Five steps for reducing stress in the workplace

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It’s important for organisations to provide the tools that allow employees to achieve a work-life balance, as well as promoting a positive and inclusive business environment, which can result in significantly reducing the feeling of stress.

But how can an organisation can take the necessary steps, in order to achieve this? Prohms’ award-winning mental health practitioner, Kirsty Vickerman, shares her five top tips…

  1. Regular breaks

Having regular intervals at work – and promoting an environment where this is acceptable – is a great way to prevent colleagues from feeling overwhelmed. Taking ten-minute breaks throughout the day to get away from a computer screen or do a breathing exercise like meditation, can help to manage and decrease stress levels.

  1. Keeping hydrated

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day – and eating a balanced, healthy diet – can promote positivity and improve wellbeing, as it makes you more alert, feel refreshed and nourishes your brain.

If you’re in an office without a kitchen, think about investing in a water cooler machine and a fruit bowl for colleagues, to ensure your workforce is getting the necessary nutrients to do their job.

  1. Time management

Being organised and planning ahead are key to keeping on top of a pressured workload. ‘To do’ lists are an effective way to prioritise tasks and provide clarity on what needs to be done. In addition, they create a sense of achievement. It’s also important to not leave for the day and be worrying about something that needs completing at work.

If the office culture is generally chatty, provide colleagues with a breakout room for concentration and quiet working, so they can manage jobs effectively.

  1. Introducing an open-door policy

A supportive environment encourages people to talk about their feelings, in particular any worries an individual has. Having a safe space encourages employees to open up and gives them the confidence to know that they have someone to talk to.

Similarly, providing one-to-one time slots and informal catch ups will encourage team members to be honest about what they’re experiencing and be given the help they need.

  1. Leading from the top

In other words, MDs and managers should act as role models in their businesses, so if you’re creating a culture that encourages people to break away from their desk throughout the day – and at lunch – you also need to set an example and do the same.

This isn’t always easy to do but often employees will fell they’re able to follow suit. Even if it’s for ten minutes, this precious time away from a desk can help reinvigorate and re-energise the workforce from the top down.

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