According to a Gallup survey, fully 74% of employees “experience burnout on the job at least sometimes.” The survey goes on to show that “burnout is so pervasive in US workplace cultures that people probably think it is inevitable, and some may even wear it as a badge of honor.” So, we clearly have a problem.
However, if Covid has taught us anything, it’s that being away from work can be a great opportunity for staff to plug back into the things that make them happy, one of those being the ability to just relax and not be so stressed out all the time. They might do this by spending time with family, meditating, reading, exercising and doing yoga, catching up on sleep or just being with friends.
And now that people are largely back at work, many are starting to realize that long term, they are going to need a way to balance off their professional responsibilities with a lifestyle that allows them some downtime to relax and live at a stress level that’s sustainable over time. After all, it’s surprisingly easy to fall right back into the trap of living a high-stress lifestyle. And it’s something we all really want to guard against.
But luckily, it’s been proven time and time again that a more relaxed staff can be a great tool, and differentiator, in running a successful business. That’s right: you can both build a successful business and still focus on sustaining a relaxing lifestyle for you and your staff!
Entrepreneurs and business leaders alike stand to benefit from learning to relax for several reasons. For starters, reducing stress and anxiety can boost your creativity and productivity.
You see, stress is the number one culprit when it comes to burnout, which can severely damage a company’s efficiency, not to mention the wellness of its employees. And as you can imagine it is tough to hire and grow a healthy, productive workforce when you’re all constantly at risk of burnout.
As a business leader as well as an expert in meditation and relaxation techniques, people often ask me what I believe the best treatments and activities are for workers at risk of burnout due to stress. And I always tell them to start with activities such as yoga, meditation, and deep breathing. These practices can drive mental and body calmness, reduce stress patterns and even sharpen our senses. According to data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), yoga supports stress management, mental health, mindfulness, healthy eating, weight loss and quality sleep. That’s a lot of upsides!
Indeed, an 8-week study cited by Melissa Rosencranz, PhD writing in the publication Brain, Behavior and Immunity showed that a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” can reduce the inflammation response caused by stress. That’s amazing.
And there are other positive things we can do to reduce stress in the workplace. For example, I launched my company, Xpediant Digital over two decades ago and we focus on creating what we refer to as a “digital first culture” to improve the quality of life of our workforce.
Our “digital first culture” consists of a number of features, including:
- Either no commute or a minimal commute which means more time in the day for your employees to take care of themselves and their loved ones,
- An open Part Time Off (PTO) policy that allows professional employees to take the time needed to unwind and take care of life’s challenges outside of work,
- Flexible schedules across different time zones encourage for the prioritization of personal health and families. This allows employees to take the time they need, when they need it, to live a healthy, relaxed life, and
- Staff at Xpediant Digital feel that they are part of a “family”- and even if they leave, they usually go to companies that we are familiar with and they often return to Xpediant Digital down the road! This, I believe, demonstrates a culture that fosters well-being and respect.
In the final analysis, the optimal way to reduce workforce stress is by management and staff both taking responsibility for – and working towards – a workplace where one can be at “ease” and naturally productive. That approach will always result in success.