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8 November 2016 | Marino Donati

Introducing flexible working is one of the measures that would have the biggest impact on reducing workplace stress, according to research.


A study of more than 1,000 UK workers by Cascade HR looked at what they felt bosses could do to reduce their stress levels at work.


In the survey, 47 per cent said that introducing flexible working hours would reduce stress, while 39 per cent cited early finishes on Friday, followed by a friendly management style (38 per cent).


Providing tangible rewards for hard work was also seen as an effective way to recognise hard work. More than one in three respondents said that cash bonuses would reduce stress, with holidays in lieu (34 per cent) and a more relaxed management (28 per cent).


The research also examined what parts of the physical workplace workers thought employers could change to improve occupational mental health.


The most popular factor was a clean and tidy workplace, (35 per cent) or respondents. Almost one in three said music would help reduce stress, while space away from desks to relax (29 per cent) or to eat in (27 per cent) would also be beneficial.


Cascade HR CEO Oliver Shaw said the survey showed that the measures employers could take which have the most significant impact on reducing workplace stress are 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,” he said.


“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.”