How Companies Can Lead the Way to Better Health
Everyone knows that work is cited as one of the leading causes of stress in the US, and employees aren’t the only ones suffering. Businesses are also seeing dips in profits and productivity due to a stressed-out and exhausted workforce.
What can companies do to help their employees? How can employers create a stress-free work environment? Eliminating all stress may not be possible, but employers who value a productive workforce can take steps that have real impact.
Here are a few ways companies can support their employees and make those stress statistics a thing of the past:
Are employees working in a dim, sterile office space? We often don’t realize how stressful unpleasant environments can be because we spend so much time in them.
To boost the mood of the space, add plenty of plants to the work area (bringing nature inside has been shown to reduce stress levels and improve air quality) and open the windows. If you aren’t able to bring in natural light, at least ditch florescent lighting in favor of bulbs that mimic natural sunlight. Choose warm neutrals for the walls and furniture and encourage employees to decorate their office spaces with plants, art, and photographs.
Nurture positive work culture
Very few people can thrive in a high-pressure, competitive work environment long term. Instead of cracking down on mistakes, praise work that is performed well. Recognize employees for a job well done. Encourage collaboration and support between employees rather than competition. Make sure the higher purpose of the work is known and talked about the in the office. When we can see the big picture of what we’re working for, we often work better!
Allow flexible work options
One of the most common complaints from workers (and one of the leading causes of stress) is that work gets in the way of other life factors, such as family time, hobbies, and social activity. Companies that allow flexible work options like telecommuting and flexible hours report lower levels of workplace stress. With all the technological options at our fingertips, spending forty or more hours per week in an office on a set schedule isn’t necessary for most jobs, and employees are much happier when they can fit work around their life and not the other way around.
Are your leaders providing judgment free opportunities for employees to be heard? Does your management team support each other and demonstrate a collaborative approach for employees to follow?
Work is always going to be work but today’s workers are smarter and have more options than ever. Smart team leaders understand that a stress-free, supportive work place means happy employees, less turnover and better work quality.
Those are results every CEO will appreciate.