Working in an office can get stressful, there’s no way around it. However, there are steps you can take to make sure your employees remain stress-free, or as low stress as possible. Everything from the office’s meeting culture to the type of snacks you’re keeping in the office can make a huge difference — not to mention the amount of stress brought on by a long commute! We’ve put together a few suggestions for you to enhance your employees’ overall work experience and bring some zen to your workplace.
Get Your Move On
If you work at a desk then listen up! This point is incredibly important. Humans aren’t meant to sit around for hours at a time, which is bad news for millions of workers. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to combat this, so don’t get caught up in some of the more dire-sounding headlines out there.
Practicing healthy behaviors in the office starts from the top, like everything else! Office standards and habits are set by the boss, so if you never takes a quick break or leave your desk, other employees are less likely to do so themselves. Feeling required to stay chained to their desk isn’t great for employee mental or physical health, so try making an effort yourself! In our office, co-founder Ryan Croft regularly reminds employees via Slack about the importance of taking walking meetings, or even just a stroll around the block.
Companies like Reebok and Google have gyms built right into their buildings so employees can easily get their sweat on before, during, or after work. Other businesses (including TransitScreen!) provide discounts to gyms around the area to make it feasible for employees to fit membership fees into their budgets. Don’t have expenses for things like gym memberships or workout centers? You can still start workout challenges with your employees that they can do at work or outside of it!
Write It All Down
This might sound like a relatively straightforward type of piece of advice, but it’s actually quite effective: Write your day down on paper. Encouraging employees to create an action list will help them stay organized and focused throughout the day instead of feeling overwhelmed and chaotic. Consider scheduling some time for your team to do this at the very beginning of the day, or spend 10 minutes at the very end of their days to plan for the day ahead.
On the TransitScreen marketing team, we like to work on our to-do lists the night before, then come in ready to go first thing in the morning. We feel prepared for the day, then get to enjoy the satisfaction of crossing something off our lists! The whole team can make sure they’re always on a roll and in the zone.
Take A Minute… or 20 Seconds
Sometimes it’s more about taking a mental break instead of a physical one. Even if you have 20/20 vision, looking away from a screen every once in a while is good for your eyes and brain. Try to follow the 20-20-20 rule and look away from your screen at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. You can even set Google Chrome to remind you to do this, and encourage team members to do the same. When you have meetings, make sure they’re closed-laptop unless absolutely necessary.
What we eat and how often we do it is important for keeping up energy levels during a long workday. Sitting around can make you feel hungry more than you actually are, so providing employees with healthy options is to ongoing happiness.
Replace any candy, cholesterol, or trans fat-filled foods with fresh fruit, gluten-free options, and veggie-based snacks. According to research, starches can be make your employees sluggish, tired, and just focused on watching the clock… which is not what you’re looking for.
Our biggest tip for staying on your game in and out of the office? Water, water, and more water. Make sure your employees have easy access to cold, clean water that doubles as a quick break and a healthy habit. You want to encourage employees to reach for the reusable water bottles, so think about making a branded version. Hand it out during your onboarding process for new employees as a useful gift for their desks that’s sure to always put a smile on their face!
Remember the Objective
Working on a long-term project involving employees across multiple teams? Working in groups can be difficult, especially if they aren’t people you’re used to interacting with every day. One thing to keep in mind when this happens — keep your eye on the prize. No matter which obstacles get in your way, remembering the bigger picture can help you keep calm and think of solutions rather than sitting on the problems.
It’s also helpful to use your organizational skills when working on a bigger project — setting deadlines for yourself and your team by breaking things up can remove the fear and distraction of how much work a project is going to be.
The Biggest Stressor
Have we talked about commutes before? A study last fall revealed that 23% of workers left their jobs due to a bad commute. It’s no longer an option to help your employees with their commutes: It’s a necessity. You can provide employee shuttles, extensive commuter benefits, or partner with companies like Uber, Lyft, and Bird to provide discounted rides.
Making sure this information is as easy for employees to access as possible is key. You can work with partners like TransitScreen, Luum, or RideAmigos to display real-time transit information for employees to better plan their commutes. Every bit makes a difference!
The bottom line
All of these ideas should be part of an ongoing conversation with employees. The more active you are about ensuring a positive, low-stress company culture, the happier your employees will be. They’ll perform better at their jobs and stay with the company longer, making your job easier!