The word “stress” is far too common in our day and age. And it’s also taken for granted far too often. Stress has to do with an individual’s comfort level in their immediate environment – how they feel; how they behave and how they react to certain “stressors.” The lower the comfort level of an individual, the higher their stress level. This means elevated levels of adrenaline, a higher heart rate and, of course, poorer performance.
Considering a work environment, elevated levels of stress for 6+ hours can really exhaust the body resulting in deterioration of bodily functions.
A stressful work environment can be considered as an environment where individuals face repetitively higher workloads, conflict in work roles, friction in relationships at work, lack of organization in hierarchy, imbalance in personal/work life, hazardous work conditions and location. Although there are many other factors that can contribute to making an individual feel stressed in their work environment, these factors are usually the most common factors that affect stress levels in most work environments that do not prioritize employee well-being.
Here are 5 simple ways to make your work place stress-free:
1. Divide Work Tasks Fairly And Evenly
Saving money and making a profit is a goal for many businesses and companies looking to make every penny count. However, this can be a drawback in the long-run. In trying to cut losses from all corners, employers usually end up allocating a chunk of tasks onto one employee resulting in longer hours, higher stress levels and further dissatisfaction with the employee’s work environment. This potentially could lead to the employee leaving their job or becoming burned out from the overwhelming amount of tasks. Although you’d be saving money by hiring a limited number or workers to do a large number of tasks, it’d be calling for a disaster as you’d eventually be losing out on the quality of work as your workers would be prioritizing completing a larger quantity of tasks rather than focusing on keeping each task up to a satisfactory mark.
2. Provide Support And Guidance
While you trust your employees to be adept at their work roles, there’s always room for improvement. A major and common mistake that many employers make when designating their employees with tasks is that they assume that their employees are qualified to fulfill all sorts of tasks within the category of their job title. As a leader and employee, it’s absolutely vital to provide resources in both training and support to keep motivation and satisfaction of your work environment high and steady. Without the adequate resources and support, stress levels are bound to increase within your work environment causing dissatisfaction and lack of understanding in the organization of the workplace. Although requiring time and an investment, looking into resources to aid in providing better quality of work from employees really boosts morale and allows your employees to feel taken care of and supported.
3. Provide A Clear Idea Of Organization Hierarchy And Job Descriptions
Work organizations run smoothly when both employer and employee know their job descriptions, expectations and hierarchy. Not only is it unethical, but expecting an employee to complete tasks beyond their expertise also increases stress levels in a work environment as it puts pressure on employees as a whole to perform without the know-how of their tasks. A clear understanding of one’s job description and organizational hierarchy will help in dividing tasks and reporting to a limited number of people to curb the stress of satisfying a number of individuals with one’s task outcomes. Additionally, a clear sense of job description allows for a smooth operation of a work environment, limiting the amount of stress each worker would face in their workplace.
4. Give Praise Where It Is Due
The “praise and reminder” method is not just for school or household use – it is for any environment that requires performance from individuals who respond to a leader. Derived from the study of Behaviorism in Psychology, the idea of praise and reminder is to help promote the “good” behaviors, while limiting the occurrence of “unwanted” behaviors. Where employees perform well, and within the expected outcome of the employee’s expectations, a praise is due. A praise could be anything between a raise to a simple verbal exchange, such as “good job” or “well done!” It is common knowledge that humans crave recognition regardless of how small a task, regardless of age. Praise not only lowers stress at a work place, it increases motivation to complete expected tasks with quality and also boost morale with the sense of teamwork and recognition of identifying with a workplace.
5. Ensure Your Workplace Is Harassment-Free
For both women and men, a workplace should always be a place of safety and comfort where one can reasonably work without a feeling of discomfort, be it towards other co-workers or towards the work environment itself. Harassment and bullying, despite being unethical, are common occurrences at workplaces, especially where there is higher competition between co-workers and higher demands from employers. Keeping in mind that stress levels are directly related to a worker’s level on comfort. It is extremely important to ensure that unwanted advancements, verbal abuse and physical abuse are strictly prohibited as it can impact the quality of work in the workplace.