You might not know, but today is National Relaxation Day, on the surface it might just appear to be another one of those social media fad trends, but actually the importance of relaxation in the workplace is becoming increasingly clear.
A recent version of the CIPD’s annual survey noted that stress was a key cause in 45% of all working days lost to sick leave, when you think that sick leave costs UK businesses over £9 billion a year, having over 45% of that total attributed to stress related illness is clearly a cause for concern.
One of the main reasons for such a high percentage is due to the ‘silent’ symptoms associated with stress and mental health related sick leave going unnoticed, whether due to lack of awareness or lack of management training.
Whilst there are fantastic training resources available from the likes of Altruist Enterprises to help staff combat and management acknowledge signs of stress and mental health related sickness, another key tool in an organisations armoury could be the ability to track trends in sickness of individual employees.
For example if an employee was beginning to show a trend of taking time off on their busiest day of the week, it could indicate that they’re struggling to cope on that particular day, causing them undue stress and forcing them to take time out, rather than talking through a solution to the issue of being busy or overworked.
This type of trend tracking is near impossible using outdated paper and spreadsheet systems, but as the video below shows, incredibly quick and easy when using absence management software with automated reporting tools.
Alternative Relaxation Techniques
Kill off the desk lunch!
One of the worst things possible for employees trying to reduce stress is staying sat in the office, focussed on their computer for the entirety of the day. Organisations can easily implement protocol whereby employees get at least half an hour of fresh air each day, whether that be a lunchtime walk or a break at a later stage.
Getting out and about and away from potential lunchtime distractions will help employees clear their mind, ready to return to work refreshed and focussed.
Interestingly a messy desk full of unfiled bits of paper and notes can give off the impression, perhaps subconsciously, that you are busier than you actually are, leading to stress from employees who worry about the perceived mountain of work on their desk.
Being more strategic and organised whilst at your desk can lead to much clearer thinking and a reduction in stress, simply by just having a bit of a tidy up! The actual act of organising and tidying also provides ten or fifteen minutes where the employee can shut out any work related worries, meaning they’ll return to their desk post tidying feeling energised and more prepared to tackle the workload in front of them
It’s often said that too much chatter around the office is discouraged as it can be a productivity killer, however in moderation allowing employees to interact and laugh together can be a great stress reliever. Sometimes when someone is stuck in a rut on a tough job all they need is a quick distraction, whether that’s a cracking joke told by a colleague or simply a quick conversation about something completely unrelated to their current workload.
Encouraging employee interaction in moderation is a sure fire way to brighten the mood within the office, whether that’s of an individual or for a team as a whole. It’s worth remembering that a lot of workplace stress can be caused by underperformance within teams, so it’s worth monitoring stress on both a group and individual level.
As mentioned above, being able to track employee sickness trends can be a great way of identifying issues with stress or mental illness at an early stage, and the best way to do this is through implementing efficient, automated absence management software. If you’d like to explore that then why not get in touch, either via email, by signing up for a free trial or by requesting a demo.