January can be a tough time for the office. Hot off the boozy fumes of Christmas, (which let’s face it, can be a stressful time in and of itself) tax deadlines looming for many, and faced with the jarring prospect of getting back to reality, stress can start to creep in.
It’s around this time of year we’ll see article after article about ‘Blue Monday’ – apparently the most depressing day of the year. It’s long been disproved as total nonsense, but it does raise some important issues about depression and emotional health in the office.
Here are our tips for maintaining a sense of office calm – through January and beyond!
Make employees feel supported
One of the best ways to start is to make staff feel like they are supported, no matter what. This could mean fostering a culture of openness when it comes to talking about stress (the earlier you can nip it in the bud, the better!), through to providing a non-judgemental environment for those who are currently experiencing any problems.
The excellent mental health charity MIND, has written a no-nonsense guide on how to support staff members who experience a mental health problem. You can check it out here.
We don’t mean yoga (though it definitely doesn’t hurt!), but offering a degree of flexibility to staff can help them feel like you’ve got their back. Whether it’s to stop keeping a tight eye on deadlines, allowing remote working or letting staff work flexible hours, taking the rigidity out of things can help to foster a better work-life balance and promote happiness all round.
Encourage healthy bodies and minds
While nobody expects downward dogs or running laps around the office, promoting healthier lifestyles can really help with reducing overall stress levels. And encouragement doesn’t mean shouting at staff to get to the gym – signing up to the Cycle to Work scheme, making your office and its surrounding areas a smoke-free zone or leaving out free fruit for snacking on are all great (and low-cost) ways to improve health and hopefully stress levels!
We’ve all done it, either as an employee or as a manager – you’ve slogged away at a long project, given it your all, and received precisely no recognition or praise for your efforts. Not feeling appreciated enough at work can lead to those insidious feelings of stress, so as well as setting challenging-but-deliverable goals, be sure to acknowledge the successes too.
Cut down on unnecessary clutter
Physical (and mental) clutter can really impact on productivity. You can help to promote a calm working environment by ditching unnecessary furniture or by tidying away clutter into a designated space. You can also spruce up your processes and ways of working – is there a faster and more efficient way you could be doing things? Ask your staff how to make their lives easier – whether you like it or not, they often know better than you if they’re doing it every day!
Need to take the stress out of your accounts? Get in touch to find out how we can help.