STRESS? No thanks.

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STRESS is a small word that not only packs a big punch – but also shapeshifts into many forms. The total number of cases of work-related stress in 2015 and 2016 (and that includes depression and anxiety) was a staggering 488,000 – that’s a rate of 1510 per 100,000 workers. It’s mindblowing.

Anyone who suffers from stress may look at the header of this post with disdain. Anyone who has struggled on silently whilst battling depression, fought panic attacks or felt the physical symptoms of stress on the body will be painfully aware of how hard it can be to fight – even with the right medical care.

When it comes to employee care, all organisations have a duty to keep an eye on stress, spot the signs of it, and take firm steps to address both the cause and the effect. They also have a duty to stop stress manifesting its ugly self in the first place. Yes, stress is a complex force, but there are certain practical and realistic steps that can be taken to keep stress levels down and ensure that employees remain in good shape, physically and mentally.

More and more organisations are ramping up their efforts to improve the wellbeing of staff, top up happiness levels (yes, there’s a huge amount of happiness related research in progress right now!) and offer them incentives, motivation and inspiration. We are seeing these incentives promoted with increasing regularity on social media and feel it’s our duty to help promote the good work.

In case you’ve missed our tweets or Insta posts, check out what the following organisations are doing to keep employees healthy and happy and keep the clammy hands of stress at bay. Crucially, aim to do YOUR bit for YOUR organisation, whether you’re an employee OR an employer. Help spread the word and increase the momentum of our movement. Our mission? To help EVERYONE wake up in the morning feeling excited about the day at work ahead!


Encourage breaks

We should all take lessons from Hootsuite. They are keen to keep their employees happy and healthy – and why wouldn’t they? Happy, healthy staff work better, smarter and with boosted creativity. Hootsuite culture honours the lunchbreak, encourages employees to get outside during the day for their breaks, provides beds if you need an afternoon nap, offers healthy snacks and weekly yoga. Feeling a little envious? Take some of the ideas – they’re free!



Sing your way to happiness

Arcadia is the UK’s largest privately owned fashion retailer and understands the repercussions of stress at work. In an effort to bust that stress into oblivion, they’ve introduced the ‘Spring Sing’ at Arcadia HQ. This singing-based concept involves a month-long focus on health and wellbeing via group singing! Singing, like exercise or dance is a great way to release pent up tension from the body, and, as a group exercise, brings a whole lot of fun into the equation.



Get everyone involved in a common movement

Most of us enjoy being part of a like-minded group, both in and out of the workplace. Sharing interests gives us a great point of commonality, helping build relationships and teams. Asos is a large, ever growing organisation which encourages employees to think green. In the last 80 years, the UK bumblebee population has crashed, so Asos encourage their staff to use green incentives such as Keepcup. This helps reduce their environmental impact, as well as 100% of the proceeds going to the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

We all need to work harder to save our planet. Selfridges have set out to support the ONELESS campaign to help make our city plastic water bottle free, and their employees share this environmental ethic.

Incentives don’t have to be more than sharing and promoting a great message.




Team outings – get out there and do something different!

No matter how much you love your work, there will be periods of time where daily life stops being punctuated by memorable events. These are the times when we can’t remember what we did yesterday, let alone this time last month.

Punctuation points are a crucial part of a purposeful life – and the strongest ones are those that are either unusual, a break from the norm – or even events that take us out of our comfort zone. Team outings are a great way to add punctuation to working life! Kindred Agency embraces this idea with memorable and fun team outings. When was the last time YOU dressed up as a banana and went white water rafting?



Give it away, give it away, give it away now.

Whatever you do, give it away! There are so many thoughtful and friendly ways to make employees smile because they feel valued.

You don’t have to do it alone. Itsu recently teamed up with Psyclelondon and hosted a staff yoga session, for example. Are there any local businesses you might want to hook up with?

Neon Play have a whole new joining bonus aimed at encouraging ownership of the work environment. Instead of a typical joining bonus, they hand new employees £100 to spend on something new for the office so they can put a personal stamp on their work space.

For something a little more hedonistic, Autotrader UK offer employees a discounted wine subscription box. There’s literally nothing not to love.

Can’t think out of the (wine) box? That’s OK, just take someone else’s idea. Everyone will love you for it.