by Positive Adventures Sat Mar 17 2018

A happy workplace is a more productive workplace. A 2015 study revealed that happy employees increase productivity by 12-20%. One of the biggest barriers to a happy workplace is stress, which has been shown to be just as harmful as secondhand smoke

Many companies are looking for ways to reduce stress and give their staff a morale boost. Here are 4 of our favorites:

#1: Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated

healthy office snacks for a happy workplaceWhen it comes to the workplace, it is important to feel good throughout the entire day. If you decide to refuel by eating fast food on your lunch break, you will likely feel fatigued, sluggish, and more stressed.

When you fuel your body by making healthy food choices, you are likely to feel productive all day. It’s also important to drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent headaches and maintain concentration.

Snacks such as organic veggies & hummus, trail mix, and fresh fruit are good “go-to” fuel between meals. The NASEM recommendation for water intake per day is 2.7 liters for women and 3.7 liters for men. This is total water from both food and drink.

Not only is it important to eat a healthy diet, but where you eat can affect your mood! If an employee eats at their desk, they are less likely to have a positive attitude about work. Going outside and soaking in some sunlight during your lunch break is proven to have positive effects on your mental health, and can vastly improve the quality of your work.

#2: Nurture Healthy Team Relationships

business group applaudOften, we spend more time with our coworkers than almost anyone else. It’s important that you have a good relationship with the people that you depend on to make your company’s vision come to life. 

Give employee shout-outs. Recognition is key to positive relationship building and to the important connection between management and employees. Recognizing someone during a daily huddle or weekly meeting is an easy way to build up your team.

Incentives like gift cards and discounts on company goods/services go a long way. If that’s not an option, make a concerted effort to give a shout-out to individuals who are achieving their professional goals or leading the way as ambassadors of your core values.

This encourages, empowers, and incentivizes your team in a healthy, positive way. 

Carve out time for team experiences. You may be conjuring images of trust falls and heart-to-hearts in a share circle while singing kum ba ya…but that’s not what team development is about. Trust falls are a thing of the past but the idea behind them is not. Coordinating activities that build trust and camaraderie is vital to the team dynamic. Better yet, get the whole team involved with a company wellness retreat!

Positive Adventures breaks this down into 3 categories: Team Building (working together during an activity to accomplish a goal), Team Bonding (spending unstructured time outside of the work environment), and Team Development (focusing on specific team dynamics).

#3: Trust Your Employees to Work a Flexible Schedule

work from home happy workplaceOne of the most important pieces of a happy workplace is trust. Allowing your employees to work remotely and flexibly empowers them to juggle an increasingly busy professional and personal life.

This shows that they are trusted to complete the work they need to do in the time frame they’ve been given.

Schedule optimization. Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, a marathon runner or a sprinter, it’s beneficial for everyone to empower your staff to take advantage of the times that they are most productive.

Minimize burnout. This 2013 study suggests flexible hours help your staff alleviate work-life balance issues, and promote general well-being. The conclusion? Stress leads to burnout, and burnout leads to turnover. 

#4: Be On or Be Off

Woman rolling her mat after a yoga classIn #3, we talked about a flexible work schedule. This doesn’t mean that you should be responding to emails and fielding calls from clients while you’re at your kid’s soccer game!

Define your time. Whether you work a typical 9-5 or a flexible/remote schedule, it’s important to separate work time from personal time. When you’re working, you want to be fully available to focus and do your job well. Similarly, your personal time is yours. This is especially important for managers, as emails sent during off hours can often create a stressful environment that trickles down to your employees. Your team shouldn’t feel like they need to be “plugged in” 24/7.

Mindfulness. You need time to disengage, reset, and refresh. One way to do this is through meditation, which can help reduce stress and anxiety and clear your mind. Here are 2 tools to encourage mindfulness:

#1: Set a reminder to take breaks, walks, or simply to close your eyes and practice deep breathing. Here’s one of our favorite apps to download on your phone. It’s free, easy, and customizable!

#2: Practice yoga or stretching. Several companies, such as GoPro, Google, and Facebook, are offering yoga at work. This emerging trend is based on research that yoga makes for healthier and happier employees, which also leads to higher workplace productivity. Positive Adventures offer free yoga classes at our San Diego office.

Care to join us for yoga? Email us and we’ll send you an invite to our next class! 

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