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Less Stress in the Workplace [Infographic]

Posted by Avery R. on

Every employer dreams of an office environment where employees are happy to be there and are ultra productive during their work day. Check out this infographic which gives you 7 of the best ways to create a stress free environment for your employees each day. Not only will they feel respected and rewarded, you will also reap the benefits of having a team that is punctual, dedicated, and that cares about the vision of your company.

If you are unable to view the infographic, the full text is available to read below.

Less Stress in the Workplace

When workloads are difficult and cannot be changed, what can employers offer to employees that is affordable in order to raise morale, energy levels, decrease work related injuries, remove tension, and spike performance and productivity?

In order to build trust and gain loyalty from your employees, take a look at this infographic which offers 7 ways to curve the stress in your office.

Not only will your employees feel rewarded, but you'll reap the benefits of more dedicated workers who will try their best, be punctual, and perform better.

#1. Personalized Space

Stress point:

  • Without a personalized space, employees can feel trapped or uncomfortable in their work environment.
  • They feel like that cannot be themselves or share with others what they enjoy outside of the office.

  • Remedy:
  • Providing the option to decorate their personal space gives your employees the ability to control their surroundings and feel comfortable.

  • Expert Opinions:

    A study done by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 2010 found that out of 47 participants in a London office, those who chose to decorate their workspace with plants, pictures, etc., were 32% more productive than those who opted not to decorate. Those who decorated felt more of a commitment to their team/company and were more efficient when it came to their job.

  • Different colors and lighting have different psychological effects on employees
  • It's best to offer an environment where color can be changed or customized
  • You may not be able to give your employees a grand nature view, but you can bring nature to the office. According to research done by Waliczek Lohr and Zaijeckn Lineberger, those who worked in environments with plants experienced less stress in their work days and displayed a higher productivity rate as well.
  • Certain plants such as the philodendron are durable air cleaners that decrease office pollution.

    “It appears that it is not only better for an office to be 'green' rather than 'lean,' but also that employees within that office should be empowered to design their own workspace rather than having predetermined space configurations thrust on them.”

    Providing functional furniture and tools for employees is vital for their performance and productivity.

    According to a 2011 study conducted by Dakir and Read on furniture forms and their influence on our emotions.

    Circular office furniture feels more laid back and welcoming. It also encourages collaboration within a team.

    Straight-edged boxy furniture however has a negative appeal. Sharp corners offer employees more objects to bump into... and get mad about.

    #2. Break Rooms

    Stress point:

  • When it's time to take a break and your employees have no place to relax or unwind for a few minutes, stress and anger can take its toll. It's been proven that employees who do not have a nice break room are more likely to stay at their desk for most of the day.

  • Remedy:
  • Providing a positive and comfortable place for your employees to relax, eat lunch, make phone calls, and much more will be essential to whether or not your company thrives.

  • Expert Opinions:

    Jayson Demers, Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom, stresses the importance of company break rooms. Break rooms are meant to encourage employees to take a mental and physical break from daily work. Demers believes you'll see a major difference in your employees' productivity and happiness if you implement some of the following features in your office.

    What Can You Do?

    Offer free coffee for your employees. It's a positive incentive and helps increase attention spans, boosts mental and physical energy, and improves overall focus.

    Having a television in your break room can be beneficial. It's nice for employees to be able to watch the news and keep up with relevant things going on outside of the office.

    Help your employees stay productive by offering some small healthy options in the fridge, such as free bottled water and fruit.

    Your break room should have some type of comfortable seating such as plush chairs or a couch. After sitting in a desk chair for multiple hours, employees will appreciate the relaxation.

    These small actions will make your employees feel respected and relaxed. You will not regret giving your employees a space where they are encouraged to have fun, connect, relax, and communicate with one another.

    “You don't have to have the most advanced break room in the world in order to boost productivity and keep your employees happy. However, if you make the effort to create a place where your workers can truly relax and refresh themselves, they'll reward you with better work and greater satisfaction.”

    #3. Training Sessions

    Stress point:

  • Employees feeling trapped in a dead end job where growth doesn't seem like a viable option.

  • Remedy:
  • Providing ongoing training to employees changes their mindset and helps them feel like there is room for growth and learning in their position.

  • Expert Opinions:

    According to smallbusiness.chron.com, you should stay ahead of the game and offer training sessions to your employees before they start looking for the door.

    Training sessions can help employees improve their job skills, earn promotions, get ahead in their careers, and increase retention rates.

    “This helps your company since it directly benefits from experienced personnel with up-to-date job skills, who produce at a faster rate and more efficiently than newly hired, untrained employees.”

    #4. Flexible Work Hours

    Stress Point:

  • Not everyone can make it to work by a set time each morning due to a plethora of reasons.
  • Work hours set in stone can pose problems for employees.

  • Remedy:
  • Flexible start and finish times for work alleviates stress so employees can manage life commitments.

  • Expert Opinions:

    How?

    Checkside, a website dedicated to helping "business directors and executives make better human capital decisions" advises employers to set core hours for their employees and let them pick their start and finish times in that frame because it better suits their needs and personal life.

