When was the last time you got out of the office at lunch? How about the last time you got a fresh cup of coffee? Chances are, you’re frequenting the break room more than you’re giving yourself a break from your desk – and that’s causing you and your team more anxiety, nervousness and irritability. This is a recipe for a dramatic decline in productivity.
If your New Year’s resolution this year was to be more productive, consider taking these measures to effectively reduce your stress and the stress of your employees.
Offer More Meal Breaks
Gone are the days when desks transformed into dining tables between the hours of noon to one. These days, hustle is starting to sound more like a four letter word. The next generation is longing for those Mad Men style lunch breaks, or at the very least a half hour lunch break to recharge the mental batteries.
Millennials value the balance between work life and personal life. Without having time to reenergize the mindset while these employees check in with friends on social media, your Millennials will grow exhausted by the constant demands. And, as statistics show, Millennials aren’t afraid to jump ship in lieu of something better. Perhaps a job where lunch breaks are the norm?
To be sure every employee gets a lunch break (or is at least offered a lunch break), put it on your schedule. Make it clear that when someone is at lunch they are not to be disturbed with work. By setting this expectation, you will keep your Millennials (and probably other generational employees) happier.
Offer Less Free Coffee
Think that free instant coffee maker in the break room is a perk? Think again.
Although on the surface, offering a few extra treats throughout the day might seem like an advantage, it could be having an adverse impact on your team. Sure, a little extra jolt of caffeine can help you perform better but when your employees drink too much of it, the coffee could cause irritability and nervousness.
Caffeine is also a diuretic. As more of your employees swap coffee for water throughout the day, they could become dehydrated. Dehydration, in turn, leads to anxiety, which leads to stress.
If you offer unlimited coffee throughout the day, now might be the time to switch back to the pot of ‘Joe every morning to discourage the habit of over-consuming caffeine throughout the day.
Stop the Sitting, Sitting, and More Sitting
When was the last time you invested in office furniture? If it’s been awhile, now might be the time to allocate a few extra dollars in your budget to new desks. Specifically, stand up desks.
Research by BMC Public Health found that sitting for excessive lengths of time increases the risk of anxiety. All of your employees, including Millennials, are subject to an added dose of nervousness after sitting for too long. There are a few things you can do to remedy this:
– Hold standup meetings to get people up and out of their chairs throughout the day;
– Schedule in mandatory standing breaks throughout the day to encourage movement;
– Invest in a stand up desk, so your team has the option to get out of their chair.
By encouraging your team to get up instead of giving in to sitting, you’ll help your team feel better and be healthier on the job and away from work.
Are You Unknowingly Stressing Out Your Employees?
Millennials of course aren’t the only ones subject to an increase in nervousness and a decrease in productivity from a lack of breaks, over-consumption of coffee, and excessive amounts of sitting. However, this new generation in the workforce is more in tune with the consequences these demands have on the body thanks to recent research. Fail to offer alternatives and you could see lower productivity and higher turnover in your business.
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.