Improve Work Conditions
Overwork resulting from the relentless pursuit of targets or expectations sap a person’s energy and lowers concentration, increases mistakes, decreases productivity, and eventually causes burn out. Healthy diversions allow the worker to do something creative and divert the mind. Some pointers in this direction include:
- Set aside an hour or two once or twice a week, or devote a portion of the lunch break for stress busting competitions and fun games.
- Organize outings or short excursions on weekends, packed with activities such as hiking, adventure sports, or anything else that soothes the mind and provides a total break from the work atmosphere.
- Arrange for daily meditation, yoga class, aerobics, guided imagery instructions, isometric squeeze relaxation exercises, diaphragmatic breathing exercises or anything similar every morning and evening, hiring specialized trainers for this purpose. Just 20 minutes of aerobic activity or even brisk walking, three times a week alleviates stress greatly.
- Make provisions for sports and games such as roller skating/blading, table tennis, any other team or individual sports, or even video games before or after work hours.
- Allow employees the facility of using a health club for regular workouts. A body in good shape reduces stress levels considerably.
All these activities help to improve an employee’s physical activity, promote bonding among colleagues, and helps build a support system, all factors that reduce stress significantly. To ensure these interventions serve their desired purpose, fix a specific time and level of activities as part for a structured program, and allow tweaking the work routine to incorporate such activities.
Improving office ergonomics, enhancing lighting, ventilation, or cooling, providing soothing music to those interested, and other similar interventions reduce physical stress directly related to work. Flextime and other work schedules wherever possible to cater to employees special needs may help effect a better work-life balance and eliminate a major source of workplace stress.
Proper application of stress management practices allows employees to remain calm under crisis or uncertainty and brings more stability to the job, increasing productivity and job satisfaction, and by extension, better job performance and customer satisfaction.