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Top 7 ways to reduce stress and boost employee productivity

tips to lower stress and anxiety at the workplace

Most professionals spend the majority of their waking hours at their workplace. It is important to ensure that this time is well-spent in an environment that is conducive to growth. Workplace stress significantly impacts the mental health and productivity of employees across all industries. Thus, incorporating steps to improve well-being will go a long way in creating a thriving workplace where employees work at the highest levels of productivity.

Top 7 methods to reduce stress

Here are 7 proactive steps that organisations can consider for boosting employee productivity.

1. Encourage workplace wellness

When it comes to combating workplace stress, exercise and healthy living are the two best strategies we have at our disposal. This will not only help maintain our physical fitness, but also help the production of our brain’s happy chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins.

Thus, creating a  culture of wellness at workplaces that have employee well-being as the central theme is crucial for ensuring that employees perform at their peak capabilities while also attaining their lifestyle goals. Encouraging employees to go for regular walks, practising meditation, breathing exercises, and other wellness practices go a long way in building the ideal workplace.

2. Encourage social activity

Often, employees will look for ways to spend time together and form strong friendship bonds at the workplace. These connections will help boost their well-being and support systems around them.

Creating space for employees to interact and engaging in team-building "fun at work" activities are great ways to strengthen the bond within the team. Encouraging the pursuit of achieving personal goals and picking up new hobbies will help motivate employees to manage stress, rejuvenate and work at peak performance.  

3. Improve communication across the board

The workplace is a hub for countless thoughts and ideas. However, the lack of a strong and clear channel of communication among employees will result in poor workflow and a lack of teamwork.

This communication block is also often the reason for numerous misunderstandings and bickering among professionals, leading to the eventual loss of motivation. The antidote to this dilemma comes in the form of communicating expectations clearly while sharing realistic feedback for the same.

4. Aim to unwind

Introducing healthy competition within the team through games and sporting events will add a fresh dynamic to the workplace. Let’s not forget that interpersonal growth is just as important as any other form of growth for excelling in every sphere of life!

After all, a team that plays together, stays together!

5. Don’t over-assign and over-commit

Unreasonable expectations from employees will create an environment of hopelessness and apathy. For employees, regardless of how competent or experienced one claims to be, over-committing to tasks is bound to leave people burnt out. The ideal formula for getting a lot of work done without causing severe mental stress lies in structuring work around realistic expectations. Over-committing may be tempting, but it usually comes at the cost of poor quality, as well as stress challenges.

Learning how to say NO goes a long way in resetting your expectations based on what is in your control, and what isn't.

6. Step out and experience the outdoors

This one is a no-brainer when it comes to taking a quick break to reset and rejuvenate. Rather than choosing the conventional lounges at the office, or a nice sofa at home for a quick break, try stepping out for a few minutes instead. Our brain is constantly rewarded for being one with nature and the outdoors. Thus, getting some fresh air and experiencing mindful moments outdoors will help focus your mind and improve productivity.

7. Attain internal harmony

Adversities and setbacks are common, both in our professional and personal lives. Having the ability to overcome them not just plays a role in our holistic growth but builds the resources we need to tackle larger problems in the future.

However, our mental health is a significant factor in our ability to deal with these external threats effectively. Make sure that you are taking out time for yourself and doing the things you love and enjoy. Working diligently - not only for monetary growth, but also for mastery of a multitude of skills is a lot more effective when there is focus and harmony within our minds. 

ways to reduce stress and boost productivity

In closing

In the midst of deadlines, commitments and result-oriented workplaces, employees often do not find time to de-stress and relax. However, the steps discussed above should work as a good starting point for HR managers to drive a culture of better self-care and mental wellness at the workplace.

About the author

Shankul Varada is a Counselling Psychologist at Silver Oak Health. He works primarily with adults and adolescents. He follows a solution-focused approach to therapy, with an emphasis on building one's abilities and creativity. Shankul enjoys long-distance cycling and writing. He maintains a blog on mental health and spends time popularising the importance of mental health through his writing and art.

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