Can Your Office Set-Up Help Control Stress Levels?

May 8, 2015

While some work-related stress is normal, excessive amounts can hinder productivity and have a detrimental impact on employees’ physical and mental health. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways in which you can keep stress levels under control at work. We all know that impending deadlines and hefty workloads can cause increased anxiety and added strain, but what is less well known is that office set up can also have an impact on workers’ moods. If you want to find out more about how workplace design can affect stress levels, this simple guide should help.
 
Break-out areas
 
Providing break-out areas where employees can forget about the demands of their job can help to alleviate work pressures. If people feel like they have nowhere to relax during the day, they are more likely to become vulnerable to stress and suffer a burnout. To combat this, offices should incorporate recreational spaces where workers can socialise and spend some time away from their desks. While this may seem counter-productive, stepping away from work to briefly relax and remove yourself from stressful situations can help to ease tension, which can in turn help boost productivity and enhance mental sharpness.
 
The importance of layout
 
When trying to stave off stress, it’s important to think about the layout of workspaces. Confined workstations and enclosed cubicles can leave staff feeling depressed and demotivated, whereas open workspaces can help to nurture a more friendly, sociable atmosphere. Breaking down physical barriers between workers can encourage collaboration and make people feel as though their workload is shared.
 
However, it’s important to bear in mind that employees will have different preferences in how they like to work, and catering to their individual needs can help to keep everyone happy. For example, if some of your staff require a quiet environment, office screens can provide them with the privacy they need.
 
As a general rule of thumb, offices that are well-ventilated, spacious and have plenty of natural light can help to increase employee morale and keep workplace woes at bay.
 
Comfortable office furniture
 
Uncomfortable, poorly designed chairs and desks can also add to feelings of stress in the workplace. If you want workers to be happy and healthy, it’s important to invest in well-crafted, ergonomically designed furniture. Not only can comfortable chairs and appropriately sized desks improve your staff members’ overall mood, it can also lead to improved work performances and reduce absenteeism – which is good news for your business’s bottom line.
 
Clear the clutter
 
A study conducted by the National Association of Professional Organisers showed that the average worker wastes approximately 4.3 hours a week searching for papers, which can cause increased levels of frustration and stress. A cluttered desk that is piled high with paperwork and swamped in office supplies can lead to feelings of mental overload and prevent personnel from staying on top of their tasks. Filing cabinets, cupboards and other storage solutions can promote greater efficiency and help people to feel more in control of their work.
 
 

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Posted by Furniture@Work