Employees who are less stressed are happier employees, and above all more successful in their work. Even if a dose of pressure often proves beneficial to boost their results, too much of it does the opposite. If your employees are being eaten up by stress, the risk of mistakes increases, fatigue builds up, internal conflicts break out more easily… Not to mention absenteeism, which is on the increase. In the end, stressed employees are less efficient and gradually lose their motivation. If you observe this type of deterioration in your team, it is time to act. So here are 4 tips for a stress-free workspace:
1. An area dedicated to breaks
Firstly, it is essential that your employees take regular breaks. Every two hours or so, short breaks give your brain and nerves a rest. Ideally, you should get up from your desk to walk and look into the distance. In this way, musculoskeletal disorders associated with prolonged sitting and head and eye pain (due to screens) are also avoided.
As an employer, you should encourage these regular breaks – while avoiding abuse by employees, of course. This can be done by providing an area for breaks. This can be a simple coffee corner/kitchenette or a small dedicated room. It depends on the size of your company and its resources.
2. Anti-stress objects
Secondly, many people like to manipulate objects to relax. Consciously or not, they occupy their fingers by kneading, clicking, squeezing, tapping or throwing objects into the air. These gestures help to release tension, while helping to channel thoughts. Especially during a stress peak (for example, before a major meeting or a complicated phone call), this can be very life-saving.
You can then offer your teams anti-stress dice in your company’s colours. This way, each employee can crush, massage or bounce his or her stress dice at will.
3. A pleasant working environment
Thirdly, the entire workspace must be employee-friendly. This includes many elements, which are rather easy to put in place of :
– Bright rooms, if possible with windows that let in natural light.
– Cleanliness, which is essential for feeling good at work – beyond the purely sanitary aspect, which seems obvious.
– Sufficient space, both for each office and for moving between them. Overcrowding can quickly lead to general discomfort.
– Storage space, which prevents business from dragging on and creating an impression of chaos.
– At least one meeting room, so that files can be discussed or clients received without disturbing colleagues who are trying to concentrate.
– A few decorative elements, which can greatly improve morale and reduce stress levels.
4. Healthy management
Finally, management plays a crucial role in the atmosphere and working conditions of a team. As a manager, you have a front-row seat for :
1) maintaining a suitable working environment and healthy pressure.
2) identify employees who are too stressed and act quickly to avoid serious consequences (such as burnout).
In a word, it’s all about promoting healthy management, based on trust, listening and cooperation. You can of course stimulate your employees to give the best of themselves. Healthy competition within a team can even be beneficial. But this competition and pressure must remain within reasonable limits.
A healthy working environment maintains a reasonable level of pressure, which stimulates performance without getting into excessive stress. Of course, some periods can be more stressful than others. But they must remain limited, both in number and duration. And once they are over, the employees concerned must be given the opportunity to unwind. Otherwise, you will quickly suffer the inconveniences listed at the beginning of this article!