    Why?

  • Not everyone is a morning person
  • Some employees would love to avoid the rush hour traffic
  • Those with children are able to get their kids ready for school and pick them up
  • “Adopting flexible working hours allows employees to better manage their work and life commitments, leading to increased employee satisfaction and commitment.”

    #5. Ability To Move

    Stress Point:

  • Sitting takes a physical toll on the body and mind and can make a person angry or unhappy
  • Sitting can create problems such as back injuries, blood clots, and irritable behavior.

  • Remedy:
  • Allow your employees the option of moving around the office.
  • Allow your employees the option of taking at least 15 minutes per day to take a walk or break on the clock.

  • Expert Opinions:

    According to the authors of 'Ethonomics: Designing For The Principles Of The Modern Workplace,' employees are much more alert after taking a walk and having a great conversation. They believe movement during the day is likely to "affect the way we interact with others -- less negative feelings and fewer expressions of anger, irritation of resentment."

    Employees should encourage standing and stretching in office, walks or breaks mid-day, and taking the stairs rather than the elevator.

    “Alert, engaged, and healthy workers are most often those who are afforded a stimulating and inspiring work environment that encourages movement -- to sit, stand and walk around.”

    Encouraging healthy behavior in the office will keep employees healthy and you will experience less people missing work for sickness and injury related issues.

    Many companies now offer free gym memberships to their employees to help maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.

    #6. Massage

    Stress point:

  • Long hours and an intense work week can leave employees feeling tense, tired, and run down.
  • They might feel irritable or not want to show up for work.

  • Remedy:
  • Reward your hard working employees by offering them the option to get a massage at work once a month.

  • Expert Opinions:

    Companies of all sizes have found that wellness is a huge factor when it comes to the productivity and success rate of their employees. John Hasmonek of Borden & Company, an accounting firm in Chicago, knows that his employees get tired from their workloads so he offered them massages once a month to see if it would help increase their energy levels.

    “And it has. It has increased their morale even more than we anticipated.”

    Employer Options if Affordable:

  • You can offer to pay for your employees to get a massage once a month
  • You can agree to split costs with your employees and pay half
  • The American Institute of Stress found that an estimated 1 million workers are absent every day due to stress.

    Massage Benefits:

  • Improved Accuracy
  • Reduced stress-related illness
  • Fewer workers' compensation claims
  • Overall happier employees that feel like their employers truly care about their wellbeing
  • “It is a benefit for stress relief, and it feels good. It is a benefit that doesn't cost a whole lot of money, and it gets a lot of good will from your employees.”

    #7. Gifts as Rewards

    Stress point:

  • Extremely hard work with little to no recognition or rewards leaves employees feeling unappreciated for their hard work and commitment to their job and your company.

  • Remedy:
  • Offer employees rewards and incentives for meeting goals and accomplishing major milestones.

  • Expert Opinions:

    According to Entrepreneur.com, every company should implement a strategic reward system for their employees. They should address the following: compensation, benefits, recognition and appreciation.

    “Recognizing and rewarding employees can be a remarkably powerful part of any manager's toolbox. Take time to do it the right way, and you will be rewarded in return.”

    Instilling appreciation for hard work is never a bad idea. Here's How:

    Cash Rewards and Bonuses: Cash rewards and bonuses are one way to boost productivity, morale, being vested, and overall employee performance.

    Promotions and Raises: Promotions allow employees to move up and become more skilled in their areas of expertise. Raises can help determine whether an employee will stay at your company due to bills and families to take care of.

    Drinks and Food: Drinks and food are a great way to reward your employees and make sure they are well fed and ready to conquer the rest of the work day. Take them out for drinks or better yet, get a local food truck to show up at your place of business for lunch one day.

    Paid Time Off and Trips: If affordable, paid time off and trips are enviable perks that many employees would love to take advantage of.

    Sources:

    How to Create a Less-Stressful Workplace - Michele Benedetto Neitz || @bizjournals

    10 Key Design Interventions for a Healthier, Happier and More Productive Workplace - Kirsten Ritchie || @ktritchie @GenslerOnWork

    The Perfect Workspace (According to Science) - Christian Jarrett || @Psych_Writer @99u

    How to Make the Workplace Environment Become Less Stressful & Increase Feelings of Teamwork - Diane Perez || @HoustonChron

    10 Essentials of the Most Successful Companies' Break Rooms - Jayson Demers || @jaysondemers

    The Best Ways to Reward Employees - Entrepreneur.com || @entrepreneur

    The Corporate World - More Businesses are Offering Massage Therapy as an Employee Benefit - Peter Reinwald || @petereinwald @AMTAmassage

    How Managers Can Help Reduce Workplace Stress for their Employees - Megan Dalla-Camina || @mdallacamina

    How to Design an Office for Maximizing Employee Happiness - Lydia Dishman || @LydiaBreakfast

    Six Ways to Make Your Workplace More Flexible and Less Stressful – Checkside.wordpress.com

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