According to the American Psychological Association, 65 percent of Americans cited work as a top source of stress. Meanwhile, only 37 percent surveyed said they were doing an excellent or very good job at managing stress. But stressed-out workers aren’t just grappling with it behind closed doors. Stressed workers tend to be fatigued, prone to mistakes and injuries and more likely to be absent.
Stressed workers are a hazard to the productivity of your business and can negatively impact your bottom line. Too much stress can also lead to unhealthy work cultures and an unhappy workforce. Help your team unwind by prioritizing stress-relief with outings designed to help your employees relax. Leave the workplace stresses behind with one of these five outings:
Embrace the tried-and-true tradition of fishing to relax with your team. Pick a lake that offers gear rental and fish cleaning and prep to make the day as stress-free as possible. Or you can design an entire event around fishing complete with food and beverage, guest speakers, door prizes and trophy giveaways. Before you go, get your team into the spirit of fishing before the big day with the right apparel, like Simms jackets or waders. And when you return, set aside a few minutes in the next meeting to flip through an online gallery of the day’s best photos.
Do Some Downward Dog
According to a study by Oxford Academic, workplace yoga intervention can reduce stress and back pain and improve psychological well-being. Find out for yourself by taking your team on their own yoga retreat or afternoon workshop to address their stiff necks and tight shoulders. Arrange for the yoga instructor to teach some meditation exercises for the workplace, along with stretches to do at work to keep the relaxation going.
Take a Hike
Get in touch with the great outdoors and reduce your stress at the same time. Research published in Ecopsychology found that people who took nature walks were associated with significantly less depression and reduced negative effects of stress. Get your team in on a stress-busting walk by organizing a group hike. There are even urban hikes, like Urban Hiker SF, in bustling city centers including San Francisco that can take you through some of the more tree laden areas. (Note from Mike Haberman: Be aware of the physical limitations of your employees. Try to accommodate all employees in this process.)
Enjoy Some Child’s Play
Ever long to sit on the floor with the kids and try your hands at some building blocks? Now you can with Building Blocks Workshops, which engages businesses with fun team building exercises. Participants are encouraged to express their individual creativity while focusing on one common goal. But there is a hidden agenda. The activity helps teach participants that their work alone doesn’t make the company succeed as quickly as when everyone works together toward a common goal.
Pick a Volunteer Project
Volunteering can lead to better mental health and a feeling of social connectedness. Give your employees a flex day to volunteer on projects they love, or choose a project as a group and give back together. When possible, pick a cause that promotes the core values of your company while honoring your employees’ passions. For example, give back and help coach the chronically unemployed on interviewing and resume skills to help bolster their future success. Or choose to get outdoors and help with an urban redevelopment program to plant more trees, and watch as your team’s hard work produces results.
Helping your team reduce stress doesn’t just benefit your company’s bottom line. You may find that it helps reduce your own stress and leads to newfound relaxation and inner peace at the office.