Business Bytes: The simple ways to reduce stress in your office

EMPLOYERS looking to lower stress levels in the workplace needn’t splash out on expensive mindfulness classes or office overhauls, as research has revealed that simple, inexpensive measures are most beneficial in reducing workplace stress.

A study by Cascade HR asked over 1000 UK full or part-time employees what their boss could do to reduce their stress levels and found that workers are easily pleased with things like flexibility, music and office drinks on a Friday.

Nearly half of employees felt that introducing flexible working hours would contribute most to reducing stress, whilst 39% thought that early finishes on Fridays would be most beneficial. Over a third of workers were more in favour of a caring, friendly management style.

Recognising hard work with tangible rewards was also found to be effective, with more than 1 in 3 saying financial rewards such as cash bonuses, and over a third stating holidays in lieu would reduce their stress levels.

Having a more relaxed management, task management software, drinks on a Friday afternoon and somebody to pick up admin tasks also featured on the list of things bosses could implement to help their workers.

Cascade HR chief executive Oliver Shaw said: “Fancy water features and expensive mindfulness classes might be fashionable – but clearly, looking at the results of this research, it’s the simple things that employers should be considering first.”

The research also revealed that employees believe there are certain aspects of the working environment which employers could change to improve their occupational mental health.

Naturally, a clean and tidy workplace was listed as the number one factor that workers felt could really have a positive impact on their stress levels. Almost a third felt having music playing would help to keep their stress at bay.

Simply having a space away from desks to chill out or to eat during breaks would also aid many workers as well as lunchtime social activities.

The more costly benefits like water features and an office gym featured much lower on the list.

Mr Shaw added: “British employees are quite content with simple environmental enhancements – whether it’s music playing in the office or simply putting some chairs and perhaps some plants or a screen, to create a quiet, separate space within the office for relaxing during break times.”

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