How Managers Can Help Reduce Workplace Stress

It’s high time we talk about workplace stress. Constant stress doesn’t only affect employees’ productivity but also their physical & mental health and relationships. When they go home after work feeling too tired and stressed out, they no longer have the energy to work out, cook healthy meals and interact with their family. It pays to note that work-induced stress isn’t merely an employee’s problem. Managers also play a crucial role in keeping the work environment less stressful. 

So if you lead a team, here are some tips to help reduce stress in the workplace:

Alleviate heavy workloads.

A heavy workload is one of the key sources of workplace stress. After all, it’s physically & emotionally tiring. Your workers may feel they don’t have enough time to get things done. In turn, they spend longer work hours to keep up.

To address heavy workloads, start by identifying low-impact yet time-consuming tasks. Perhaps, your team is overwhelmed by too many administrative tasks, which you can outsource or automate by subscribing to certain apps or services. Conduct one-on-one meetings to discover these tasks that are not worth their time or effort. Then, consider taking these tasks off their load and redefining their weekly workload.

Also, see if there’s a way to optimize your team’s daily work processes by investing in better office equipment. Maybe, your office needs a new laser office printer or a more efficient project management platform to cut unnecessary working hours. 

Improve the work environment.

Employees tend to feel stressed when their work environment influences unhealthy behaviors, like short or infrequent breaks, bad eating habits, too much drinking, or poor work-life balance. So take a hard look at your current work environment. If it’s fostering an unhealthy lifestyle among your workers, it’s time to change & improve it. 

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One thing you can do is implement walking meetings and natural breaks. Ask your employees to disconnect and take some time away from their desks. Take your meetings outside or set a separate time to hang out with your team outside work. 

You can also improve the workplace culture by setting a good example of a healthy work-life balance. Be mindful of your weekly workload and schedule. Emulate a culture where it’s OK to leave work on the dot and prioritize family, hobbies, and other activities outside work.

Boost employee financial security.

Financial issues can easily cause an overwhelming amount of stress among workers. But you can avoid that by having transparent & empathetic conversations about compensation with your employees. Ensure a clear performance evaluation process so that workers know what to expect and do to get promotions and higher pay.

Also, consider rewarding your high-performing employees with spot bonuses. That way, your team will know how to earn more if they need extra funds at the moment. 

While it can be difficult to resolve tricky money matters in the office, being understanding of the financial burdens your workers might be facing can still help. 

Empower employees to take their paid time-offs. 

The hybrid work setup these days has thrown off employees’ work schedules & routines. Those who often work from home feel they no longer need to take their vacation leaves. Plus, with the COVID-19 pandemic, some may not feel safe taking their usual week-long out-of-the-country holiday trip. Still, encourage your workers to take wellness breaks—even if they are not planning to go out of town or elsewhere. 

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Taking the time away from their work laptops to exercise, hang out longer with their loved ones or simply chill at their home to catch up on their favorite TV series can do wonders to your employees’ mental health. So ensure to take their paid time-offs.

Bottom line

Stress is ever-present at work, but it shouldn’t be too much that it affects the employees’ physical & mental health and personal lives. As managers, you’re responsible for creating a workplace where workers are healthy, happy & worry-free.