One of the biggest challenges as a team leader in today’s world is minimizing stress not only for yourself, but for your team. The American Psychological Association shared research from its 2013 stress study demonstrating that 42 percent of adults claimed their stress levels had increased, and 61 percent of adults felt that managing stress was extremely or very important. An effective leader must address stress to keep his or her team motivated and performing at an optimal level.
There is a simple solution to help manage stress, which unfortunately many managers ignore. Take your team outside! Science Daily shared research from the University of Edinburgh which indicates that when the skin is exposed to sunshine, a compound is released in the blood vessels which lowers blood pressure.
How can you get your team outside to enjoy a little sunshine and still stay on task? Here are a few ideas:
- Plan your one-on-one meetings outside. If you are not in an office area with outside seating, but have sidewalks, you can even add exercise to the mix by making it a walking meeting.
- Encourage team members to take one phone call a day outside. (This idea is better received if your company is paying for employee cell phones.)
- Lead by example. If your team members see you getting fresh air yourself, they will be more inclined to do so also.
If you’re not in an area where the weather makes it feasible for you to get outside regularly, try to make an “escape area” within your office building. Think about setting up a small space with a sun lamp. Ask your team for ideas to create a space where they can relax a little bit while getting work done. Your team will not only appreciate your efforts, they will also likely feel less stressed and be more productive.