Whether you live for it or dread it, tax season is upon us yet again, and it’ll soon be time to baton down the hatches and prepare for the long haul. But the added workload and long hours often cause spikes in stress and anxiety that can be productivity killers at the worst possible time—not just for you, but your staff as well.

Asking employees to put in extra hours can disrupt their work-life balance and subsequently cause friction in their personal lives. Pressure from clients and unusually challenging tasks can leave personnel feeling overwhelmed, unfocused and unproductive. Understanding your employees’ pain points is the first step to offering them relief and figuring out how to motivate them. Allocating resources for this purpose is one way to ensure your firm is in tiptop shape during the height of busy season.

Once you have insight on your staff’s biggest stressors, you may want to implement a stress relief program. Making a few investments to help personnel loosen up can go a long way in keeping everyone healthy and optimizing performance. Here are some ideas that can work with any budget:

  1. Teach your staff how to manage stress. Host information sessions that remind employees that stress has a purpose and small actions – like meditating, performing breathing exercises and repeating a mantra – can make a big impact in reducing stress. Take it a step further by scheduling a half-day stress management workshop, a group fitness class or a massage session for each employee.
  2. Provide opportunities for employees to take a break. Studies have shown stepping away from the computer is one of the best ways to reduce stress and increase productivity. Catering healthy food, offering social hours and encouraging employees to take meetings on the go are surefire ways to get blood pumping and boost morale. Go the extra mile by planning parties to reward hard work. Have a party on March 15th to get momentum rolling, and plan one on April 15th to keep staff motivated.
  3. Don’t let common colds take down your firm. Stress can have a significant impact on the immune system, so do your part to encourage healthy habits during flu season. Keep cleaning supplies (including hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes and tissue) on hand, and stock the break room with healthy snacks and Vitamin C. Your staff will appreciate the effort.
  4. Help employees with their personal errands. Offering dry cleaning pickup, car wash services and subscriptions to grocery delivery services are generous ways to give your staff members a few less things to worry about, which keeps the focus on your clients.

When your firm is under pressure, the last thing you want is staff taking sick days. With a little analysis and planning, your firm can combat the stressors at work and maximize productivity during the busiest time of the year.