It should come as no surprise that many members of the workforce seem to exist in a state of perpetual stress. In fact, a recent poll found that American workers are among the most stressed in the world. In addition to taking a heavy toll on people’s mental health, consistently stressed workers aren’t good for any business’s bottom line. The more emotionally distraught your team members are, the less likely they are to perform their respective job duties effectively and efficiently. That being the case, making the work experience less stressful for employees should be among the foremost priorities of every business owner. If you’re unclear on how to go about this, take the following pointers to heart.
Offer a Greater Level of Schedule Flexibility
One of the most stressful things about working is adhering to someone else’s schedule. Most full-time jobs entail getting up earlier than you’d like, suffering through a congested commute and being forced to remain at the office, regardless of whether or not your presence is truly required. Furthermore, a good portion of office workers spend sizable chunks of their days trying to appear busy. Since they’re expected to be physically present for at least 40 hours a week, many workers have to spend more time than necessary on certain projects or complete projects before their respective deadlines and simply pretend to work until their next assignments materialize.
Needless to say, this is a waste of everyone’s time. If someone has completed their daily work quota or finished a project ahead of schedule, they shouldn’t be required to hang around the office until 5:00 rolls around. Furthermore, as long as deadlines are strictly adhered to, there’s no reason to require employees to abide by a set schedule. After all, if someone’s output is the same regardless of when they come in or how late they stay, they should have a greater level of control over their own work schedule. By extension, utilizing an advanced AI platform can also help reduce the amount of unnecessary grunt work your team members are saddled with.
Allow Employees to Work Remotely
Although some business owners disparage remote work, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused many enterprises to rethink their policies regarding telecommuting. Throughout the last year, an expansive number of businesses have come to embrace remote work. At first, this was done out of pure necessity, but as the months wore on, it became increasingly clear that physical presence in a formal workplace is extremely overrated. Thanks to advances in technology, most office workers needn’t report to an office to do their jobs effectively and efficiently.
Additionally, as more and more people grow accustomed to working remotely, the less amenable they are to returning to the old way of doing things. Now that they’ve experienced the benefits of remote work firsthand, some members of the workforce would rather quit their jobs than go back to the office. Frankly, this is perfectly reasonable. As they’ve come to learn, physical presence is not a prerequisite for being able to do their jobs, and they’re unwilling to engage in the pointless formality of reporting to an office any longer.
Allowing your team members to work remotely can dispel a tremendous amount of job-related stress. It can also be a boon to the busy schedules of employees with small children and/or pressing family obligations. Embracing remote work can also help boost worker retention rates. Even if a team member receives a higher-paying offer from a competitor, they’re liable to turn it down if remote work isn’t part of the deal.
Be Generous with Paid Time Off
While it’s perfectly reasonable to expect your team members to work hard, it’s also important to realize that they aren’t machines. In the wake of an enormous project’s completion, you’d do well to offer employees a little bit of paid time off to de-stress and recharge their batteries. Not only will this prove conducive to reduced stress levels, it also stands to improve job performance across the board.
There’s no question that the working world is a stressful place. Between cumbersome commutes, incessant office politics and insurmountable workloads, many members of the workforce constantly find themselves at their respective breaking points. Rather than contribute to this country’s toxic culture of overwork, businesses should seek to minimize employee stress and make the work experience less harrowing. If satisfied, productive employees are what you strive for, the measures discussed above are likely to prove useful.