Proven Strategies to Reduce Workplace Stress and Boost Well-being

Summary:  Businesses are facing worker burnout, stress-related absenteeism and staff turnover at record levels. This article provides 13 evidence-based strategies that have been proven effective in reducing workplace stress and boosting employee well-being. By implementing some or all of these practical strategies, managers and employers can reduce the ballooning human and financial burdens associated with poor workplace well-being.


Workplace Massage

Incorporating corporate massage services in the workplace offers a myriad of benefits for employees and employers alike. Regular massages have been shown to reduce anxiety, enhance alertness, and decrease job-related fatigue which in turn increase their effectiveness and efficiency. 

A study in the International Journal of Neuroscience found that office workers who received office massages performed better and experienced reduced stress levels [1]. By investing in corporate massage services, companies not only promote employee well-being but also boost overall productivity and morale.

Open Communication Channels

Transparent and open communication is the bedrock of a thriving workplace culture. When employees feel heard and valued, they’re more engaged, motivated, and loyal. 

A study by Quantum Workplace found that companies emphasising open communication are 4.5 times more likely to retain talent and have a 50% higher employee engagement rate [2]. By fostering an environment where employees can freely express concerns and ideas, companies not only build trust but also tap into a wealth of insights that drive innovation and growth.

Three women meditate in their office space

Mindfulness and Meditation Sessions

Incorporating office mindfulness and meditation classes into the workplace can be transformative for employee well-being. 

A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that participants in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program experienced decreased levels of perceived job strain and psychological distress [4]. 

By organising and scheduling breaks for mindfulness exercises, companies can help employees relax, refocus, and cultivate a more centred and productive work environment.

Provide Ongoing Training and Development

Empowering employees through continuous training and development is pivotal for both individual growth and organisational success.

A report by LinkedIn revealed that 94% of employees would stay longer at a company if it invested in their learning and development [3]. By offering opportunities for skill enhancement and career progression, companies not only boost job satisfaction but also enhance their competitive edge through a more skilled and adaptable workforce.

Stress Management

Invest in Workplace Stress Management Training

Proactive investment in stress management training for employees can be a game-changer for businesses and organisations. Such training equips your team with the tools to handle daily pressures effectively, leading to improved mental health and increased productivity. 

A study by the American Institute of Stress found that businesses lose over $300 billion annually due to workplace stress, including absenteeism and reduced productivity [5]. By providing stress management training, companies can mitigate these losses, fostering a more resilient and efficient workforce.

Provide Clear Work Expectations

Setting clear and transparent work expectations is foundational for a harmonious and productive work environment. When employees understand their roles, responsibilities, and what’s expected of them, it reduces misunderstandings and potential conflicts. 

A survey by Gallup indicated that only about half of employees strongly feel that they know what’s expected of them at work [6]. By clarifying expectations, companies can enhance employee engagement, reduce stress related to workload, and drive better performance outcomes.

A team of office workers partaking in office yoga

Corporate Yoga Classes

Integrating office yoga sessions into the corporate environment offers a holistic approach to employee well-being. Regular yoga practice not only improves physical health but also enhances mental clarity and reduces stress. 

A study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health found that workplace yoga interventions led to significant improvements in well-being and resilience to stress [7]. By offering corporate yoga classes, companies can foster a more balanced, focused, and energised workforce, contributing to overall organizational success.

Recognise and Reward Effort

Acknowledging and rewarding your team’s hard work is pivotal for fostering a positive work environment. When employees feel valued and appreciated, they are more motivated, engaged and loyal to the organisation. 

A report by Gallup found that organizations with high employee recognition saw a 41% reduction in absenteeism and a 17% increase in productivity [8]. By consistently recognising and rewarding efforts, companies can enhance employee morale, boost performance, and cultivate a culture of excellence.

Flexible Hours and Remote Work

Embracing flexibility in work schedules and offering remote work options is becoming increasingly essential in the modern workplace. Such practices cater to diverse employee needs, promoting a better work-life balance and enhancing overall job satisfaction. 

A study by Buffer found that 99% of respondents wanted to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers, highlighting the growing demand for such flexibility [9].

Moreover, flexible hours can reduce stress related to commuting and allow employees to work during their most productive times. A report by FlexJobs indicated that 76% of workers would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options [10]. 

