British employees reveal the most effective stress relievers are the simple, inexpensive measures

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Bosses looking to lower stress levels in the workplace need not splash out on expensive mindfulness classes or office overhauls, as workers say it is the simple, inexpensive measures that help the most. According to a study conducted by Cascade HR, flexible working hours (47%), early finishes on Fridays (39%) and a caring, friendly management style (38%) would have the biggest impact.

Recognising hard work with tangible rewards was also effective, with more than 1 in 3 (35%) saying financial rewards such as cash bonuses, and holidays in lieu (34%), would achieve this. Additionally, 28% of British workers said a more relaxed management would reduce their stress levels.

Oliver Shaw, CEO at Cascade HR, said: “It is interesting to see that the measures that employers can take which have the most significant impact on reducing workplace stress are actually relatively achievable and inexpensive.

“Fancy water features and expensive mindfulness classes might be fashionable - but clearly, looking at the results of this research, it’s the simple things that employers should be considering first.”

The research also revealed the physical aspects of the workplace which employees believe employers could change or introduce to improve their occupational mental health. The workplace being clean and tidy was the factor that workers felt could go the furthest to reducing their stress (35%). Additionally, 1 in 3 felt having music playing would lower stress levels, followed by having space away from the desk to chill out (29%), or to eat during breaks (27%).

Shaw added: “Judging by this, British employers looking to create a calmer, less stressful environment for workers don’t need to invest in dramatic overhauls of the office environment.

“British employees are quite content with simple environmental enhancements - whether it’s music playing in the office or simply putting some chairs and perhaps some plants or a screen, to create a quiet, separate space within the office for relaxing during break times.”