National Stress Awareness Day: Fostering Fun and Psychological Safety in the Workplace
2nd November 2023
As we mark National Stress Awareness Day on November 2nd, this year’s spotlight is on shaping solutions to combat the pervasive stress and mental health challenges 68% of employees face. This year’s campaign emphasises creating actionable remedies, and at Trickle, we see first-hand how, by championing an environment of fun and psychological safety in organisations, we can make a transformative impact on stress levels and well-being in the workplace.
Fun and psychological safety may seem unrelated, but they are inextricably linked. A workplace that encourages fun is one where employees feel comfortable being themselves. Psychological safety is all about creating an environment where employees can take risks, express themselves, and have fun without fear of retribution. By advocating for a sense of community, creativity, and camaraderie we inadvertently nurture a psychologically safe space. Stress levels can naturally decrease in such an environment as employees resonate more with their workplace.
The fact that more than two-thirds of employees are grappling with stress highlights the need for an immediate shift in our work cultures. Stress is no longer an isolated issue; it’s a pervasive challenge affecting productivity, mental health, retention and overall job satisfaction.
But how do we, as leaders, managers and colleagues, encourage fun and psychological safety in the workplace?
In an era marked by rapid changes in work environments, the new models of hybrid, remote and in-office work necessitates a reevaluation of how fun is embedded into professional settings. Here are just a few examples of how you could help alleviate stress in your organisation.
- Virtual coffee breaks: Allocate time for virtual coffee chats where employees can discuss non-work-related topics.
- Online team-building games: Conduct games and activities that can be played remotely to foster teamwork.
- Themed video calls: Introduce themes for video calls where employees can dress up or use themed backgrounds.
- Shared playlists: Create collaborative playlists where employees can add their favourite tunes.
- Online workshops: Conduct workshops like online art classes, yoga sessions, or cooking classes.
- Informal end of call ‘water cooler’ chat: Reserve the last few minutes of video calls for casual conversation and bonding.
- Provide a platform for communicating how employees are feeling, a space for them to connect with each other.
- Rotational team lunches: Organise lunches where in-office and remote teams can intermingle.
- Interactive bulletin boards: Establish spaces, both physical and virtual, for employees to share interesting content.
- Flexible fun hours: Dedicate time for employees to engage in activities they enjoy, be it reading or a quick game.
- Celebration of milestones: Acknowledge both professional and personal achievements of employees.
- Inclusive brainstorming sessions: Ensure both in-office and remote employees can contribute ideas for fun activities.
- Frequent check-ins: Regularly check in on employees’ well-being and encourage them to share their experiences.
Have a go at the above, and let us know what you think!
It is worth noting that traditionally, fostering fun in the workplace leaned towards after-work drinks and boozy events. While enjoyable for some, this approach doesn’t resonate universally and excludes many. A noticeable shift away from such cultures opens the door for more inclusive and diverse means of fostering camaraderie and fun.
How Trickle Helps
Trickle steps in to amplify psychological safety and, consequently, alleviate stress. By giving employees a voice to openly communicate their suggestions, ideas, concerns, and emotions, Trickle ensures that employees feel heard and valued. When employees know they can communicate freely and that action will be taken, their stress levels can decrease substantially.
As National Stress Awareness Day approaches, let’s reevaluate our perspectives. Let’s move away from outdated methods and embrace the role of fun in not just alleviating stress but also as a catalyst for creating psychologically safe workplaces. Let’s embrace laughter, minimise stress, and foster environments where everyone can thrive.
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By giving your people a place to voice their suggestions & concerns when they need to, you’ll inspire a happier, more productive and loyal workforce.