How to reduce stress levels in the work environment

Workplace Stress

 

Does your workplace stress you out? Is it possible for businesses to create a work environment that is inspiring and stress free whilst providing an atmosphere that encourages employees to come to work every day.

It does not matter what you do or where you work, most people experience some sort of stress at work and are effected by environmental distractions in the workplace. If these distractions are ignored and unaddressed, they can increase the stress level of individuals in the work place.

There are numerous and simple things one can do to reduce or even eliminate sources and levels of stress at work. While individuals can make some changes on their own, certain sources of stress will need the help of your boss to eliminate or reduce stress levels of employees in the work place.

 

Sources of Stress

Stress in the workplace can originate from any physical conditions that you view as irritating, frustrating, uncomfortable, or unpleasant. Sources of stress can originate from the following:

  • Poor lighting
  • Loud background noise from music, traffic, conversation, or ringing phones
  • Uncomfortable chairs or desks causing physical discomfort
  • Unhealthy air stemming from air pollution or smoking
  • Crowded workspaces and overcrowding
  • Cluttered and disorganized office space

Some of these things are pretty much minor sources of stress, however, when you couple them together they can contribute to the stress level in the workplace.

 

Keep your workspace clean and organized

An office or workspace that is cluttered and disorganized can add enormous amount of stress especially when you cannot find what you need. It is difficult to concentrate  and focus when your desk is filled with papers, messages, business cards, magazines, newspapers, files, and folders. This is the same when it comes to your email inbox. Organise your workspace and create a filing and storage system to assist you to organize your office so that everything has its place and easy to find.

 

Train yourself to ignore interruptions

You might work in place where your have colleagues that constantly walk past your office or workspace and stop to have a chat. Or perhaps your desk is located where there is high levels of walking traffic or perhaps close to an elevator. Or perhaps your office has large windows with of of the street and pedestrian traffic. By teaching yourself to properly and effectively manage these distractions or even ignore them, will significantly reduce your levels of stress.

 

Adapt and manage change in the workplace

If you are a person with a personality that becomes anxious and uptight when there is a lot of changes around you, then you will need learn quickly to adapt and manage these changes in the workplace.

 

Improve your communications skills

Poor communication in the office can cause enormous amount of confusion which can lead to elevated amount of stress in the office. If you find yourself working in an office where individual around have poor communication skills, instead of trying to change them, rather ask more questions and make suggestions in order to improve the communication in the office and make sure everyone is on the same page. If you have co-workers who around who talk loudly on the phone or a boss who is constantly looking over your shoulder, you need to in calm and reasonable way be able to communicate your frustrations.

 

Physical and relaxation exercises at work

If you work in an office space and permitted to do so without distracting other around you, try playing some soft music, do some stretching exercises every now and then. Best of all, if you can and have the time, take a 30 minute walk or run during your work day. You might not eliminate all your sources of stress but during high levels of tension, exercise can clear your mind and refresh your thoughts and energy levels.

 

Change your workspace layout and design

Using the old Chinese art of Feng Shui, chaining your office layout can help to reduce your stress levels. By changing things like lighting, colors and décor can reduce your sources of stress. Neutral colors tend to be more calming, yellow promotes intellectual activity, while blues and greens are more restful. Think about investing in a descent chair, an ergonomically correct desk and glare screens. Brighten up your workspace and make it sanctuary that you enjoy coming to on a daily basis.

Add your own personal touches to your workspace with photographs, inspiring artwork, or books. Adding a few plants into your workspace not only increase the beauty of your workspace but research has shown it reduces absenteeism, reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase positive feelings, lower noise levels, decrease room temperature and lower humidity.

 

Form groups and volunteer together

It is a well know fact that when people are part of a cause or activity that is far bigger than themselves, their levels of happiness and satisfaction increases exponentially. Find a cause that that others around are passionate about and do something that for the greater good and has no connection to work. A sense of meaning and purpose is a powerful motivator and a stress reducer.

 

Choose and assign an employee as team advocate

Many small business do not have a human resources department or HR manager. It is important in any business to monitor the health of the workforce and get feedback from employees in order to better understand what is happening in the workplace. Assign an individual to take on this role or perhaps make perhaps rotate this task from tie to time.

 

Participate as team in a local sports league

Form a team and take part in a sports league with other businesses in the area. When individuals work in a group with a common goal it can help with company team building and also allow you too get to know your fellow employee, even your boss or manger, a whole lot better. Group sport creates camaraderie and gets people excited on a whole different level. It can also help with networking with other businesses and individuals in the area.

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