Easy Ways to Reduce Office Stress and Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
Office stress is the greatest threat to employee health and productivity. Short tempers and walking or sitting with slouched shoulders are signs that someone is under stress. Work comes with a lot of stress, especially for companies trying to grow and win market share. Putting together a wellness program is a good idea, but here are easy ways to reduce tensions in the office.
Some people are naturally better at organizing desks and drawers than others. Ask them to share their tips for keeping a desktop or workstation clean and neat. Provide adequate storage for personal belongings and work-related materials such as brochures and office supplies. Use modular open plan benching units that are easily configured like Staks Open Plan Desking by First Office.
Society is noisy, especially with social media newsfeeds that broadcast opinions on every subject available. Encourage people to take personal social media breaks. In open office environments, personal phone calls and impromptu conversations add to the chatter. Create listening spaces with modular units like the Co-op Lounge by Arcadia or Coact Modular Lounge by First Office. Both help define a meeting space without creating barriers.
The executive team may be used to giving orders, but company leaders and managers should also develop listening skills to hear and address concerns that employees have. Maintaining eye contact, absorbing concerns, and re-stating what the person has said are important steps to listening well. Don’t be too quick to offer solutions. Someone may simply need to share what’s on their mind regarding their work or personal life in order to process. Once they talk about it, the subject can be done. Note action steps that need followed up on and make sure they agree.
Create Shared Experiences
Stress will increase if an employee feels isolated in trying to overcome a problem. Create an environment within departments or across the company where it’s okay to share concerns and invite solutions. Give credit and recognition to employees who come up with innovative ideas.
Encourage people to get up and move on a regular basis. This could be to stretch at the desk or walk down the hallway or outside around the block. Install a treadmill near a break area for people who want a walking break. Encourage exercise with discounts on gym memberships and have the team post their favorite places to walk and hike. Ergonomic chairs and height-adjustable personal desks and workstations are also key in reducing office stress. Proper posture when sitting and typing keeps the head and neck balanced and aligned so there is less stress on knees, elbows and wrists.
Reduce Chronic Inflammation
Encourage people to drink plenty of water throughout the day and reduce the amount of sugary and fatty foods they eat. The body adapts to many conditions and people eventually won’t realize the toll that chronic inflammation takes. Let people know that they’re in an environment dedicated to helping with office stress, where they can also take control and be empowered to help .
Use Office Plants
Indoor plants create a pleasant atmosphere, help filter the air, and even absorb sound. Researchers have found that using office plants reduced blood pressure and employees felt alert. Plants can be used to define personal and departmental work spaces in open office environments.
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