Did you know? The month of April is Stress Awareness Month. Mental health professionals have been observing it for nearly 30 years to increase awareness about the dangers of stress.
And considering how COVID-19 has been causing anxiety and stress to many of us, you should start planning stress-management programs for your employees.
Creating a healthy and productive workplace isn’t as costly as you might think. In fact, wellness in the workplace can lead to a wide array of both long term and short term savings.
Because stress is expensive. It leads to more sick days, lower employee retention, and decreased morale. It’s a persistent issue that translates into serious productivity problems.
How to Promote Healthy and Productive Employees
There are many ways to reduce stress and anxiety at the office. We’ll focus on strategies that apply to all workers, including those who telecommute.
Below, we’ve listed down easy and practical ways you can promote health and wellbeing in your workplace:
1. Promote connection
With so many people telecommuting, it’s easy to feel disconnected to employers and colleagues.
A connection is now critical more than ever. Take advantage of all the different communication tools you have at your disposal.
Productivity apps, instant messaging, and video calls all are great. Use them to rebuild a sense of community among your staff.
Nothing builds corporate synergy better than essentials like a personalized company email address.
Then build a connection both professionally and personally. Get creative, such as scheduling a Netflix party. Or host a game night perhaps. This will help everybody remember what drew them to your company in the first place.
2. Encourage work-life balance
The internet makes modern business possible. But it also has a way of breaking down the traditional separation between work and home life.
Give your employees time to unwind and recharge so they can perform at their best.
And set a policy (and follow it!) of not contacting employees about work during off-hours, especially on weekends. The same goes for sending out emails or any other type of work communication—even the fun ones.
Physical health is also essential. Lead as an example and practice healthy habits in yourself and encourage them in your staff.
3. Teach preparedness
You’re not at your best when you’re stressed—nobody is. Stress makes us act illogically and triggers the “fight or flight response.” That’s something you never need in a business environment!
Preparedness is your greatest weapon against stress. It goes hand-in-hand with a work-life balance. You do this when you:
- Set realistic deadlines
- Are flexible
- Provide constructive feedback
- Make yourself available to answer questions
- Minimise unnecessary meetings, emails, or other things that take away from work time
4. Have the right tech setup
One of the most stressful things for employees is not having what they need to do their job.
If they have to wait 20 minutes to log onto a corporate network or sift through thousands of spam emails, they’re not going to be able to focus on work.
Things like this eat away time and build unnecessary stress. This is doubly true now that so many people are telecommuting and rely more on technology.
Make sure your company has the tech framework it needs for success. Whether you have a staff of five or five hundred, everything begins with the right hosting service that can match your needs.
Invest in the tools your employees need the most. So that nothing stands in their way of getting down to business.
5. Encourage breaks
Remote work is flexible work. But it’s easy to feel even more pressure when outside the traditional office environment.
With a full load of work and tight deadlines, employees may feel more stressed out and not take breaks.
This is clearly not healthy and not efficient. To prevent digital eye strain, suggest your employees the “20-20-20” rule. This means every twenty minutes they stare at a device, then they should stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Likewise, once an hour, they should get up, stretch, and move around. Finally, encourage them to take their lunch break.
It may seem counterintuitive to promote breaks, but it goes a huge way toward preventing burnout.
Create an ideal work environment
Your company is only as strong as its culture. As an SME owner or manager, it’s up to you to promote health and wellness.
It’s not just the efficient things to do or the most productive, but the right thing too. Your employees are like family. Treat them well and promote their health, and they’ll be with you for a long time.