January 18, 2016 — Posted By Audrey McLaughlin
Stress. It is an often-overused word that can incite a physical reaction simply by mentioning it.
The American Psychological Association says that routine stress from work—things like long hours, manual labor, low-reward positions and projects—can contribute to mental health issues and even have physical impacts such as an increase in heart attacks.
The good news is, employers can help to manage and even reduce employee stress, which serves to boost employee well-being. And when employees are happy and know their employer cares about them, they have improved work quality, productivity, lower absenteeism, less turnover and better customer service ratings.
What are some of the perks and benefits you can implement to help achieve employee wellness nirvana? Here are just five ideas to get you started.
We are humans and humans get sick, as do their little humans. Offering employees the ability to come in a little early and stay a little late, earn and use paid time off, or telecommute on occasion gives them the flexibility they need to have a life outside of the office. This works great for occasions when an employee has an urgent need, as well as for maternity and paternity leave solutions.
Worried about people slacking when working offsite? Don’t. Studies show that employees increase their productivity by 13 percent when allowed to telecommute.
The key to implementing this benefit is releasing the old mindset that working a job has to look a certain way. Choose flexibility instead.
Often stress and the physical symptoms that come with it are ignored due to lack of time to leave work, go to an appointment and return. Even the smallest employers can benefit their employees by providing resources on-site such as chair massages, minor medical screenings and over-the-counter medications such as antacids and acetaminophen.
Additionally, providing a space for moving about on site and physical activity can reduce the overall stress of office life. The key to implementing on-site resources lies in a little extra space for the taking and keeping a few supplies on hand such as a stowaway massage chair.
When job stress takes over, employees often give up self-care in the name of getting the job done. They may trade in a healthy lunch for fast food, trade water for soda, and sleep for caffeine.
Employers can help curb their employees’ self-care deprivation by ensuring there are healthy options available routinely—especially when big projects and deadlines are looming.
This can include fresh, healthy fruits and vegetables in the break rooms, protein snacks, and water coolers where fresh hot and cold water is available. All of these items serve to improve the chances that employees will make healthier choices. To actively promote healthy living, you simply need a refrigerator on site to get started.