7 Unique Anti-Stress Benefits to Offer Employees

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An estimated 40 percent of American professionals describe their jobs as stressful, and another 25 percent rank their careers as the “number one stressor in their lives,” based on a survey from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). If left unchecked, these high levels of stress can reduce productivity and performance, according to NIOSH.


One way to reduce workplace stress is to provide outlets and resources for employees to manage challenges and reduce burdens, both in the office and off the clock. As you consider how to tackle stress in your workplace, consider these unique perks that enhance wellness and productivity while keeping employees happy and relaxed.


1) Midweek Team Kickboxing Classes


Kickboxing requires constant motion that activates the whole body. Even just a brief kickboxing session can help channel stress and negative emotions. In fact, the Journal of Physical Education, Health and Sport Sciences in Japan found activities that mimic the intensity and repetition of boxing are useful to moderate anxiety, depression, anger, and mental strain.


To take advantage, organize an afternoon class for your employees at the local kickboxing studio, doubling as a much-needed stress reliever and a team building experience. If you don’t want to go as a team, consider offering discounted memberships for employees who want to take kickboxing classes at a local studio or gym.


2) Discounted Wash and Fold Laundry Services


The average person spends a total of 100 minutes on just one load of laundry, according to experts at CD One Price Cleaners. This is valuable time many professionals don’t have—or would rather not dedicate to washing clothes, as opposed to relaxing after a long day of work.


Offer employees a discount on same-day wash and fold laundry services, conveniently allowing them to get laundry done during office hours. Employees drop off their items on their commute to work and pick them up on the drive home.


Conversely, you can offer Corporate Concierge. These services also offer wash and fold pickup as a service in office, in addition to being able to complete other tasks that are causing stress for employees, like scheduling appointments or making trade show arrangements.


3) Pet-Friendly Office Environments


Pets make a significant difference in the lives of their owners. In fact, 74 percent of pet owners report a noticeable enhancement in their mental health, physical vigor, and social connections as a result of animal companionship, according to the Human Animal Bond Research Institute.


Some businesses—like the mobile game developer Zynga—have started to capitalize on the soothing influence that animals can provide by allowing employees to take their canine family members to work anytime. Consider if this benefit could work in your office, allowing everyone to reap the benefits of a little puppy love.


4) Delivering Happiness Workshops


All organizations want to promote a culture of satisfaction, engagement, and positivity, but research suggests that an employee’s happiness has a direct correlation to their performance. A poll conducted by the Social Market Foundation in England revealed that happy workers are between 12 and 20 percent more productive than some of their more discontent colleagues.


If the environment of your workplace needs an injection of enthusiasm, then coordinate a Delivering Happiness Workshop which takes an experiential, interactive approach to boost team synergy and motivation.  


5) Onsite Meditation or Yoga Sessions


These two Eastern practices have become trendy in the mainstream West, and for a valid reason—they harmonize the minds, bodies, and spirits of people who choose to make yoga or meditation part of their routines.


In recent years, more businesses have tapped into the benefits of these modalities to foster what’s called “workplace spirituality,” suggests Arun Thukral, CEO & MD of Axis Securities. Thukral says the value of offering this onsite is to create an office setting where employees thrive, flourish, find meaning in their work, develop and feel a sense of purpose.


If you have space in your office, considering hosting weekly yoga, or simply creating a meditation room where employees can zen out after a stressful meeting.


6) Weekly Prepared Meal Deliveries


After nine hours spent in front of a computer screen and another chunk of time behind the wheel in rush-hour, it’s no wonder most Americans dine out three times each week. Help your employees save both time and money with a prepared meal delivery subscription. Your options are many, so find the one that’s best suited for your employees’ needs. If you’re not sure, poll employees to see who wants to take advantage and which service they like best.


7) Child Care Assistance for Parents


Of the estimated 46 percent of two-parent households in the United States, both Mom and Dad also work outside the home full-time, according to Pew Research Center. In addition, 56 percent of those parents find it difficult to balance their career demands with family responsibilities.


To help mitigate this source of tension and hassle for employees, take your cue from Facebook which has one of the most progressive work-life models in the nation. The social media conglomerate provides all its mothers and fathers with these benefits:

  • Four months of paid maternity and paternity leave

  • $4,000 stipend to assist with newborn expenses

  • Subsidized child care and emergency backup care options

  • $20,000 toward fertility, adoption or surrogacy costs


8) Get Creative to Decrease Stress


The welfare and health of your workforce determine the amount of productivity and value they’re able to contribute to the business. Take a vested interest in employee stress management with these unique ideas that allow you to address burdens both in and out of the office. An added benefit may even be greater employee retention and recruiting, so don’t forget the many benefits as you consider which ideas work best for your employees.

 

Related: How a 15-Minute Habit Can Boost Your Mental Health

 


 

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About the Author

Jessica Thiefels

Jessica Thiefels is an entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Jessica Thiefels Consulting, with having worked at both small startups and worldwide organizations in her previous work. She’s been writing for more than 10 years and has been featured in top publications like Entrepreneur and Forbes. She also regularly writes for Business Insider, Virgin, Glassdoor and more. Follow her on Twitter @JThiefels and connect on LinkedIn.

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