Strategies for Managing Stress at Work & Improving Sleep Health in the Process

When you’re stressed out about something, you’re not going to sleep very well at night. And when you don’t sleep well at night, you don’t perform very well the next day. Then the vicious cycle repeats until something eventually gives–and it’s never good.

As we’ve seen already, workplace fatigue can be incredibly harmful to your business. But it’s not the only type of wellness issue you will encounter when it comes to your employees. Chronic stress at work–and really any strain on your employees’ mental wellness–can mess with team productivity, performance, and creativity.

So, let’s talk about managing stress at work. You might not be able to put your employees to sleep at night, but you can foster a better work environment while giving them the tools and support they need in managing their own stress levels.

managing stress at work

Managing Stress at Work: 5 Strategies Your Team Can Use

Psychological wellness can be difficult to maintain amongst employees when your business is suffering from problems of its own:

  • You’re running short on staff.
  • Salaries are not as high as they should be.
  • Many employees feel unchallenged in their positions.
  • You’ve recently undergone mass layoffs.
  • Abusive and demanding clients have introduced an unexpected set of expectations.
  • And so on.

There are a number of things that can be happening all around you, which can make managing employee wellness difficult. But it’s what you have to do. If you want to keep stress low and productivity high, it’s your job to teach employees how to manage stress at work and give them the tools to succeed.

Here are 5 strategies to use:

1. Task Management

As an employer, you might not feel as though you have much say over how employees manage their time (or maybe you don’t feel comfortable doing so for fear of crossing into micromanagement territory). However, this is less about dictating that employees work for four hours straight before they’re allowed a lunch break and more about empowering them to tackle tasks in a way that is most efficient for them.

managing stress at work - task managementAutonomy is a good place to start–and rewarding them for successfully managing that autonomy through setting priorities and staying organized is always a welcome form of encouragement. But you should also reinforce the idea that this is a team. When one party is overloaded or in need of a break, others should be ready to step in and share the load.

2. Establishing Boundaries

This is just as much for your employees as it is for you. Because no matter how much more productive and connected digital devices may make everything seem, use of them after hours can add undue stress to the working relationship, which is why there need to be boundaries. There should never be communications after work hours and you should also set clear and reasonable hours within which your employees work.

3. Encourage Break Time

Along with that sort of time management, it’s also important to encourage your employees to take breaks–breaks during the workday to go to the gym, get some fresh air, go for a walk–as well as to use that PTO you’ve granted them. It’s there for a reason. If your employees don’t have room to breathe and recharge, it will be difficult to get them to de-stress.

4. Keep It Healthy

Of course, it’s not your job to feed your employees, but if you do offer snacks and drinks in the workplace, keep them healthy. Heart and energy healthy snacks like fresh fruit and nuts are always a good choice. And keep the selection of caffeine light. It will only lead to issues with sleeping later, which will exacerbate any stress they feel during the day.

5. Be Supportive

Whatever the stressor is in your workplace, you can’t expect employees to be able to navigate their way around it on their own. That’s why it’s important for them to have a community to turn to that will listen to and support them, both inside and outside of work.

As for what you can do in all this, keep your door open at all times. If they’re having a problem, feeling overworked, or stressed about the environment, be ready to listen and present them with a solution. You should also find ways to reach out and be supportive and encouraging even if they don’t take the initiative to speak to you. Work with them to establish clear goals for their career path and actively assist them in getting on track.

Summary

When one’s body and mind aren’t in peak physical form, work will be a struggle which, in turn, will make an already stressful environment unbearable. Giving your employees strategies they can use when managing stress at work is a good place to start. Of course, it’s also up to you to foster a positive environment that reduces those stressors as much as possible.

If you haven’t yet implemented a workplace wellness program for your business, reach out to Sleepwell Consulting today. Our customized solutions will help both you and your employees tackle this problem of stress at work.

As the President and Founder of Sleepwell Consulting Inc. Amanda is a Sleep Educator who works with companies of all sizes to help promote better sleep and better business.

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