Any business owner or manager would be foolish not to do anything about managing their employees’ stress and preventing burnout. Unfortunately, most workforce management executives only take action when it’s too late and the damage is irreversible (i.e. the employee has left the company).
Below is a series of tips to help reduce office stress and ensure your employees stay productive.
Be Prudent When Delegating Tasks
It’s important to assess your employees’ individual workloads to ensure work is challenging, but not affecting their ability to keep up.
Know Your Employees’ Passions
It’s a good practice to ensure each member of your team is working on a task or assigned to a project they feel passionate about. Besides keeping stress levels low, you can ensure specific tasks are given to people who care about them most.
Let Staff Work on Side Projects
One way of keeping employee stress levels low is to allow team members to work on their own related side projects. Not only will this give them an outlet for their respective passions, it fosters a sense of belonging, giving workers the idea that your company also cares about their interests.
Maintain Sensible Work Hours
The definition of ‘sensible work hours’ is ultimately subjective. Some people love to spend more than 100 hours in the office, while some are most productive when hovering between 30 to 40 working hours. The point is not to ask too much from your employees. Talk to them about their ideal number of work hours a week to ensure they don’t burn themselves out. If team members no longer have any work to do, let them off early — there’s no point in keeping them cooped up in the office doing nothing.
Allow Remote Working
If your company can afford to let employees bring their work home, then go for it. Remote working, or telecommuting, is a good way to allow employees to spend more time at home and be with their families and pets, keeping stress levels down.
It’s absolutely ridiculous to expect workers to sit in their desks for 8 hours straight every day. Your employees are people, not robots. Encourage them to take a full hour lunch break, and smaller breaks distributed throughout the day. Let them manage their own time, in exchange for getting work done on time. Why should you worry about breaks if they don’t interfere with productivity and quality?
Set Reasonable Deadlines
If you know your employees are currently on an existing project with an approaching deadline, by all means, don’t them with another task with a unrealistic deadline or goal. Either you delegate to another team, or don’t take on the project at all.
The important thing is to place yourself in your employees’ shoes. Working hard is important, but pushing your people to the point of exhaustion will only backfire in the end.