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The Problem with Employee Stress and Five Ways to Remedy It

Being an entrepreneur is stressful, but so is working in a start up and, well, working in general. Stress affects your team’s productivity and professional relationships, as it does your own, and it hits your bottom line. Inc Magazine reported that stress-related health care and missed work costs employers approximately $300 billion per year in the United States. This number will keep growing as the amount of workers experiencing stress increases. The latest numbers show that 73 percent of people regularly experience psychological symptoms, and 77 percent experience physical symptoms caused by stress. What is really troubling is that nearly half reported an increase in stress over the past five years. So what are you going to do about it? Below are some free or inexpensive ways to help your employees de-stress and get their heads in the game.

Flexibility

Your business should always have its eye on the goal, not necessarily the details of how it’s done. If your employees are meeting deadlines and meeting quality standards, does it really matter if they start work an hour later or their days end before 5 pm? Some jobs and tasks require workers to be active and present at certain hours, but not a necessity across the board.

Communication

Your employees can sense when something in your company is changing and morale greatly benefits from transparency. Talk to your staff about the direction of your company and recent events, reiterate your vision for the business, and take the opportunity to receive and offer feedback in a communal environment. Throwing in a free lunch probably won’t hurt. 

Movement

If your team is small enough to meet on a walk, take the time to fit a little activity into your day. Sitting is bad for your health and a little stroll will do wonders to clear your mind, oxygenate your blood, and burn some calories.

Environment

In addition to being pretty, plants (particularly non-flowering plants) have been found to reduce blood pressure. Bring in low-maintenance plants that will spruce the place up while simultaneously relaxing your staff.

Pace

Deadlines cause stress, stress decreases productivity that increase the pressure of looming deadlines. This is a vicious cycle. Scientists have found that the brain needs a short break, about five minutes, about every two hours and the body needs one every hour. Encourage your employees to take a small break and offer positive feedback when they do.

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