Five ways to reduce stress - Business Works
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Five ways to reduce stress

by Carlene Jackson, CEO, Cloud9 Insight During the current pandemic crisis, many people are furloughed or locked-down, unable to go to their normal place of work. It is particularly important for organisations to take care of their people during this time and staff should be involved in the strategy and future direction of the business, to have a culture of empowerment and flexibility in how and when and where employees work to cut stress and boost productivity, says Carlene Jackson, CEO at Cloud9 Insight.

Here are my five tips to help:

  1. Offer flexible hours
    To the extent a role allows, empower your team to choose the hours they work to reduce their stress and help them feel in control of their work. We all have times when we are highly productive and also have times when we feel like not doing too much. It makes no sense to force everyone to work a 9-to-5. So, where possible, let your team choose their working times and focus on results not time sat at a desk.

  2. Provide the right to personal days
    This is a concept which is very big in America and we have introduced into our company. Employees are allowed to take four days off per year, whenever they need to. It might be because they are a bit worn out and need a lie in, or perhaps they feel they need to spend some time with the family. Whatever it is, at short notice, they can have the day, fully paid.

  3. Consult staff over investment decisions
    Giving staff the chance to get involved in big decisions in the company also boosts a sense of worth and engagement. We recently ran a competition where employees were put in teams with colleagues from across the company and were asked to put forward their ideas on future direction and investments that could be made to support growth of the business and make it a better place to work.

  4. Boost new skills through training
    Industry is constantly changing, so ensuring staff can always improve their skills will give them a greater sense of job security and add more future value to your business. Giving staff regular opportunities to learn and grow is key to reducing stress when homeworking, and gaining new knowledge and skills is also the perfect way to make use of the extra hours gained from not having to commute to work.

  5. Create the right culture
    Overall, it is the culture of the company that counts. If your working environment is positive and fun it will also be productive. At Cloud9, we run a virtual water cooler from 8am - 8pm, so people can virtually bump into one another when they are taking a break. We also have a dedicated 'fun and good news' channel to encourage the kind of positive sharing in the virtual environment that people enjoy naturally in a working office. Company culture starts at the top, so business owners must take responsibility and ensure they set the right tone.

For more information, please visit: Cloud9 Insight

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