Stress Relief in the Workplace

by | Jan 19, 2022

stress relief workplace

The expectations for a “normal” year were disrupted as the pandemic welcomed us into the new year. Waves of anxiety and chaos continue to impact the workplace. Employers and employees alike are in need of better solutions to manage their reality. Stress relief in the workplace needs modern, creative, and sustainable solutions to navigate the challenges.  


The harder the task the more important it is for employees to take breaks. Stress relief in the workplace happens one mini-break at a time. Encourage employees to alternate hard tasks with easier ones and include mini-breaks in their daily rhythm. Use an alarm or alert to nudge the team to stand up, grab a glass of water or healthy snack, stretch, and then return to their work better equipped to overcome workplace stress.

Do not disturb time 

Whether observing meeting free days or designating specific times of each day off-limits for meetings, implementing do not disturb time during the week will provide necessary stress relief in the workplace. Employees need time to focus without disruption, especially when tackling the hard tasks. Disruptions lead to stress, lack of productivity, and disengagement for team members. 

Creative scheduling

Unexpected schedule changes and challenges are part of daily life for most Americans. Allow employees to adjust their work schedule as needed. Give them permission to flex with their life and empower them to their work during the hours that work best for them. Be clear and fair about performance expectations, but bring empathy to the table, too. Doing so will bring stress relief to the workplace along with gratitude and better engagement from employees.   

Unstructured social time

Isolation has led to poor relational wellbeing as many have been coping with languishing during the past two years. Remote and hybrid teams need to reconnect with their peers during unstructured social time. Plan a remote happy hour for colleagues to catch up with one another. Hop on Zoom during the lunch break to recreate the break room experience and see how this provides stress relief in the workplace for your team.    

Nap pods or quiet spaces

For organizations that are back to work in person, offering quiet spaces or nap pods for employees to experience stress relief in the workplace is a good option. Open-concept workspaces are cost-effective and foster some collaboration, but employees also need a dedicated space to relax and be alone during the workday. 

Get organized

Stress is often elevated through disorganization and a chaotic workspace. Offering classes or training on how to organize the workday or how to organize your desk for success can help alleviate stress in the workplace. In-person employees need this as well as those who are working remotely and may need additional help organizing and separating their work space from their life.

Bring the chocolate

Adding a dose of chocolate to a healthy daily diet is a tasty way to provide stress relief in the workplace. Some research shows that eating 1.4 oz of dark chocolate each day reduces cortisol and helps people feel less stressed. Continue to offer other healthy snacks in the break room, but don’t forget to include the chocolate, too. 

Stress relief in the workplace is the responsibility of employer and employee alike. Sought-after employers understand this and do their part to encourage employees to take advantage of their benefits and support individual employee efforts as well. 

What can be done to improve workforce excellence?

To enhance workforce excellence, there are several strategies that can be implemented. One powerful approach is to foster mindfulness in the workplace, which can serve as a secret weapon for achieving this goal. By promoting mindfulness, employees can experience reduced stress and anxiety, leading to increased levels of engagement and productivity throughout the day. This can be accomplished through various initiatives such as incorporating guided meditation breaks, organizing walks with new employees to encourage social connections, introducing spontaneous fitness challenges, and offering on-site massages to promote relaxation and well-being. These practices not only support employees’ physical and mental health but also create an environment that nurtures overall workforce excellence.

What is the impact of stress-relief breaks on employee engagement?

Stress-relief breaks have a significant impact on employee engagement, as revealed by recent research. Surprisingly, while a considerable majority of employees, more than 71 percent, express the desire for stress-relief breaks such as meditation, massages, or designated breaks, only a limited 28 percent of employers actually provide these opportunities. Stress-relief breaks serve as an incredible chance for employees to recharge, refocus, and actively participate in their work.

When employers offer stress-relief breaks, the positive influence on employee engagement becomes evident. Studies indicate that employees who are granted these breaks demonstrate a remarkable increase in engagement by as much as 13.8 percent. This finding highlights the immense potential of stress-relief breaks to not only alleviate stress but also enhance employee performance at work. If employers notice signs of disengagement among their workforce, it is crucial to pay attention to this research-backed solution, as stress-relief breaks could be the key to boosting employee engagement and overall productivity.

What motivates employees to be their best?

Understanding what motivates employees to be their best is essential for creating an engaged and productive workforce. To explore this, we collaborated with Quantum Workplace, a leading company specializing in workplace surveys and employee feedback technology. Through analyzing the feedback gathered from nearly 2,000 survey responses, we have compiled a comprehensive report titled “Workplace Well-Being: Provide Meaningful Benefits to Energize Employee Health, Engagement, and Performance.”

This report delves into the factors behind employee motivation and identifies key aspects that drive individuals to perform at their best. By examining the data, we have uncovered invaluable insights that can help organizations foster an atmosphere conducive to employee well-being and encourage peak performance.

In addition to our report, we have also developed a series of blog articles, focusing on workplace well-being, to provide a deeper understanding of the research findings. These articles dive into specific topics, shedding light on additional perspectives and actionable strategies to enhance employee motivation and drive.

By availing yourself of our top-level findings and following our workplace well-being blog series, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of what motivates employees to be their best. Whether it’s offering meaningful benefits, cultivating a supportive work environment, or providing opportunities for growth and development, our research provides valuable insights to help organizations optimize employee engagement and satisfaction.

Interested in learning more about how we can help your employee population improve their steps and sleep while reducing burnout?

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