Stress is a common problem faced by employees worldwide. Whether it is due to excessively high amounts of work, lack of interpersonal support, or any other stress-inducing causes, there’s no denying that stress has slowly become an unavoidable part of the daily work routine. Research has even shown that high levels of stress may disrupt an individual’s level of productivity within the workplace.
So what can employers do to help employees combat workplace stress? While there’s a very limited number of quick and effective stress-reliever treatments that employees can rely on, every now and then employers must also take action and help to make the workplace a more accommodating environment for its employees.
Take a look at some of the smart and creative initiatives which travel startup company Touristly has implemented in the workplace to help prevent and reduce workplace stress for its employees.
1. Initiate a healthy ‘social’ work environment
Positive communication and support between employees correlate to improved employees’ well-being and confidence, thus reducing the possibility of any incoming stress and anxiety. While most employers tend to neglect the importance of this, Touristly in fact encourages a healthy balance between work and social life.
By initiating weekly and monthly get-together activities for its employees ranging from team lunch to team outings, Touristly is able to initiate a healthy ‘social’ work environment with minimal disruptions to work productivity. In return, not only do employees find improvement in communication and support from their fellow colleagues, but also reduced workplace stress and anxiety.
2. Encourage an active lifestyle
Maintaining an active lifestyle and being outdoors are two other ways in which stress can be diminished. Despite the fact that the traditional office work may involve being confined to a physical chair and desk for hours on end, it doesn’t mean that promoting a more active lifestyle towards employees is an impossible thing to do!
In Touristly, employees are encouraged to take part in the monthly team-outing program involving a series of exciting and unique physical activities picked by an employee for the entire team to try. Whether its jiu-jitsu, aerial hoop yoga, arts & crafts, or the classic laser tag, it gives employees the perfect opportunity to get out of the office, be active, and showcase their passion!
3. Allow flexibility in the workplace
Employers have to bear in mind that each employee is unique and has different preferences when it comes to getting work done. While most employees do perform better when working in teams, others may in fact perform more productively when being distant from the rest.
Touristly is well-aware of this and respects the different work preferences of each individual employee, thus allowing some degree of flexibility for distance working to positions not requiring physical presence in order to get the work done. This initiative was suggested to reduce any unnecessary workplace inconvenience and stress, which often results in increased work productivity.
4. Leave extra spaces in the office for ‘time-out’s’
While its ideal that employers create workplace initiatives to help prevent stress, employers should also remember that stress is still an unavoidable emotion that cannot be fully prevented.
In addition to prevention, employers should also create initiatives to help minimize any stress present in the workplace. One way to do this is to leave extra spaces in the office which allow employees to have their ‘time-out’s’ when needed.
It doesn’t have to be fancy bean bags or expensive game rooms, but empty rooms which allow individuals to continue working outside their designated desk every once in a while usually does the trick. Or in Touristly’s case, a pantry filled with freshly-brewed coffee and occasional treats could also help curb workplace stress!
5. Follow the leader!
Most times, the behaviour of an employee is easily influenced by their fellow colleagues. Therefore, the more productive and happy a workplace is, the more likely an employee will be ‘influenced’ by its surroundings to do and act the same. As a good employer, the least you can do to promote workplace well-being and motivation is to set a positive leadership example.
Being the founding leader of one of Malaysia’s leading travel startups, Aaron Sarma has realised the importance of being a good leader from the start, and has continued to lead Touristly with his charismatic and inspirational leadership style to this day.
By leading the team in a family-oriented style, Aaron continues to support any inspirational incentives created by his employees, and to advocate the importance of keeping a healthy balance between work and life. You’ll be amazed at just how far good leadership goes!
Anisa Hadiputri is a Marketing Executive at Touristly