Stress is the scourge of the modern workplace. In the UK alone it is estimated that 13 million working days are lost annually to stress. Stress impacts on office morale, performance, concentration and productivity, and many companies have faced lawsuits due to stress-related illnesses.
This is bad news for new managers who are building teams, especially in key departments such as finance, but you can act now to alleviate stress before it becomes a problem in your team. In fact, according to UK HSE (Health and Safety Executive) statistics, the financial sector suffers around 1,860 cases of stress-related illness per 100,000 employees, by far the worst in the private sector.
So, what are the major causes of stress in the workplace and what can you do to manage these issues, before your workers’ performance begins to suffer?
Noise pollution often goes unnoticed in the modern open plan office environment. However, even coping with seemingly innocuous background chatter and constantly ringing phones means that the brain can struggle to focus, and this can be very distracting, especially in finance departments where teams are working on complex accounts that require total focus.
The only way to really solve the problem of noise distraction is to isolate the affected individuals’ working environment or perhaps to consult with noise control professionals to work out a solution. One solution is to put aside an individual office where accountancy staff can work in peace during times when total concentration is required.
Dehydration can badly affect people’s concentration and mood. You should drink water regularly and throughout the day to allow your body to absorb the fluid and keep your cells hydrated. You don’t need to consume energy drinks or fresh fruit juice – just plain water. To this end, encourage your staff members to visit the water cooler regularly and make sure that scheduled breaks are taken so they have chance to do so.
A power-nap for 10 minutes to half an hour is extremely beneficial to your mental and physical wellbeing. It’s not being lazy or work-shy; it’s actually very necessary to recharge your batteries and freshen up your mind and body. Sometimes you just need to walk away from a potentially stressful situation, sit down and chill-out for a short period of time. This can be all you need to enable you to continue what you were doing with renewed vigour.
Why not consider setting aside a space somewhere in your office premises as a quiet room? An area where your colleagues can relax and take time-out at break times.
Make time for tea
Many eastern cultures have used tea as a relaxing herbal beverage for hundreds of years and with very good reason. Tea helps to regulate blood sugar and also eases the digestive system, which is one of the first parts of the body to suffer the effects of stress. Green tea is particularly beneficial.
Making time for tea breaks not only gives employees time to enjoy a stress relieving cup of tea but also allows staff to relax away from their computers and phones and permits social interaction, which is also great for stress busting.
Stress is a productivity and morale killer in the workplace. You can take these few simple steps to help maintain the focus of your financial team and keep staff sickness levels to a minimum.
At BTG Recruitment we specialise in accountancy and finance recruitment. We work solely with employers like you who are looking to secure high-calibre candidates for interim, fixed or long-term roles. To see how we could help your company’s finance team attract bright, effective individuals, get in touch today on 0115 960 7000.
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