An Ounce of Prevention

Helping employees' stress levels, in or out of the office

Workers are stressed. Nearly seven out of 10 employees say the last year or so has been the most stressful of their careers, according to a survey from mental health consultant Ginger. If you’re a boss, you can’t eliminate all stressors, but you can help your employees manage them.

 

Respect their time

The always-on culture will lead to stress, which will lead to burnout. If you haven’t already, start by limiting off-hours communications. That means no late-night emails, no post-work calls unless it’s an emergency. This goes for in the office, too. Respect the lunch hour. Or practice the 90-10 method—90 minutes of work followed by 10-minute breaks.

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that workplaces can still function remotely. A hybrid model is likely here to stay and could provide a good benefit for employees who may need flexibility with their schedules. Just make sure work-from-home doesn’t lead to more burnout. A study from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that working remotely added an extra 48 minutes to the workday.

 

Get proactive

Sometimes, employees need a little nudge to take better care of themselves. Aetna has gotten kudos recently for a program that incorporates wellness into the daily routine. The company found that participants in its on-site meditation classes not only had less stress, but they were also more productive when they returned to work. Of course, your business may not be able to bring in yoga or meditation teachers, but it can find ways to give your employees a good state of mind in the office. Try walking groups. A big component of Southwest Florida’s Blue Zones Project (southwestflorida.bluezonesproject.com) is promoting mental wellness. Many businesses participating in the program organize weekly walking groups as a means to get outside the office and get active. You’ll find your staff will come back refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Photo Credit: Getty