Stoke business coach's tips for improving wellbeing within the workplace
Stress at work has always been a real problem, with a 2020 survey revealing that 26%* of workers in the West Midlands experience stress on a weekly basis. But if we add to the mix the issues caused by the pandemic, then returning to a stress-free environment could be a long way off. Whilst another report indicates that 17.9** million days of work are lost due to stress, wellbeing for business owners and employees during this time is extremely important.
Whether people are setting the wheels in motion to return to the daily commute or are negotiating a permanent transition to working remotely, there could potentially be a surge in stress for many people across the region. Ian Harford, a Stoke-based business coach, shares some insights on the cost of stress to a business (not just the monetary aspect) and how to make the workplace environment a healthy one.
Communication is key
It’s something we often refer to as an open-door policy. Essentially, being open, honest and receptive to feedback from members of the team makes for a better work environment. This should still hold true whilst employees are juggling working from home, with the ability to get support as and when they need it. This transition is bound to be difficult and invoke stress, so remember to check in before problems escalate.
It’s a stark fact that only 1 in 5** employees would choose to discuss their concerns with a superior at work, whilst 16% of people are prepared to leave companies that are causing too much stress. With the future of businesses at stake with job security, these figures should provoke a catalyst for action.
Create an environment to thrive
Whether the team are in the office, working from home or doing a mixture of both, there are many different ways to help bust stress. And, even if people are not with the rest of the team in person, keeping this connection up virtually is entirely possible. Here are a couple of ways to help your team relieve stress, even on Zoom.
1. Exercise is one of the easiest ways to help beat stress. 42%** of people who responded to the survey said they like to get active. Getting your endorphins flowing and increasing the heart rate is a great way to overcome feelings of stress and anxiety. Get a weekly virtual gym session going to get everyone involved.
2. Breathe. The advice to take a deep breathe might sound clichéd, but it still holds true when it comes to stress. Try practicing yoga or meditation with others – not only does this help with calmness and concentration, but it also can help to connect team members on a deeper level.
3. Allow for cool-off time. Maybe this includes having a pizza delivered for lunch or winding down with a drink on a Friday afternoon but, whatever you choose to do, it can help to improve satisfaction and an overall sense of wellbeing – both things that can keep stress at bay.
Teamwork really does make the dream work
Business ownership can be stressful at the best of times, not least during a pandemic. Whilst recruitment might have taken a downturn, as we emerge from the latest lockdown these opportunities should be on the rise once again. Establishing a solid team around you will free you of any duties causing unnecessary amounts of stress. Hiring great team members is a proven solution to help make the workplace environment a more enjoyable one.
Over the last year, some businesses have had to contend with increased demand whereas others, like pubs, have had to cope with huge reductions in activity. So, whatever transition you are now facing as the country emerges from lockdown, take some time to plan what you will do you do as an employer to keep your team stress-free.
For more information or to book in a free 30-minute consultation with a virtual coffee, please visit www.stokeontrent.actioncoach.co.uk
* HSE, Work-related stress, anxiety or depression statistics in Great Britain, 2020.
** Perkbox, The 2020 UK workplace stress survey, 2020.