The way people work continuously evolves, but one thing remains the same: excessive stress is the enemy of a productive workplace. We know that stressed employees are more likely to smoke, drink excessively, eat poorly and get sick more often -- all adding up to decreased productivity. That’s why Miller’s is committed to helping our clients run highly productive offices.
DYK: According to the American Institute of Stress, the most common points of stress that workers share include:
- Concerns over finances (62%)
- Worries about job performance (61%)
- Excessive workloads (46%)
- Issues with co-workers and supervisors (28%)
- Managing a work-life balance (20%)
Stress is Serious Business
Stress releases cortisol, which takes energy away from the prefrontal cortex. And that makes the brain less able to reason and respond well in any given situation. Essentially, “you’re way less productive,” says Joanne Vitali, a certified career coach.
When stress goes up, productivity goes down and that can lead to office burnout. The World Health Organization defines office burnout as a “state of vital exhaustion.” But it’s better known as chronic workplace stress that is not being managed successfully.
Understanding how stress impacts your employees’ health will help you create a healthier workplace. And Miller’s can help you achieve that. One way to tackle this very serious issue is to implement stress-reducing resources and policies based on how your employees use the distinct spaces within your office environment.
Around the Office
- Provide better training. Giving employees the tools and knowledge they need to succeed can eliminate anxiety and boost productivity.
- Offer positive feedback. Show your teammates you care by letting them know when they’ve done something right.
- Discourage multitasking. Research indicates that multitasking actually drains the energy reserves in the brain, making it hard to focus.
- Let employees schedule their hours. Flex-time offers a sense of independence and empowers employees to focus on getting the job done, making results the priority.
In the Breakroom
- Help them snack smarter. Increases in stress hormones can trigger cravings for high-fat, calorie-dense foods with little nutritional value. At Miller’s, we’re seeing clients focus on providing healthier snacks to eliminate the sugar highs and lows. Protein-filled snacks are an easy alternative and they can help reduce anxiety and boost moods.
- Create spaces that facilitate team building. Workers who have a support network are more secure in their ability to cope with stress in the office. Where do you begin? Our furniture and space planning team can help with suggestions and information on the latest trends and products to help facilitate a collaborative use of space.
- Perk up the place with plants. A Kansas State University study found that non-flowering plants actually reduce blood pressure.
- Encourage frequent breaks. The brain needs a break every few hours, while the body needs a break hourly. Short breaks allows employees to stretch, hydrate, recharge, refocus and be more productive. And taking a break from staring at computer screens helps restore visual clarity.
Miller’s can help energize your staff with healthier snacks and refreshments. Download a free copy of our new e-book Think Breakroom.
At (and Away From) the Desk
- Think ergonomically. That means the right keyboard, office chair and desk, based on an individual’s body type and specific job functions rather than a one-size fits all approach. Standing desks and swivel chairs help reduce body discomfort and injury while improving productivity and preventing costly musculoskeletal disorders like tendonitis, muscle strains and back pain. Our furniture team can show you some exciting new options for sit and stand desks.
- Change up routines. Avoid burnout by putting low-stress tasks into active rotation, rather than continuously performing high-stress tasks without relief. Working high-stress tasks for extended periods of time can cause an employee’s work (and potentially personal health) to suffer.
- Lunch away from the desk. Some 38% of employees don’t feel encouraged to take a lunch break, according to a Tork survey. Advocate that employees get away from their desks during their lunch break.
- Normalize disconnecting from work after hours. Being connected to technology 24/7 pushes us to feel that we should always be connected. A study found that employees who check emails and other work-related tasks beyond normal business hours actually work 36 extra days each year.
Stress Less in 2020
Where do you begin to reduce stress for your employees? Rather than trying to tackle all 12 ideas at once, pick one to put yourself solidly on the path toward helping your employees to stress less.
Miller’s has innovative ideas that can help you transform your workspace with ergonomic, stylish and affordable solutions that won’t stress your budget. Learn more.
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