Stress is one of the most common causes of negative performance at work. Stress affects employees mainly because they are often engaged in repetitive tasks. The most common sources of these stresses are work overload, lack of control over their workload, poor communication with managers and co-workers, etc. Stress, being one of the leading causes of illness and death, companies are continually working hard to offer their employees the best stress reduction methods. In this paper, we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of some effective stress reduction techniques Google and other tech companies use to reduce stress levels in the workplace.
Naptime Program at Google
As implemented by Google, naptime stress reduction methods for workers effectively reduce worker fatigue and improve productivity. Naptime is a proven method that has been used across the country to reduce employee burnout and increase the overall morale of the workforce (Caldwell et al., 2019). This program is beneficial to workers who experience burnout from long work hours. While there are many different types of naptime programs, at Google, it involves a rest period during which employees are allowed to take a break from working and relax for a few hours by either taking a nap or seeking some other form of desired refreshment. Google has specifically adopted a modern office setup with an office cafe and comfortable furniture employees can rest while having a cup of coffee.
However, some drawbacks come with these types of programs. For instance, it can be disruptive to the workplace environment. Employees may not want to work when they are supposed to, or they may disturb others who are working. Many companies do not offer nap time because they believe it will increase absenteeism, which is terrible for productivity. Some employees may feel like they are being treated differently than others because they are allowed to take a break, while others in certain critical positions, like security personnel, cannot take one at all. Naps are indeed good for the body and mind, but they are not necessary all the time or even most of the time. Suppose they have demanding jobs that require constant attention, then napping remedies may not be beneficial for their overall productivity or morale at work (Héliot et al., 2020). Other employers find it expensive to adjust and provide nap facilities and rooms.
Flexible Hours and Remote Working in Most Tech Industries
Most tech companies provide remote and flexible hour models of working. This approach allows workers to manage their schedules by setting their working hours according to their needs and requirements, making them more efficient at work. It ensures optimal output from those employees who do not generally require to be physically present to discharge their obligations (Kroll, 2019). The evolution of technology has brought about collaboration tools that provide for remote working. It works best for programmers whose presence is not required except for technical IT staff dealing with hardware. Remote working provides a system of checks and balances in the delegation of work to counter the uneven distribution of workload. Employees are subjected to a reasonable, equal workload which solves the stress caused by an excessive workload.
However, flexible hours and remote working have their challenges. Employees tend to spend more time on social media and less time on work-related activities. Remote working leads to reduced productivity, increased stress levels, and increased absenteeism. In addition, the lack of coordination between teams, managers, and the organization will lead to confusion, miscommunication, and frustration. This negatively affects productivity. Remote working leads to a lack of a communal sense, which creates a substantial social gap among employees. In such a case, employees would find it challenging to develop new skills or find a mentor.
Proposed Stress Management Method at My Place of Work
Introducing employee wellness programs and revamping office interiors
Employee wellness programs are a great way to curb stress and improve productivity in the workplace. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), employee wellness programs have been shown to significantly increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, cut health care costs, and improve overall employee satisfaction levels (Kelly & Snow, 2019). The management should introduce workplace nutrition programs to promote healthy habits at work as most workmates lead very unhealthy dietary habits. This program can help employees develop skills to help them live longer lives and prevent chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. The organization has not implemented any social events where employees get to connect and socialize. It has led to a significant deterioration of the relationship among employees bringing about an unhealthy dull, stressful working environment. Organizing social events and retreats will help improve employee relationships leading to better cooperation. The current old office’s uncomfortable furniture creates a dull, gloomy work environment. Changing the furniture, colors, and fittings to a more modern aesthetic design and relaxing touch will create a comfortable, conducive, and motivating working environment.
Reasons Employers Prefer to Include Benefits in Employee Compensation
In most cases, employees are not allowed to purchase services that they want as employers prefer to include benefits in their compensation. The benefits package is a crucial factor in attracting new talent, but it also plays an essential role in retaining existing employees (Chapman et al., 2018). Additionally, if the employees were to purchase services outside, it would be costly and inconvenient to them, hence adding more financial burden which is undesired.
Labor unions act as a shield protecting and fighting for the interests of workers. They provide for collective bargaining. It helps ensure that wages are fair and equitable for everyone involved. Collective bargaining also provides for negotiating benefits such as retirement plans, health insurance, and paid sick days. Employees enjoy protection against discrimination and violation of their rights by employers. They ensure the health and safety of employees through medical schemes and fighting for better working conditions. Not being a union member, I have not benefited from training and mentorship programs organized by unions which equip their members with more professional knowledge and career resource development programs. Missing out on such vital training programs puts me one step behind the others careerwise as they stand to gain more from the training and mentorship programs.
Labor unions play a significant role in stress reduction. Employee benefits enjoyed from being union members solve most stress-causing issues. The other issues are addressed at the organizational management level. A hybrid stress reduction model employing various techniques is best suited to ensuring optimal employee productivity and well-being. It is evident that to ensure employee stress is eradicated from affecting their productivity, it takes both a managerial initiative and the introduction of benefits that attract, maintain, and ensure employees feel secure about their worries when discharging their duties.
Caldwell, J. A., Caldwell, J. L., Thompson, L. A., & Lieberman, H. R. (2019). Fatigue and its management in the workplace. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 96, 272-289.
Chapman, E. F., Sisk, F. A., Schatten, J., & Miles, E. W. (2018). Human resource development and human resource management levers for sustained competitive advantage: Combining isomorphism and differentiation. Journal of Management & Organization, 24(4), 533-550.
Héliot, Y., Gleibs, I. H., Coyle, A., Rousseau, D. M., & Rojon, C. (2020). Religious identity in the workplace: A systematic review, research agenda, and practical implications. Human Resource Management, 59(2), 153-173.
Kelly, R. K., & Snow, S. (2019). The importance of corporate wellness programs for psychological health and productivity in the workplace. In R. Kelly & S. Snow (Eds.), Creating psychologically healthy workplaces (pp. 411-430). Edward Elgar Publishing.