3 Trends in Reducing Workplace Stress
It seems everyone’s talking about workplace stress these days, and for good reason. It’s a vitally important topic that deserves our attention and understanding. From being the cause of disease, mental illness, family breakdowns, to the costly impact on businesses and careers, “stress” is seen as the culprit to all that ails us.
Beyond the steps that employers can take, such as what I review in my recent blog, “5 Steps to Reduce Workplace Stress”, and “Why Companies Need to Reduce Workplace Stress”, let’s take a look at some of the latest trends for reducing employee stress, and cultivating a happier workplace.
Workplace Stress Intervention Strategies on the Rise
- Bringing Pets to Work
There’s a resurgence of the appreciation of how our furry friends lower our stress levels. Studies prove that pets in the workplace improves job satisfaction, team work, and efficiency. Thanks to social media and viral videos, we’re falling in love all over again with pets. Check out this fun video to see how dogs transformed an office!
Research conducted by the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association discovered that approximately 20% of all companies in the United States allow employees to bring their pets to the workplace. New research reveals that employees who had their pets at their workplace showed an 11% drop in their stress levels by the end of the workday, compared to a 70% increase of employees who left their pets at home. With some of the most successful organizations in the world such as Google, Amazon and Ben & Jerry’s allowing pets on their premise, you can expect this trend to continue to rise.
- Power Nap Rooms
Where was this when I was in the corporate world? A recent article in Inc.com discusses the growing trend of allowing daytime naps in the workplace, to improve concentration, efficiency and lowered stress levels of employees. Big name companies such as Huffington Post, Uber, Google and PriceWaterhouseCoopers just to name a few, are avid proponents of the value of well-rested and refreshed staff. Beyond the futuristic-looking nap pods, a quiet and darkened room for one or several people with partitions, and reclining chairs is perhaps all that’s needed to allow fatigued employees a 30-minute power nap to get their second wind.
- Flexible Work Schedules
Companies are catching on to the benefits of providing flex schedules for employees. Whether it’s reduced working hours with no reduction in benefits, the ability to work part-time from home, or the option to work extra hours to allow for long weekends, it’s now hip for employers to be flexible.
In fact, a 2015 study by Workplace Trends detailed how employers are seeing benefits from their flexibility programs. It states, “The top benefits organizations saw in their work flex programs were improved employee satisfaction (87%), increased productivity (71%), and that they retained current talent (65%). 69% use their programs as a recruiting tool and 54% said that their programs positively impacted their recruiting.”
Expect to see an increase in popularity in these workplace wellness trends and the inclusion of many others, as more companies are waking up to the many benefits of lowered stress levels in the employees.