Human Capital Management Blog

Strategies for HCM Professionals

5 ways for employees to reduce stress around the office

employee stressIt should come as no surprise that countless organizations today are prioritizing corporate health and wellness as a strategy for building a productive, prosperous business. 

Unfortunately, maintaining wellness can be more difficult than it looks. Even if all of your employees are ostensibly physically healthy in all of the readily apparent ways – they’re eating well, exercising and the like – they can still fall victim to one terrible disease that’s widespread in the modern American office. The silent killer is stress.

Stress has an enormous effect on the workplace on a daily basis. If and when employees are feeling overworked, their negative attitude makes it very difficult for them to tackle everything on their plates. That negativity is also contagious, meaning it can lead to an outbreak of negativity around the office.

According to Forbes, stress is a growing problem in America today. The average professional is working on between 30 and 100 work tasks at once, and they’re interrupted about seven times per hour, for a total of 2.1 distracted hours per day. Add it all up, and it’s easy to understand why 40 percent of adults say they lie awake at night, plagued by the stress of their jobs.

What’s the best way to defeat this problem? Sharon Melnick, a business psychologist and author of “Success Under Stress,” told Forbes that one solution is simply to focus on better breathing. A few minutes of deep breathing can help employees to restore mental and emotional balance.

“It’s like getting the calm and focus of a 90-minute yoga class in three minutes or less at your desk,” Melnick said.

That’s just one idea. There are plenty more. The following are five strategies for employees looking to reduce stress around the office:

Cut down on the interruptions
We’re all interrupted constantly in our jobs – by calls, by emails, by chatty co-workers. Sometimes, it’s good to block out all of that and focus on productivity.

Optimize the daily schedule
What’s the best way for you to tackle all the work in front of you? Chugging away for eight nonstop hours might not be the answer. Consider taking periodic breaks to exercise or meditate. It might help you achieve more each day.

Make healthy life choices
Healthier employees tend to be the most productive employees. If you make good choices each day, such as eating healthy and getting a good night’s sleep, it will be a significant boost to your productivity, thus decreasing stress.

Find ways to cool down
Everyone gets frustrated at some point during the workday, but if you let your emotions take over your whole day, that will just increase the stress. Cooling down quickly and getting back to work is an important skill.

Spread positive energy office-wide
Finally, remember that stress is contagious – and so is the opposite sentiment. If you spread positive energy to the rest of your co-workers, you can help create an environment that’s productive and stress-free.

Learn how an Employee Assistance Program can help your employees better manage stress while improving their productivity and well-being.

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