Stress in the workplace has come to be considered the norm in many professions. However, stress can significantly lower your team’s productivity – causing an inability to concentrate, a lack of decision-making capacity, and increased days off sick. Boost your team’s productivity with these top 5 tips for de-stressing at work:

1. Tell each team member how important they are

A team is the sum of its participants, and team productivity increases if each member does their part. Studies have shown that people who derive meaning from their job and who feel recognised in their work are more productive.

If a person feels insecure or uncertain about whether their contributions are needed or important, they’ll often feel more stressed. On the other hand, employees who view their work as important and meaningful will bask in motivation and satisfaction in their job.

As a manager, you should be making sure that each member of your team knows their work is appreciated. Let them know how their strengths and abilities are vital to the success of their tasks and team projects, and watch how their attitude to teamwork improve.

Many workers are very proficient in their own role, but are unsure how much their contribution is valued as part of their wider team. Your job as the manager is to encourage your team as they work together, praise and reward them when they’ve done a job well done, and recognise what they accomplish as a team as well as their own individual achievements.

2. More praise and fewer complaints.

Treat your team members with respect. Set reasonable deadlines, listen to their comments, encourage questions, and be understanding when they bring their thoughts to your attention.

A good manager should keep track of what each person is working on, or at least know what kind of tasks they are working on day to day. Give encouraging, genuine praise generously.

A manager should also try their best to keep the workplace calm and light-hearted, especially during particularly strained times when there is a lot of work to be done. This doesn’t mean you have to crack jokes all the time, but remember to smile, greet your team individually when you come into the office, and don’t take yourself too seriously.

Inspiring your team this way will increase their productivity. When you lead by example with a positive, can-do attitude and a friendly smile, your team will feel more relaxed, confident and capable – all of which will augment productivity.

 3. Ways to destress at your desk.

Encourage your whole team to take time out to de-stress while working. Sitting at a desk for many hours, as many workers do every week, is bad for health and for productivity.

Get your team members some ergonomic office furniture, such as kneeling chairs with rockers, Swiss balls, and standing desks. These encourage natural movement to keep balanced and also improve posture – boosting productivity through increased energy levels and a healthier body.

If your company can’t afford ergonomic furniture yet, you can find plenty of other less expensive ergonomically designed products that can make the workplace less stressful.

You could try ergonomic keyboards and mouses, rocker footrests, lower back support pads and much more. Purchasing quality furnishings and equipment for your team is a worthwhile investment that will definitely boost their productivity and enhance their job enjoyment.

4. Get your team moving.

Instead of always using emails and Skype to communicate, encourage your team members to get up and walk to the desk of the colleague you wish to communicate with.

You could try many different ways to inspire your team to improve their health in general. Prohibit using the lift – and try holding 5-minute group stretching or yoga sessions spread throughout the day to relax the body and focus the mind.

Encourage your team to get work via walking, biking, scootering, or any other way doesn’t need to involve sitting down. If you have a group of employees who carpool, ask if they can agree to park the car a good distance away and walk the final part of the journey together (in suitable weather, of course). As the manager, you should be the first to jump in and join these healthy initiatives – setting a good example!

Motivate your team to eat healthily – and don’t rely solely on coffee to survive until lunch. Why bring your team to a nice café once a week to share a healthy snack-break with your team early in the morning? This will particularly benefit those who prefer skip breakfast and often lack energy at the beginning of the day. 

5. Team-building expeditions

Lead your team on regular adventures together. From white-water rafting to lawn bowls, you have hundreds of activities to choose from that can build team spirit and create strong bonds between your employees.

Uniting your team in a fun day or night out lets them de-stress and enjoy spending time with their colleagues outside of a work setting. As your team finds out more about each other and everyone’s different skills, interests, and personality, they will hopefully gain further respect and care for each other – leading to a much happier, more productive team.

Johanna Cider is a New Zealand-based freelance writer whose work has been published across various sites and blog. She loves taking nature walks to improve her focus and writing inspiration. Visit Johanna’s Tumblr page to see more of her published work.

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