Emily Rodgers is a professional content writer and editor specializing in health and…
An estimated 83% of the U.S. workforce is under some level of work-related stress. Not keeping stress in check can lead to missed workdays, losses in productivity, and other effects on employee health and well-being.
To proactively deal with work-related stress, it’s important to have enjoyable ways to relieve stress at work. This guide to how to relax at work when stressed will give you some ideas for stress-management activities you can do in the workplace.
Fun Ideas to Relieve Stress at Work
There are plenty of healthy ways to cope with stress. Depending on the type and amount of stress, there are some approaches that are more effective than others. For everyday stress at work, there are a few fun and work-friendly ways to relax by yourself or with co-workers that can help make work more engaging and productive.
Below is a mix of both individual and group activities that your team can do to blow off steam at work:
1. Read a book: When you need a moment to reset your mental focus, take a short break to read a book or magazine or browse some digital content. Stepping away from your desk to consume interesting material that’s not related to work can not only recharge your batteries but may even inspire new creativity.
2. Listen to a podcast: If you’re more of an auditory consumer, switch on your favorite podcast or YouTube channel instead. To help lighten your mood, choose entertaining material such as comedy shows or how-to channels that cover topics on your favorite hobbies. A few minutes of lighthearted content can help you return to work with a renewed attitude.
3. Try self-massage techniques: Did you know that massage releases mood-enhancing chemicals? Get your endorphins flowing with a self-massage routine you can practice at your desk. Give yourself a foot, neck, or head massage, or use a self-massaging device like a massage pillow to help you sink into a moment of quiet relaxation.
4. Encourage creative side projects: Help your team step away from the stress of daily work by having a creative side project to work on. Whether revamping the office layout or holding skill-sharing meetings, having a focus outside of normal job duties can help employees feel more engaged while also adding value to the business.
5. Take a fitness break: Physical exercise is a top stress-buster recommended by mental health professionals. Encourage your team to cope with stress in a productive way by holding a group fitness break. Have a team member lead a short aerobic exercise break to get the blood pumping.
6. Work on a group art project or puzzle: When it’s time for a stress-relieving break at work, give your team a therapeutic or calming project to work on. Paint by numbers, murals, and puzzles are all great office hobbies to make available for employees to work on together during their breaks. Activities like these also drive a sense of company culture and boost social well-being.
7. Bring pets to work: Spending time with pets has been shown to reduce both blood pressure and cortisol, which is a primary stress-response hormone. Inviting pets to work may help lighten the office mood and relieve employee stress.
8. Celebrate milestones: What’s the point of working hard if you don’t pause to celebrate your success? Whether you’ve launched a new product, onboarded a big client, or reached a business anniversary, be sure to celebrate the important milestones with your team. Celebrating success reinforces that hard work pays off and can help build team resilience to stress.
9. Host a wellness lunch-and-learn: Normally, companies host lunch-and-learns to educate teams on new industry products or best practices, but you can also hold lunch-and-learns to foster employee well-being. Invite a wellness expert or a series of experts to teach employees healthy ways to cope with stress at work. Cover what they can do in their personal and professional lives to mitigate workplace stress effects.
10. Create the ultimate break room: De-stressing at work is much easier when there’s a relaxing, functional, and enjoyable break room to use. Many employers invest in creating the ultimate break room as an attractive company perk. Some classic breakroom activities include board games, foosball or ping pong, espresso machines, fitness equipment, and plenty of other amenities that make it fun to come to work.
FAQs About Reducing Workplace Stress
It’s important for employers to understand how workplace stress arises and what can be done to keep employees happy and productive. Explore the following FAQs about employee stress and learn more about workplace stress reduction solutions.
What Are the Main Causes of Stress in the Workplace?
Causes of workplace stress depend on the type of job and the individual employee. In general, the main workplace stress causes are poor work environments, excessive workloads, and misalignment between the employee and the job role.
How Can Employers Reduce Stress in the Workplace?
Employers play a key role in helping employees reduce stress. Ensuring employees take sufficient breaks and get adequate support for workloads. You can also make the work environment conducive to fun and creativity to keep your team mentally healthy.
How to Track and Report Stress in the Workplace?
To keep stress under control in the workplace, it’s important to have a way to monitor how stressed employees are feeling. Keeping track of workplace stressors can ensure managers provide support before employee stress negatively impacts productivity, engagement, or other essential metrics.
Using workplace wellness programs, managers can measure key wellness dimensions, including mental health, and analyze trends in wellness metrics to measure the effectiveness of stress-reduction initiatives.
Maximize Employee Wellness to Relieve Stress at Work
Keep workplace stress to a minimum with employee wellness programs. Wellics provides a comprehensive workplace wellness platform that tracks and analyzes primary dimensions of employee well-being. The mental well-being module is one of four educational modules that teaches valuable workplace stress-management skills, while the powerful analytics platform provides insight into the effectiveness of stress-reduction activities.
Learn more about how the Wellics platform can optimize employee wellness within your organization. Explore the Wellics platform today.
Originally published October 18, 2022 - 9:04 AM, updated November 21, 2023