Most of us spend more hours at work than we do outside of work, well at least waking hours anyway.
Regardless of how much you love your job, most jobs have an element of negative stress. When this level escalates to an unhealthy level, we suffer physical health related problems.
Stressful workers not only suffer productivity issues in their own role, but tend to negatively impact the productivity of those around them, as they 'share' their stress and expect others to pick up their slack.
Office Space & Layout
A badly designed office space can also act as a stress catalyst. Noisy air conditioning, poor airconditioning, lack of natural light, bad ergonomics, overcrowding - are all factors that adversely impact productivity, efficiency, error rates, accidents and staff turnover. This is bad news for employers on so many levels - less revenue, higher costs, higher sickness welfare, and eventually higher group insurance premiums.
It makes sense for business owners and managers to include health - physical and mental into their work programs. And this may be as simpe as changing or upgrading office furniture. Computer related stress injuries can be greatly reduced with ergonomic tables and chairs. Well designed office equipment promotes comfort, posture and circulation throughout the body.
Positive impact colours on walls and furnishing have a big psychological impact.
Ensuring that air quality standards are conformed to increases concentration and reduces the spread of illnesses.
Reducing noise in air conditioning and using partitions between desks to reduce noise transfer also has a stress reduction impact.
Upgrade lighting and ensure there is sufficient lighting for task areas, as well as areas of more subdued lighting for a quiet respite. Using special 'daylight' bulbs reduces glare and helps the body generate Vitamin D to avoid or alleviate Seasonal Affected Disorder [SAD].
Personal Stress Management Skills
Teach employees stress reduction tecniques and instill a sense of fair play in not sharing your stress beyond those who either contribute to it or can alleviate a driver of the stresss
Upgrade your staffs time management skills, and ensure that business processes are well designed. Check that the tools being used - equiptment, hardware and software - support the worker to achieve what is expected of them.
Ensure you staff take breaks during the day - and encourage brisk walks in the fresh air - the oxygen pumping through will reinvigorate both the mind and the body.
Encourage staff to confide in managers when they are under periods of undue stress, and if you are the manager, make sure you are receptive to these interim periods of reduced capacity and have the right support structure to help your staff through these periods. The more help you give them, the sooner they return to fully productive revenue earners.
Encourage mentorship - everyone needs someone to confide in and provide
guidance, without the fear of judgement.