Wednesday, 1st of November is International Stress Awareness Day (ISAD), which aims to raise public awareness about (you guessed it) stress, its symptoms and preventative measures. They day is also dedicated to promoting the importance of employee well being in the workplace.
Good stress, bad stress
No workplace is 100% stress-free. And in fact, a smidgen of stress can be good for us. Stress releases a bundle of chemicals and hormones, causing physiological changes to our bodies that can have a positive impact on work performance. Good stress gets our adrenaline pumping and heart rate climbing, causing productivity and motivation levels to skyrocket.
But then, there’s bad stress. The kind of stress caused by unrealistic expectations, strained colleague relationships or unmanageable workloads. This is the type of stress that makes people not want to turn up to work on a Monday morning, and can be really detrimental to our health in the long-term. This stress needs to be abolished once and for all from the office.
What can you do?
As tribe leader, all you want is for your tribe to be healthy and happy. It all starts with you mastering your own stress management and then leading by example. Here are three top tips to keep bad stress at bay in your workplace:
Trust, challenge and support
There’s a difference between encouraging your tribe to take risks, step out their comfort zones and challenge themselves; and asking too much of them. We all want to feel like we’re progressing and heading somewhere – you need to provide the tools and training they need to flourish in their roles, making sure you organise regular one-to-ones to review their efforts and ask if there’s anything else you could be doing to help them out. Stress breeds out of boredom, so do all you can to keep things fun and fulfilling for your tribe.
For many employees, the twice-daily rush hour commute is the worst thing about their working day. In fact, in its study published last year, the University of Dusseldorf uncovered that traffic fumes and noise raise a person’s risk of hypertension, or high blood pressure. To stop your tribe feeling tense in traffic, offer flexible working options. This might involve you opening the office early so they can start and leave before the daily rush; or, giving them the chance to work from home a couple of days a week. Flexible working is fast becoming an essential office perk, with top talent scouting out companies that offer it.
Poor peer support is cited as a top reason for workplace stress. Employees can only work at their best if they feel like their colleagues and managers have their back; when they feel like they’re part of a workplace family. This is why organising regular team building trips is a must – they give you and your tribe the chance to get to know one another on a more personal level, and sharpen many of the key skills related to terrific teamwork.
Building a top-class tribe requires you to step out of the office and head to a more stimulating environment, away from desks and workloads. The heart of the forest is the perfect place to de-stress and build bonds, and in amongst the trees, you’ll find our Go Ape courses!
Come and hang out with Go Ape for the morning or whole day, taking part in hand-picked activities to suit your needs and budget. We strongly recommend embarking on a Tree Top Adventure – some serious stress-busting takes place in the canopy!