These days, larger companies and organizations offer a number of services and benefits that can help reduce your stress level. If you’re not aware of such perks, ask around or check with your HR office to learn more. Here are some possibilities that might be available to you.
Gyms and health clubs
Exercise is an important source of stress reduction. The tough part is actually getting to the gym or health club. Convenience and accessibility make this more likely to happen. If it’s close, you’re more likely to show up.
Many employers have workout facilities right on their premises. This makes it easier for you to show up before work, during your lunch hour, or after work. Even on the coldest, rainiest day, you can manage to take the elevator to the building’s health club and get a workout.
Many companies and organizations that don’t have exercise facilities on their premises offer corporate discounts at nearby gyms or health clubs.
Trying to fit your busy schedule into someone else’s can be a major source of work stress. A number of work settings give employees the option of determining which hours they want to work rather than the normal “nine to five.”
This may take the form of working a condensed week or working a regular week but starting work and leaving work at a preferred hour. The clear benefit to employees is greater control over their time and more flexibility balancing work with home and family. The result is that employees working on a more flexible schedule report being more satisfied with their work experience and less stressed.
Working from home
Many employees feel that their work stress is lessened when they’re allowed to work from home even for a small part of their week. The good news is, more and more companies are allowing their employees to work one or more days a week at home.
Given the rapid developments in technology, working on your computer or phone at home might not be a negative for the company. Again, the clear advantage for the employee is flexibility and greater control over one’s time. The result is increased job satisfaction, higher autonomy, less work-family conflict, and less stress.
Employee assistance programs
Most large employers now offer a variety of personal services. This can range from exercise and weight-loss programs to personal and financial counseling (even stress management!). The individual needs don’t necessarily have to involve the workplace.
You may need help dealing with your aging parents, overcoming substance abuse, handling a crisis, or addressing legal concerns. And of course you may need help with issues at work. Often employers contract with third-party companies that manage the service. Confidentiality is assured, and your boss need not know what you’re up to.