By adopting these practices, companies can attract and retain top talent, reduce overhead costs, and boost overall productivity. In an era where work is becoming more about results and less about time spent at a desk, embracing flexibility is key to staying competitive and fostering a motivated workforce.

Promote Physical Activity

Encouraging physical activity within the corporate environment is a proactive approach to enhancing employee health and well-being. Regular exercise not only boosts physical health but also improves mental well-being, reducing stress and enhancing cognitive function. 

A study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that employees who engage in regular physical activity have a 27% lower rate of absenteeism and a 22% lower rate of productivity loss [11].

By providing incentives like gym memberships, organizing team sports activities, or even incorporating short physical breaks like walking meetings during the workday, companies can foster a more energised and focused workforce.

workplace stress can be managed

Encourage Work-Life Balance

Prioritising work-life balance is essential for cultivating a motivated and satisfied workforce. A balanced life leads to improved mental and emotional well-being, reducing burnout and enhancing overall job satisfaction. A survey by Harvard Business Review found that 94% of professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week, leading to increased stress and decreased productivity [12].

By encouraging employees to disconnect after work hours, respecting their personal time, and offering flexible scheduling, companies can foster a healthier work environment. Such initiatives not only lead to happier employees but also result in increased loyalty, reduced turnover, and a more productive and innovative team.

Regular Breaks

Incorporating regular short breaks throughout the workday is a simple yet effective strategy to boost productivity and well-being. Continuous work can lead to mental fatigue, reducing focus and creativity. A study by DeskTime found that the most productive employees take a 17-minute break after every 52 minutes of work [13].

These breaks allow the mind to reset, leading to improved concentration and efficiency when returning to tasks. Encouraging employees to step away from their desks, even briefly, can prevent burnout, reduce stress, and enhance overall job performance. In the long run, this approach fosters a more engaged and efficient workforce.

Five Absolutely Corporate massage therapists pose for a group picture

Foster Social Connections

Fostering social connections in the workplace goes beyond team-building; it’s about creating a sense of belonging and community. Strong interpersonal relationships at work can lead to increased collaboration, trust, and job satisfaction. A report by Gallup highlighted that employees with a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs [14].

Organising team-building activities, and social events, alongside encouraging open communication can help cultivate these connections. By promoting social interactions, companies not only enhance the work environment but also boost morale, reduce turnover, and drive overall organizational success.


  • [1] Field, T., Ironson, G., Scafidi, F., et al. (1996). Massage therapy reduces anxiety and enhances EEG patterns of alertness and math computations. International Journal of Neuroscience, 86(3-4), 197-205.
  • [2] Quantum Workplace. (2018). The Impact of Communication on Employee Engagement.  
  • [3] LinkedIn Learning. (2019). 2019 Workplace Learning Report. 
  • [4] Klatt, M. D., Buckworth, J., & Malarkey, W. B. (2009). Effects of low-dose mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR-ld) on working adults. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 14(3), 212.
  • [5] The American Institute of Stress. (2017). Workplace Stress.
  • [6] Gallup, Inc. (2017). State of the American Workplace. 
  • [7]Hartfiel, N., Havenhand, J., Khalsa, S. B., Clarke, G., & Krayer, A. (2011). The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 15-24.
  • [8] Gallup, Inc. (2016). Employee Recognition: Low Cost, High Impact. 
  • [9] Buffer, Inc. (2019). State of Remote Work. FlexJobs. (2018). The 2018 Annual Survey: 
  • [10] Flexible Work and Worker Preferences. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2015).
  • [11] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2015). The Benefits of Physical Activity in the Workplace.
  • [12] Harvard Business Review. (2016). The Case for Supporting Work-Life Balance. 
  • [13] DeskTime. (2014). The Secret of the 10% Most Productive People? Breaking! 
  • [14] Gallup, Inc. (2017). The Right Culture: Not Just About Employee Satisfaction. 
Absolutely Corporate director, Beata Steiner

Author – Beata Steiner


Beata Steiner is a passionate advocate of corporate health and wellbeing programs with over two decades of experience in the workplace wellness industry. Beata is the director of Absolutely Corporate and holds qualifications in Shiatsu, Zen Shiatsu, Reflexology, Chinese Reflexology, Qigong massage, and Indian head and shoulder massage.

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