How to create a stress-free working environment

Most adults spend a better part of their lives working

How to create a stress-free working environment

Most adults spend a better part of their lives working. Workplaces, therefore, become almost a second home to them and a major part of their lives.

This is why work-related stress is so intense among working citizens. Work-related stressors include the fear of being laid off, unreasonably huge workloads, poor relationships within the workplace, and micromanagement by senior executives.

If you are an employer, you will know if the environment you have set in the workplace is stressful when many of your best employees start underperforming all of a sudden. A sudden drop in productivity is often caused by anxiety, depression, sleeping disorders, and loss of concentration at work. All these causes are by-products of a stressful workplace. With that in mind, how can you create a stress-free working environment?

1. Make the workplace feel like home
For some professions e.g. in construction, workers can be away from home for months. Other professions require employees to be in the office for at least 8 hours a day, for 6 days a week. Making the work environment feel just like home, therefore, is essential. Consider providing essential utilities for your employees, for example, a well-furnished kitchen where they can make coffee or warm their lunch.

Setting up a good bathroom, or remodeling an already existing one would be great in helping employees freshen up after long-day sweating. Invest in shower replacements to make the workplace bathroom effective. That way, if an employee needs to go on a date after work, whether official or social, they don’t have to worry about getting home first. They don’t need to eat junk from fast foods.

2. Create a culture of regular exercise
Exercise is a great mood booster. Encourage your employees to walk or bike to work in order to get a few minutes of exercise and to clear their minds before work.

In the workplace, if you have enough space, consider setting up a small gym for after-work exercising. If you don’t have space, you can offer employees gym membership cards in an affordable gym. Regular sports or entertainment days can be helpful too.

3. Install proper lighting favorable for everybody
Bad lighting can affect a worker’s physical and mental health. Too much light can cause eye problems and insufficient light can cause constant headaches.

Employers should ensure that there is sufficient lighting in the office- not too bright or too dark- by installing wide enough windows. Replacing outdated bulbs with LED bulbs would also help improve employees’ moods and energy levels.

4. Create favorable working schedules
Constant working with no breaks can be boring, tiring and overwhelming. It helps when employees have short breaks in between tasks. You know, to take a quick snack or just to chat with colleagues. But then, allowing breaks is meaningless if you pressurize employees to meet unmanageable deadlines.

Make sure that the tasks you assign to each employee are enough to keep the company goals on the course but reasonable enough to allow employees enough time to relax and unwind. Hire more workers if need be.

You can also help employees avoid deadline-related stress by sponsoring them for time management courses. Help them prioritize tasks and organize their schedules. If your budget allows, you can create a relaxing room with few seats and maybe some novels where workers can meet and engage in conversations that are not work-related.

5. Make the employees’ future as promising as possible
Future uncertainties can be worrying. Many employees are stressed by the fear of losing their jobs, especially after the mass job losses that COVID-19 precipitated. Others cannot afford insurance for their kids’ education and health, and that affects their mental health. Others don’t have permanent homes for their families.

As much as possible, help alleviate these stresses by paying employees reasonably well, helping them secure and pay for mortgages, paying for or subsidizing their insurance, and sponsoring them for seminars and professional training workshops. Encourage them, and actually help them, to enroll in government programs e.g. health programs or retirement benefits programs. Give them hope for tomorrow and they will be optimally productive today.

Conclusion

It is a fact that your working environment can determine how well you will be physically, socially, and mentally. The impact it has on your life is definitely worth making maximum.

Robert Ehrmantraut is a technology advisor providing the highest level of consultative support on enterprise-wide information technology-based systems. He has a high level of understanding of best the practices with respect to the planning, design, infrastructure, implementation, and use of information technology and information management systems and processes.

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