How to Reduce Workplace Stress

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Managers who reduce stress in workplace environments may see increased productivity and they will feel great about it. But before we discuss how to reduce workplace stress let’s take a look at why it makes sense from a business perspective.

Why Reduce Workplace Stress

On-the-job stress is not only bad for employees, it’s bad for business. In fact, US businesses lose an estimated $300 million per year as a result of employee stress according to data from the American Institute of Stress. They identify the following side effects of stress as causes of lost dollars:

  • Accidents
  • Absenteeism
  • Employee turnover
  • Diminished productivity
  • Direct medical, legal, and insurance costs
  • Workers’ compensation payments

“Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades,” said the Institute of Stress.

Related reading: 10 Signs Your AP Process is Too Stressful

 

How to Reduce Workplace Stress

While employee stress can be a costly problem for businesses there are steps you can take to alleviate it. A workplace productivity consulting firm, Quantum Workplace, identifies the following seven tips on how to reduce workplace stress:

  1. Encourage Workplace Wellness: Encourage healthy activities like walking during lunch, subsidize gym memberships and/or provide healthy meal and snack options and coaching.
  2. Rethink the Environment: In the post-COVID office, it is important to take steps to assure employees that their health is a company priority. Also, Simple steps like adding fresh plants, increasing cubicle privacy and changing color schemes to improve the office vibe. Hire a design consultant to help improve tranquility of the office space.
  3. Allow Flexible Hours and Remote Working: A few years ago this was a more radical change that it is now, but as we return to work from quarantine, it’s important to keep this in mind as you establish policies in the “New Normal”.
  4. Encourage Social Activities: According to Quantum, socializing and team building makes employees more comfortable with each other and therefore less stressed when interacting, especially during a crisis.
  5. Create Quiet Time: “80% of disengaged and hostile employees preferred the opportunity to have stress-relief breaks, such as a nap, massage, or required break,” said Quantum.
  6. Provide Counseling: More than half of workers say they need help learning how to deal with stress.
  7. Recognition: Recognizing employees hard work and achievements can give them a great boost. Some team members might want to be recognized in a ‘public’ way like a group email. Others might prefer a small gift a quiet recognition.

Two Top Causes of Workplace Stress and How to Reduce Stress them for Accounting

According to the American Psychological Association, excessive workloads and work that isn’t engaging or challenging are both in the top 7 causes of workplace stress.  As you may know, accounts payable can be one of the most tedious workloads. Often, teams feel bogged down and perpetually digging out from under a pile of invoices. By streamlining AP processing and assigning more engaging and strategic work to your team can help reduce stress in workplace environments.

“Working hard should not be confused with overworking at the expense of relationships and physical health,” said the APA.

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