Around 40% of Aussies are always or often rushed and pressed for time, while 45% of us will experience a mental illness in our lifetime. With statistics like that, it’s clear why having a work/life balance is so important.

Working in a professional service firm is highly dynamic, exciting, complex, challenging, and fulfilling. And as a result, by nature, it can cause pressure amongst employees.

Not to mention that with the ebbs and flows of life, it would be ignorant not to acknowledge that employees are also experiencing a variety of pressures away from work.

At EMM, our team’s health and wellbeing is of paramount importance, so accordingly, we give it a specific focus. We are always on the lookout for strategies to reduce and cope with stress, transforming it into a driving force for positive outcomes and high performance.

Here are four proven and healthy strategies we implement at EMM to help our employees cope with stress inside and outside the office.

Embrace flexible working conditions

Whilst there are still companies that are hesitant to embrace this “office perk”, more and more leaders believe that this is the future of work.

Some companies, like ours, opt for flexible working, as it promotes a healthy work/life balance, which has been proven to prevent burnouts and reduce health issues. Flexible working arrangements come in different forms, but two of the most popular are —

  • Flexi time – where employees perform their tasks for eight hours (or nine, depending a business’s core working hours), and beyond these hours, they can come and go as they please
  • Remote working – where employees are allowed to work from home or somewhere else so they can attend to important personal matters

At EMM, we’re committed to delivering high-quality services. And this sometimes means longer hours are necessary. Because stress management and mental renewal are critical, we enjoy flexible working arrangements, such as hours worked and opportunities to work from home or work offsite.

Some people renew best by working away from the office whilst others find benefit in constantly interacting with people. Therefore, you need to be flexible.

— Luke Stewart, Managing Director at EMM

Encourage movement

It’s true that exercise and movement help foster a happy mind. So it makes sense that it plays an important role in keeping a work/life balance.

This is why we always encourage our staff to participate in programs and activities that promote good health. You name it, we’ve probably done it — bicycling to and from work, running, hitting the gym, swimming, and practising yoga.

We didn’t evolve sitting behind a desk — you’ve got to move!

— Luke Stewart, Managing Director at EMM

Throughout the year, we sponsor our staff to join a wide range of events, from simple fun runs to thrilling triathlons, across the states. While this is a great avenue for all of us to break a sweat and get moving, it’s also a great avenue for us to raise funds for selected charities.

Over the years, we’ve enjoyed participating in Sydney City2Surf, Newcastle Harbour Run, Bridge to Brisbane, corporate triathlons, Oxfam trail walkers, MS Sydney to Wollongong Ride, and ocean swims. And we sure won’t miss out on this year’s Steptember.

Master breathing, mindfulness, and meditation techniques

Breathing techniques, mindfulness, and meditation come in many shapes and sizes, and it’s known to make you more productive. That’s why we constantly explore these stress management activities.

We also recently participated in Mindful in May, which provided tools to lead mindfulness meditation.

“If you can’t find our MD for 20 minutes between 9 and 10, that is because he’s downstairs meditating in his car! He does this to increase his capacity to serve our clients and our people.”

— Olga Deakin, Manager, People & Performance

Indeed, leading by example is the strongest way to reinforce a healthy culture.

Have external support

Consistently performing at a high level under pressure is a skill. Like all skills, this can be learned and practised. Sports psychologists see this in all professional sporting teams. It’s only logical and crucial to have such ‘mental coach’ skills in the professional environment.

At EMM, we understand the need for this extra support. As a result, we offer an Employee Assistance Program to our people that provides confidential counselling. Its purpose is to resolve both workplace and personal issues before they affect adversely on work performance and on personal well-being.

We also engage specialist firms to run courses on stress management throughout the year, including performing under pressure training.

It’s no surprise that with 66% of Australians valuing happiness ahead of pay, work/life balance is becoming more and more important. That’s why at EMM, we want to promote a work environment that helps our people be their best mentally and physically both at work and at home.

Do you want to be part of a team that values work/life balance? Check out our current opportunities.

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