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According to a report, 10 million days are lost each year as a result of work related stress, depression and other issues. Excess stress and depression actually interfere with work productivity and your health. The highly competitive workspace, hovering deadlines and a pressure-cooker like environment are realities of our time. Our highly connected lifestyles have magnified work stress with long working hours, disturbed sleeping patterns, sedentary lives and lack of relaxation.
Resultantly, most working professionals today are stressed and suffer from symptoms such as backache, neck pain, headaches etc. The resultant stress not only causes chronic diseases like hypertension, it also becomes a reason for declining productivity, and attrition rates in organizations. Additionally, organizations also suffer from loss of millions of working days due to stress-related illnesses.
While for a long time, there was no concern offered by HR managers about this aspect of employee wellness, today things are changing. While the situation may appear dire at times, there are some simple and effective ways by which organizations can help their employees reduce daily stress, and in turn reduce their health care cost and improve business productivity. More and more organizations today are realizing that employees are not replaceable property but human resource that needs to be valued.
At Koenig we believe that it is not the load that breaks you, it is the way you carry it. Therefore we offer regular everyday yoga classes to begin the day at workplace, and our employees tell us that this makes a sea of a difference in their overall physical and mental well-being.
Here are some effective methods that workplaces can adopt:
Across the world, people practicing yoga have discovered various psychological and physical benefits including improved strength, flexibility and general well-being, apart from relief from stress, anxiety and depression. Yoga is a form of meditation and exercise practice that synchronizes the body, mind and soul. Thus, arranging yoga sessions once or twice a week can help the employees de-stress, calm their pressures, and burden.
Conducting a yoga session requires a hall or a large room where at least a section of employees can be accommodated together. Your conference room or board room can be used once a week for this purpose. Yoga is known to combat fatigue, generate energy that further leads to increased productivity and morale, and reduces sick days and stress.
The comforting power of music is well-established. It has a unique link to our emotions, which can be an extremely effective stress management tool. Listening to music can have a tremendously relaxing effect on our minds and bodies, especially slow, quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on our physiological functions, slowing the pulse and heart rate, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing the levels of stress hormones. Singing (or shouting) along can also be a great release of tension, and karaoke is very enjoyable for some extroverts!
Employees should definitely be exposed to the power of music once or twice in a week.
Reflexology is a non-intrusive treatment to wash away the stress from the body. In the procedure, effective pressure is applied to the reflex points in hands, feet and out ears by professional reflexologists. The points when carefully stimulated further correspond to different parts of the body, and offer relief. The process does not require much space and can be performed in-house. Primarily, all that this treatment needs is a special chair. Additionally, a proper reflexology session needs 30-45 minutes. A once in a month session with a reflexologist can rejuvenate your employees and can minimize their mental and physical stress.
As a recreational activity in office, it can help reduce stress and provide adequate rest amidst the stressful working condition. The treatment further ensures better sleeping patterns and boost of energy that helps the employees to remain better focused and productive at work.
4. Management Chat Sessions
Other than few chores of life, average employee spends more time with his manager and fellow employees than with his family. Due to stressful work environment, employees generally feel that their voices are not being heard, which it can have significant impact on the employee productivity and outputs. The solution is to schedule regular management catch-up sessions lasting 10-15 minutes where employees can raise any issues bothering them.
5. Work out sessions
Many organizations worldwide and even in India have incorporated a gym area with state-of-the-art equipment within the office premise. While the long office hours offer a sedentary lifestyle to the employees, a gym in the premise can help them stretch out to attain fitness. Due to spending most their daily hours at office, many people tend to skip physical exercises. This exposes them to the risk of developing lifestyle diseases such as Obesity, Hypertension and cardiovascular diseases. Therefore, inculcating wellness programs would help the employees improve their health and remain stress free, as experts believe that 30 minutes of workout a day not combats stress but also helps with clarity of mind.
6. Off-site gathering
Often, hectic schedules distance employees from their personal lives and leisure activities. Additionally, the competitive work environment creates fissures among the employees. Therefore, arranging occasional off-site gatherings can help employees mingle with each other and also help them de-stress themselves by talking fun and not work. A short trek, a visit to a historical monument or an evening at a cultural program can work wonders to the mental state of stressed-out employees.