It may have taken a pandemic to truly show us the importance of mental health and wellness, but it finally seems to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds - including employers. Here are 3 practices you can implement in your workplace to encourage a healthy work-life balance and help reduce work-related stress.
#1: Swap video meetings for audio-only calls whenever possible
In the COVID-driven age of constant video meetings, many people are experiencing the phenomenon known as “Zoom fatigue”. Researchers have confirmed that on-camera conference calls drain your energy and leave you feeling exhausted and disengaged.
The next time you need to have a one-on-one, instead of booking yet another monotonous video meet, make it a “Walkie Talkie” - schedule a phone call and encourage them to take a walk outside during the call. Not only are you promoting taking regular breaks from work, but you’re prompting them to get some exercise as well which improves both physical and mental health.
#2: Help employees learn to better manage stress by hosting guided meditation sessions
Work-related stress has become increasingly common. Not only does stress affect the wellbeing of an individual employee, but it impacts the productivity of an organization as a whole. Poor stress management can lead to low energy levels, a weakened immune system, cognitive impairment, and other health problems (both mental and physical).
An excellent tool for relieving stress and restoring calm is meditation. Guided meditation simply focuses on breath and body awareness to bring attention back to the present moment. Ultimately, it encourages people to slow down and can help them become more resilient to stress.
Whether virtual or in-person, hosting a guided meditation session at your workplace is a great way to foster a supportive company culture and show that you value the health and happiness of your employees.
#3: Be mindful of when you send emails
If you’re choosing to work on a weekend, hold off on sending any internal emails until Monday (or schedule them to send later). Unfortunately, many people have the unhealthy habit of obsessively checking their work email, including on weekends. Even if you preface an email by saying you don’t expect a response until the following week, your email can still weigh on someone’s mind and interfere with their work-life balance. When your employees are off work, let them disconnect from work completely and show that you respect setting healthy boundaries.
You might also want to consider avoiding sending emails just before lunch time or towards the end of the day. An employee might try to power through and accomplish whatever is being asked of them instead of taking their lunch break or leaving work for the day on time. This can promote over-working which can eventually lead to burnout.
These are 3 simple yet effective ways to ensure your employees stay happy, healthy, and productive. Showing your support for regular breaks, movement, and work-life balance is key, along with acknowledging the reality of work-related stress and facilitating opportunities for your team to learn tools and techniques to better cope. When you focus on the wellbeing of your employees, you’re helping your entire organization thrive!