If there is one thing that the global spread of Covid-19 has taught us, it’s the importance of prioritizing our well-being – and that includes in the workplace. Now that many people have returned to offices and businesses during working hours, employers have a renewed responsibility to make sure that those workplaces are set up to provide as healthy and stress-free an environment as possible.
After all, while it may not seem to pose as big a threat as coronavirus, work-related stress is worryingly common, caused by a range of factors. What makes things worse is that, over time, it can seriously affect the mental and physical well-being of your team members. Severe stress causes a range of unpleasant symptoms that include chest pains, digestive troubles, a weakened immune system, and depression.
If you’re keen to help your workers remain as healthy, happy, and productive as possible, the good news is that you have plenty of potential strategies, techniques, and tricks available to help revitalize your workplace and make it a great place to be. Here are some top tips to get you started!
1. Create A More Relaxed And Homely Ambience
If your place of business currently has a somewhat sterile and impersonal feel, this may be contributing to the stress or unhappiness of your employees. To help them feel more relaxed – and, therefore, become more productive – invest some time and money in making your workplace look and feel more inviting.
For instance, you can provide well-appointed kitchens and bathrooms for your team, so they can make a cup of coffee or refresh themselves when they’re feeling frazzled. You could even set up dedicated relaxation areas where your staff can recharge their batteries if they get too tired or overwhelmed.
2. Prioritize Your Employees’ Comfort
Being forced to spend many hours each day in an over-illuminated and poorly-ventilated building that’s either too hot or too cold is likely to cause your team’s stress levels to ratchet up – and for good reason. If your workplace isn’t optimized for your staff’s comfort then you’re bound to see negative effects on their productivity and job satisfaction.
So, what can you do to fix this? For one thing, you may need to embark on some alterations, to improve the ventilation for a healthier atmosphere. If your heating and cooling system is on the blink, and your offices are often too stuffy or too cold, then it may be wise to have a new HVAC system installed. Get in touch with HTS Ontario, an experienced commercial HVAC company, and they can provide the ideal HVAC solution for your workplace.
You should also assess the lighting in your office to make sure it’s not too bright or too dingy, as this can impact your employees’ well-being. To remedy any lighting problems, consider installing some cost-effective LED bulbs, and maybe even putting in some extra windows to take advantage of nature’s mood-boosting illumination.
3. Give Your Staff A Break
Did you know that, for most people, it’s only possible to concentrate on one particular task for between 10 to 50 minutes (depending on the person)? Consequently, if you don’t give your workforce regular short breaks to grab a cup of coffee and switch off for a few minutes, they’re probably going to struggle to be productive. Their attention will begin to wander, and they may even start procrastinating.
Over time, having too much work to do and not enough time in which to rest and recharge during the day will probably also cause their stress levels to rise and they could start to experience those troubling physical and mental symptoms.
Simply instituting at least two short breaks per day, in addition to their lunch break, could make a world of difference. Just 20 minutes of relaxation – maybe in one of those dedicated rest spaces you may have created – will give your team members the chance to reset and return to their desks refreshed and ready to take on the next task.
4. Create A Culture Of Support – Not Blame
Poor mental health is a serious problem around the world. Not only does it cost the global economy 12 billion working days each year, but mental health struggles can cause untold pain and suffering to individuals and their families.
With mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety so widespread, it’s possible that some members of your team may suffer from these complaints. Due to the sometimes crippling nature of these conditions, when they’re having especially bad days, they may struggle to meet deadlines and find it hard to do things that once came so easily to them.
In this case, it’s vital that you provide an atmosphere of support and understanding, rather than taking them to task for making mistakes. If your staff know that they can rely on you to foster a nurturing and supportive environment when they are going through a difficult time, they are more likely to do their best for you when they’re restored to health. Showing your team that you have their best interests at heart – including their mental health – is a powerful way to create a healthier, happier, and stress-free workplace.