The holidays can be the most beautiful and most stressful time of the year with end-of-year reports, financial stress, and putting in extra hours. Many companies try to reduce stress levels by adding activities like office karaoke, happy hour, secret Santa, and office parties. Sometimes, these activities can cause more harm than good, even with the best intentions. For some employees, ‘fun office activities’ can increase their stress for the following reasons:
- They have to move around already hectic schedules to accommodate the event.
- There may be pre-existing conflict among workers, and participating in high-pressure mandatory social events could spike their stress levels.
- They have to think about gift buying as an added stress.
This is why managers and company leaders need to gain deeper insight into what causes company stress and how to reduce it.
What Causes Company Stress?
In a survey done by Virgin Pulse, an employee health engagement firm, 70% of employees are way more stressed during the holidays than at other times of the year. In addition, more than 60% reported feeling distracted for reasons such as balancing work with personal needs, entertaining out-of-town guests and family, and gift shopping.
How to reduce Stress in The Workplace
Actively Manage Your Team and Communicate Expectations
While core responsibilities seldom change throughout the holiday season, communicating performance expectations can help draw back the attention of distracted workers and set them back on track. For example, you can ask for daily status updates or set weekly project reviews and progress tracking. Consider using goals and deadlines to ensure that work expectations are clear and achievable for your employees and easier for management to oversee.
Having an open and friendly conversation about winter holiday distractions and why it’s crucial to stay focused and motivated can help manage your team and reduce stress.
Talk about Stress with Your Employees
Ignoring the signs of stress or pretending it doesn’t exist could increase tensions and anxiety. Hold staff meetings to talk about anxiety, stress, and the best way to handle them. Talk about stress management techniques that employees can adopt and follow by themselves.
Encourage Employees to Exercise
One stress-reduction strategy is exercise. Encourage employees to get out behind their desks and move around or engage them in some moderately strenuous activity. If there’s a gym available in the workplace, set aside short recess periods to make use of the facility.
Sort out Work Priorities
Reminding employees to focus on what’s most important to accomplish during the festive season can help reduce stress. If necessary, adjust deadlines for lesser projects to relieve the stress of meeting unrealistic deadlines.
Offer Flexible Scheduling
Providing employees with the option of working from home for part of the day or week can help reduce stress in the workplace. For example, if flex scheduling is an option, check with people to see whether they prefer working in potentially quieter and less-stressful environments.
Contact positively people for more information and professional help with reducing stress in the workplace during the holidays for both you and your employees
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