Numerous studies show that job stress is far and away the major source of stress for American adults and that it has escalated progressively over the past few decades.
What does that actually look like on the human level?
Take Robert, a mid-level manager at a consulting firm.
In a typical day, he might start out strong—up early to walk the dog or shuffle the kids off to school—but it’s downhill from there. He spends most of his time sitting, is over scheduled with meetings, and is distracted throughout the day. To catch up, he works through lunch and eats an unhealthy meal at his desk.
In the evening, he battles traffic, then jumps right back into family responsibilities. He might fall asleep close to midnight…but not before checking up on news and politics on Facebook.
In short: Robert is chronically stressed. And he’s not doing his best work or living his best life.
Like millions of other working Americans, Robert is chronically stressed, juggling concerns from financial worries, to family responsibilities, to political and social stress, to his own personal health.
His chronic stress is costing him. And it’s costing his business.
How Wellness Programs can Help
It’s critical that we help people learn to manage stress.
Wellness programs provide a variety of innovative solutions for helping employees cope with stress, but only about 50% of employers currently offer this benefit—the other half are missing out on an important method of encouraging healthy behaviors, decreasing stress, and ultimately saving money.
Reducing workplace stress contributes to long-term employee happiness, worker retention and productivity, leading to a new trend in more comprehensive mind and body wellness initiatives.
We hear this echoed by our clients, who frequently ask us how they can improve employees’ emotional and physical wellbeing in more wholistic ways.
To reduce stress, emphasize a culture of mental wellness
Mental wellness is a broad concept, but it requires effort just like physical fitness does. People who maintain positive mental health more frequently realize their potential, are able to work productively, and can cope with day-to-day stresses.
Managers can help encourage this by offering “mental health days” as needed. In the office, try conducting mindfulness workshops at lunch or create a quiet space for reflection throughout the day.
Offer a corporate wellness benefit.
To really commit to a healthier and happier team, consider adding a wellness program to your benefits.
At IncentFit, we can build a custom rewards program to suit your employees’ unique needs and challenges—from reducing stress, to finding time for the gym, to encouraging more and better sleep. (And yes, you’ll see benefits beyond just a happier office.)