Did you know that April is National Stress Awareness Month? Did you record the number of sickness absences in your workplace? Did you realize that nearly 45% of these lost working days are most likely due to stress (HSE, Statistics 2016)?

Stress can have a large impact on your employees’ health- both physical and mental health! That is why we are dedicating this blog to sharing 5 simple tips with you and how you as the employer can reduce stress in your workplace. These tips are originally published by Shaw Gibbs, and you can find the full post here.

5 top tips for reducing stress in your workplace:

  1. LEAD BY EXAMPLE

One of the major causes of work related stress is the impact of managers and their skills to manage staff and stress in the work place. As a leader it is critical you keep a lid on your own emotions – don’t let negativity, anger or stress rub off on your employees. Practice what you preach and ensure you give yourself enough time to de-stress at the end of the working day – go for a run, enjoy quality time with your family or arrange to socialize with friends. Likewise, organizing walking meetings rather than meetings in the boardroom, taking regular breaks and planning a vacation will not only put you in a better frame of mind, it will also show your employees that it’s okay to take some time out.

  1. INTRODUCE WORKPLACE WELLNESS SCHEMES

It has been said time and time again, but exercise and a healthy lifestyle is extremely important when it comes to combating workplace related stress. Employee wellness schemes, such as arranging for a discount at local gyms for your employees or simply organizing a lunchtime running club is a good way to help employees unwind and feel better about themselves.

  1. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR EMPLOYEES

Open communication is critical in leadership – keeping employees up to date regarding changes, expectations and their own performance not only keeps them on track but also reduces feelings of stress and anxiety – after all, there is nothing worse than being kept in the dark. As a manager be sure to keep your team abreast of the latest developments and departmental changes. What’s more, open communication is a two way street and the more you communicate with your employees, the more likely they are to share concerns, ideas and thoughts making for much stronger working relationships and a healthier overall company culture.

  1. PROVIDE A ‘CHILL OUT’ SPACE IN THE OFFICE

Sometimes people need 15 minutes to relax, re-group and disengage from technology and general work related interactions. Providing a quiet room, or a chill out space where employees can spend 15 minutes with their thoughts can dramatically help reduce workplace stress and burnout. This is one area small employers forget to forget to factor in to their office space when they grow. After taking a short break free from distractions, people often feel refreshed and re-energized to tackle the rest of the day. If you can, provide comfortable seating and paint the walls a neutral color – a pleasant environment is good for boosting happiness.

  1. CREATE SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Employees spend a lot of time with their colleagues and therefore it’s important they get along. The more people enjoy their time at work, the better the atmosphere will be – and a better office atmosphere leads to productivity, creativity and collaboration. Organize team lunches, nights out, social events, team away days or arrange for a speaker to come into the office on a subject that interests your staff. Make it fun. Social activity is good for reducing stress, boosting morale and team building.