuinely urgent.

5. Implement an email ban outside of office hours

You can’t get the benefits of rest if half your brain is thinking about work. To ensure that you and your employees really are switching off ‘work mode’, tell them to turn off email notifications once they are out of the office. 

6. Focus more on deliverables and less on hours

Not only will this make your employees’ lives easier when they need to leave a little early or arrive a little late but being trusted to get things done will make them feel more engaged and less pressured.

7. Refurbish the office

Bland decor and harsh fluorescent lighting won’t help those stress levels. Get ergonomic furniture to comfort your employees’ backs during long hours at work. Add in some art and plants to keep the atmosphere fresh and vibrant. 

8. Encourage off-site meetings

It’s amazing what a little exercise, fresh air and a change of scenery can do. Every once in a while hold a meeting outside of the usual office conference rooms. Organize get-togethers and brainstorming sessions at new venues – bonus points if these places are outdoors.  

9. Offer free or subsidized meditation app subscriptions

And if you incentivize regular use of the app, your employees will soon start to see the lasting benefits of meditation practice.

10. Lead by example

If you don’t practice what you preach, your staff are unlikely to change their ways. Plus, you’ll be less stressed—and that can’t be a bad thing!

11. Make health a priority

According to WHO, there are several risks to mental health in the workspace, such as low support for employees and inadequate health and safety policies. Making the physical and mental health of your staff your top priority can help ease their worries of having to cope in case of medical emergencies. Good health insurance for your employees is of utmost importance.