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How to de-stress your employees

Stress in the workplace is unhealthy for your employees and your company as a whole, so it pays to take the time to de-stress your staff. Here we look closely at a handful of the techniques that you could use.

Give them a break
The obvious solution is to give workers more breaks. This can be an extra 15-minute break during the day, an early finish or more time off for holidays. All of these can refresh and energise stressed staff.

BE 13 Jan 2

It’s about finding the perfect work-life balance. Make sure you encourage and promote plenty of rest, especially when they’re at home. Flexible working arrangements can also work wonders when it comes to de-stressing.

Some companies even implement ‘mental health’ leave days for staff to catch up on much-needed sleep.

Listen to what they have to say
Stressed employees need someone to talk to. It’s important that they have the chance to voice their issues, so hear them out.

Listening to their problems will help you get to the bottom of what’s troubling them, whether it’s work-related or something at home. Worries about not hitting targets and bullying are common causes of anxiety.

It’s a good idea to hold regular one-on-one sessions with key staff members. These will give you a clear – or at least better – picture of what’s going on in the workplace, which you can then act upon accordingly.

Hand out stress balls
Stress balls are a simple but effective solution. Squeezing these tiny objects is a tried and tested method of reducing stress, so buy a batch – they cost less than a fiver each – and hand them out to your employees.

Workers can squeeze them as hard as they like, whenever they want, be it at their desk or during a break.

Stock the kitchen cupboards
Believe it or not, food has the power to change a person’s mood. You should therefore make sure the kitchen cupboards in the staff room are full with tasty snacks that workers can tuck into during the day.

Things like protein bars, dried fruit, nuts, juice boxes and pretzels can keep energy levels off and keep stress at bar. Chocolate, meanwhile, releases endorphins to the brain that make us feel happier.

Working for more than a few hours without a snack can cause blood sugar levels to drop, something which, in turn, can aggravate stress. Supplying food and drink will therefore go a long way to preventing this.

Make time for exercise
Exercise is undoubtedly one of the quickest – and funniest – ways to relieve stress. It boosts your fitness and gets more oxygen into your system, plus helps to deplete the number of stress hormones in your body.

With this in mind, you should think about making time for group exercise at certain points of the day. Morning sessions are popular among businesses, getting employees in the mood for what lies ahead.

It doesn’t have to be too time-consuming either. A 15-minute blast is more than enough to do the trick.

Go green
Indoor plants help create a stress-free environment. A potted plant on a desk or a tall fern in the corner of the room can make a huge difference to the health and happiness of your staff, so give it a go.

They can reduce blood pressure levels, as well as decompose toxic substances in the air. Non-flowering plants work best, as opposed to flowering ones, while it’s better to introduce those that are low-maintenance.