reduce stress at work

5 ways to reduce stress at work this year

Written by Investors In People

After hearing that 3 in 4 people are stressed at work, that stress follows them home. We asked some of our finalists for the wellbeing award at our Investors in People awards 2019 to find out what they’re doing to reduce stress and create a culture that brings their people together and fights this stress epidemic. We’ve pulled together 5 of the best ways to reduce stress in your company in 2020.

1. ‘Team hiking days out’

A good activity does more than one thing. Team hiking days out are a great example of starting with physical health whilst also supporting mental and social health. Yes, you’re getting out of the office, moving around and being more active. Add to that studies showing that even a short walk can significantly improve your mood. And then you get to enjoy each other’s company, not across the table in a stuffy meeting room!

2. ‘Digital wellbeing programme’

“No one is left behind”. Using a digital wellbeing programme that lets people cheer each other on when they run a mile, eat a healthy meal or take time with friends creates a supportive environment and ‘gives permission’ to prioritise your own health.

3. Contributing to the costs for specific courses, like mindfulness.

People need different things from a wellbeing programme because they’re at different places in their lives and careers. Asking your people what they need before creating wellbeing policies is key to getting it right. Once your programme is in in place, check in with your people regularly so see if people are taking up the offer and if not, why not. By creating regular opportunities for everyone to feed in you can be agile and responsive to what your people need.

4. Link your flexible working policy & wellbeing approach

“Our flexible working policy and wellbeing approach are linked because our people know best when it comes to their work-life balance”

Using existing structures like your flexible working policy to encourage people to adjust their hours for a range of activities that support their health puts people in control to manage their workload and home. This company recognised that being able to go to everything from school plays to doctors’ appointments was what their people needed. Other companies have even introduced 9-day fortnights, with people opting to work slightly longer hours for a full day off every 2 weeks.

5. ‘It starts with our leaders’

Nearly all of the people who entered our awards talked about the importance of a ‘top-down approach’ and needing senior team members to engage to make it work.

Really, we’re asking the people with the most power to use that to show their vulnerability and take the time to care for their own health. Because that’s what gives the rest of us permission to do the same.

1 in 5 people we spoke to during our job exodus research felt like work was negatively impacting their health, so it’s not surprising that 1 in 2 people are planning on finding a new job in 2020. Being able to reduce stress for everyone at work is one way to make people happier and healthier, and also a good way to retain your people.

You can read more about what people are thinking and feeling about work in our job exodus research for 2020 here.

Take our 2-minute organisation wellbeing questionnaire

Beginner – your journey is just starting…


Thanks for completing our workplace wellbeing assessment! Don’t be disheartened by your result, the fact you’re considering employee wellbeing is a huge step in the right direction.

Here are some common themes we see when organisations are only just starting out on their wellbeing journey:
  • No strategy or poor buy in from executives
  • No goals or objectives or they’re poorly defined
  • No budget assigned to wellbeing
  • Company doesn’t consider all areas of wellbeing
  • Company doesn’t collect any data on wellbeing
  • Company doesn’t understand how to measure success


It’s great to see that you’ve made the commitment to start your wellbeing journey. If you take the time to plan, execute and measure your strategy you’ll start to see positive results.

We’re here to help you every step of the way – complete our enquiry form and our team will get in touch to see how we can help you!

Intermediate – you’re taking wellbeing seriously!

Thanks for completing our workplace wellbeing assessment. You can be pleased with your result, you value your employees wellbeing, your approach needs refining to get to the highest level.

Here are some common themes we see when organisations are making the right steps but need to refine them:
  • There is a strategy and execs buy into it, but it needs developing further to achieve your ambitions
  • There may be goals and objectives but they need refining
  • There is a budget assigned to wellbeing
  • Company may not consider all areas of wellbeing
  • Company struggles to collect and use wellbeing data
  • What defines success may be a little blurry


It’s great to see you’re making positive steps with your wellbeing plan. If you take the time to refine your strategy you’ll start to see even better results.

We’re here to help you every step of the way – complete our enquiry form and our team will get in touch to see how we can help you!

Advanced – your strategy is flying high!

Thanks for completing our workplace wellbeing assessment. You should be ecstatic, employee wellbeing is a key driver at your company and you’re doing everything on your own to promote it.

Here are some common themes we see in top organisations:
  • There is a clear strategy and executives actively promote it
  • There are clear goals and objectives – you know what you want to achieve
  • You have a budget that’s dedicated to wellbeing
  • You deliver in all areas of wellbeing
  • Your company collected data and uses it to inform your strategy
  • You have stealer KPIs and understand how they contribute to success


It’s great to see you’re making positive steps with your wellbeing plan. However, wellbeing can always be improved – so you’re in the perfect place to undertake our official wellbeing assessment!

Complete our enquiry form and our team will get in touch to talk you through our wellbeing accreditation.

Thanks | #MAKEWORKBETTER

BEFORE YOU GO...

Hopefully you found what you were looking for. We’re always releasing new content and scheduling events to tackle some of the hottest topics in the news right now, so do check back soon.

Have you considered how your organisation would benefit from becoming accredited? Let’s talk! You can book a meeting directly using the link below.