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Last Updated on March 24, 2021

8 Ways to Eliminate Stress in the Workplace

8 Ways to Eliminate Stress in the Workplace

Everyone gets stressed in the workplace at one time or another, and this stress can get in the way of productivity. As an employer, you need to find ways to help eliminate a lot of the stress in the workplace, so your employees are happy in their work, and productive. It is not always enough to just give them frequent breaks. Today’s employers are getting creative in how they are eliminating stress in the workplace, or at least greatly cutting it down.

Here are eight creative ways you can help get rid of stress at your office.

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1. Walking Challenges

Encouraging exercise is important for the health of your employees, and one way to do this is by having walking challenges. Give employees FitBits so they can track their steps, or even just simple, old-fashioned step trackers. Challenge them to take so many steps in a month, and if they get there, they get a prize. This is even more fun when they form teams and walk together for relaxation and good health.

2. Walking Meetings

If you don’t have to give a presentation using a computer, projector, etc., why not take your meetings outside? Walking is good for the body, and a great way to relieve stress. If your meeting is simply going to involve talking, there is really no reason why you have to do it inside. You can walk and talk, and get a lot accomplished without being in a stuffy office.

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3. Flex Time

Give your employees the flexibility to work at hours of their choosing. If they are getting their work done, it doesn’t really matter what time they are doing it. Let them come in late, leave early, stagger hours, etc. Employees will love that they have more freedom and because they are less stressed, they will be more productive and happy in their work.

4. Game Tables

Put a couple of game tables in the break room, such as a pool table and a foosball table. When employees are stressed and need a break, they can use the game tables to blow off a bit of steam. You can even set up company game tournaments with prizes, and raise money for a charity. It is even better if you schedule these tournaments during company time, to show employees that they can enjoy a relaxed atmosphere at work.

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5. Massages

Bring in a massage therapist to offer massages right in the office. They don’t have to be long sessions. Just 10 minutes can help eliminate a lot of stress in the body, and your employees will be more relaxed and productive. Massage can help to reduce tension, insomnia, headaches, and muscle tension, which is going to improve overall employee health.

6. Holiday Contests

Have holiday decorating contests, and offer prizes to the best-decorated offices, desks, etc. Let employees vote on their favorite decorating efforts, so everyone has a chance to be involved. Make sure prizes are holiday-themed, or even better, give out gift cards that employees can use to pick out what they want or need. This is a fun way for employees to de-stress, and the office space is going to look terrific.

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7. Laughter

Show your employees that you have a great sense of humor, and find ways to make them laugh daily. If you see a video that makes you laugh, share it with them (as long as it is appropriate). Share funny jokes at the beginning of meetings, which will also help to ease any tension in the room.

8. Ice Cream

In the summer months, give your employees ice cream breaks. Everyone can walk to the nearest store or ice cream parlor for a frozen treat. Or, arrange for an ice cream truck to show up at a certain time on hot days, pay in advance, and let your employees cool off, on you.

More by this author

Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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