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Tools, Items, & Ideas to Help Employees Cope With Stress

Ways HR can help employees manage day-to-day stress

by Nikhil Bendre

It seems as though the pandemic has overwhelmed not only the workforce, but everyone across the board. We’ve addressed the impact of the pandemic on this blog before, and how HR can help employees deal with stress that it has caused. However, it’s also time to shine a light on the other, non-COVID related stress in our lives. It’s easy to let the pandemic overshadow the more typical, day-to-day stress that comes with work, family, friends, and life in general. That being said, here are some actionable tips, tools, and ideas on how HR can help employees cope with the punches that life will inevitably throw.

HeadSpace Subscription


HeadSpace is a meditation and mindfulness app that’s mission is “to improve the health and happiness of the world.” This app is subscription-based, but they offer a Free Basics Course so that you can make sure it fits your needs before you make a purchase. With guided meditations intended for various aspects of life, each member of your team will definitely find something of value within this app! Check out the Meditation for Work program, which is specifically designed for teams of employees. Pricing depends on organization size and needs.

Meditation Classes



This idea is essentially the live and in-person version of a meditation application. We suggest putting a pin in this one until after COVID is a thing of the past, or taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your workforce.

A meditation class gives you two benefits for the price of one. Firstly, your team gets to connect with their inner-self and see if meditation is something that could help them cope with stress and anxiety. Secondly, it’s a bonding experience for the whole group! Let your team destress in the company of their coworkers so that it’s both relaxing and fun. 

Here are some resources to check out if you’re considering doing this:

They offer anything from a brief introductory class all the way up to an hour-long Mindfulness Session! As of now, they are working on Zoom, so this is a great virtual option!

They also offer yoga and pilates classes in addition to meditation!

With a variety of meditation focuses to choose from, you’re sure to find a class that works for your organization.

For accurate pricing, request quotes based on your organization’s size and specific needs!

Puppy Room



Unless you have a phobia of dogs, there is absolutely no way that a room full of puppies wouldn’t make your day infinitely better. Puppy play time is a strategy utilized by several universities, such as McGill University, Bucknell University, and the University of Ohio, to help their students keep stress levels under control during the most hectic part of the semester – finals. Puppy love isn’t something we age out of, so your team is sure to love a day full of furry friends! 

Smiles and Fur Friends Houston is a non-profit pet therapy group that offers monthly or one-time visits with trained and certified personal pets! The organization is composed of volunteers who enlist their own furry friends to help other people. There is no cost for this service, but donations are greatly appreciated.

If you want to go for a more in-house route, encourage your team to bring their pets into the office for a day! We miss our four-legged friends when we’re at work. Why not let them tag along?

Massages



Nothing helps you decompress like a solid, deep tissue massage. Anyone who has ever gotten one can confirm that it makes you feel like an entirely new person! However, inviting a team of masseuses into the office to work on your employees probably isn’t the ideal thing to do with COVID, so here are some options to check out once the pandemic is under control!

  • Massage Integration ($85/Therapist)
  • Citywide Massage (Request a quote based on your organization’s needs! They guarantee free quotes within 30 minutes.)
  • Kneaded Touch (Check out their Corporate Rejuvenation package and request a quote!)

For a more COVID-friendly route, let GoCo be your inspiration. Our office has a relaxation room lined with massage chairs so that our team can go decompress when they feel the need to! By eliminating the need for another person, we eliminate some of the risk of COVID transmission while still allowing our employees to get a good massage in!

Here are some options to look into:

Aromatherapy/Diffuser



After a tough day in the office, something that helps us unwind is aromatherapy from an essential oil diffuser. Relaxing while the soothing scent of lavender, eucalyptus, or whatever your scent of choice is, is sure to aid in your night-time de-stressing process! Consider sending this gift to your team – it’ll make a fantastic addition to any home! However, do note that some essential oils may be toxic to pets, so do your research before proceeding with this idea!

Here are some great options:

Mandatory Breaks

Here’s an easy step you can take to help your team avoid burning out during the day. Making sure that your employees pace themselves and allowing them time throughout the day to step away from their desks will yield benefits for both them and the organization as a whole. Time to rest ensures better focus during time spent working and increased productivity! We all know that sometimes we work for about half of the day and then just pretend to work for the other half. You might as well allow for some downtime in order to optimize the workday!

Subsidized Gym Memberships


The sooner we realize that employees have needs outside of the workplace, the better. This includes making sure that your team gets an adequate amount of physical activity and that their desk chair is not the only place they spend their day! Providing gym memberships for your employees takes the hassle of finding a fitness center off of your teams’ plates, and it also shows that you care for their well-being. It’s a win-win!

Some gyms that offer corporate memberships include:

For accurate pricing, request quotes based on your organization’s specific needs!

Healthy Snack Boxes



Carrying on the theme of your employees’ physical well-being, consider treating your team to some delicious and nutritious snacks! Instead of the usual go-to bag of chips, give your team some quality snacks that will actually act as fuel for them throughout the day. 

Check out these options from NatureBox! Their snack boxes are highly customizable and they do a great job of catering to a variety of dietary needs. One of their boxes is even titled the “Less Stress Box,” which perfectly coincides with this article!

Their prices on these boxes ranges from $33.99 to $60.99, but you can get discounted rates if you become a NatureBox member!

Assorted Teas



When we think of ways to wind down, we think of music, dim lights, a peaceful atmosphere, and we can’t forget tea! A good cup of freshly brewed tea can be just what your employees need either after a stressful day at work or even during the day while they’re in the office! Offer a brief, cozy escape from the hectic hustle and bustle of day-to-day life.

Check out this assortment from DavidsTea! ($32.50) With a variety of 12 cozy blends, your team will definitely find some that they love and that help them get through the day!

Provide Counseling Services/Mental Health Benefits Packages



One of the best things you can do for your employees is to ensure them that you are there to support them, both professionally and personally. By keeping counseling services on deck and by providing mental health benefits, you would be removing those initial hurdles of finding someone to talk to and being able to pay for it, which are often why people choose not to seek therapy. In HR, we sometimes can’t see exactly how much what we do impacts and helps our team. This is something we can do that can for sure help your team immensely.

Here are some great resources to consider enlisting:

For accurate pricing, request quotes based on your organization’s specific needs!

Create Space for Employee Feedback


A major component in better understanding employee stressors and better supporting them is to offer a platform for employee feedback. Modern HR software like GoCo offers team feedback features for employees and managers. The Team Feedback feature is designed to allow employees to write any notes, accomplishments, stressors, progress, and more so that managers can be kept in the loop. 

From 1:1 meeting notes to challenges, employees have the opportunity to write what’s weighing on their mind, and they are able to choose the visibility of their notes. Whether it’s a private note for their own benefit or a shared accomplishment or obstacle they would like to share, they are given the flexibility in the HRIS to do so. Thus, an employee feedback feature serves a dual purpose by: creating a space for an employee to release any thoughts and creating a streamlined way for employees to provide feedback if something isn’t right.

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Understanding that the people in your company are the first priority, no matter what, is absolutely crucial to ensuring your success as an organization. At the end of the day, meeting company goals and hitting certain numbers means nothing if you aren’t doing your part to make sure that the people who are making all of that happen are content. We hope you implement some of these ideas into your company and that your team can benefit from them!

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