One of the biggest forces affecting productivity in the workplace in the current day is stress. In larger corporations across America, studies show that around 60% of people have had time of at one time or another due to stress-related illnesses. Of course, this shows that stress is causing a large issue in terms productivity, attendance and overall work-effectiveness.
What is Stress?
Stress is a psychological, physiological and behavioral issue that affect many workers in office environments. Stress causes the nervous system to kick into overdrive, making it highly active. This causes the suffering to experience breathing restrictions, the inability to focus, over-tensed muscles, and slower movement.
Although not extremely noticeable at first, if not dealt with, stress will continue to take a downwards turn.
How Is Workplace Stress Related to Productivity?
Workplace stress is often a direct effect of employees feeling unable to cope with their workload. Adding to that is an inability to get tasks done effectively for one reason or another, causing employees to become overwhelmed, leading to stress-related illnesses.
Not only does time off work due to stress decrease productivity, employees under stress work less efficiently. Due to their inability to focus and their physical discomfort, work will be an arduous task that takes longer to complete and will be completed at a lower quality.
Here are 4 effective ways to decrease workplace stress and increase productivity.
How to Decrease Workplace Stress?
The physiological side of workplace stress can often to be to do with dehydration. The brain needs a great deal of water for both concentration and physical exertion; without this, the body goes into a stale state, finding it difficult to process what it needs to do, which in turn, increases stress levels. It will also regulate the body temperature, preventing discomfort due to internal temperature fluctuation.
Placing bottles of distilled water strategically around the office is one of the ways to decrease workplace stress. It encourages employees to start their day with a bottle of water and to continue this practice throughout the day. Place them by entrances, break areas, kitchen areas and on desks.
Read also: Heath Benefit of Drinking Water Daily
2. Understanding the Importance of Breaks
Breaks are a crucial part of ensuring your team remain stress-free; only in relaxing the brain can we develop new ideas and solutions. One of the key issues that employers have, is not inciting that creativeness by advocating merely one hour of solid break a day.
Although an hour is a relatively long period, in fact, short breaks throughout the day are much more effective in decreasing workplace stress. Secondly, breaks which can be flexibly tailored to the individual are even better. Rather than working on a strict lunch schedule, if possible, it is better to have employees choose their own breaks throughout the day, allowing them to manage their own stress levels.
Additionally, improving stimulation during break times also encourages more creativity. Rather than a dull cafeteria with a few table and chairs, try enhancing the area with color, comfort and games for amusement. Workers need to be able to completely forget about work for 15 minutes. Additionally, outside break areas should have calming features such as walkways, running water and greenery.
3. Address Ergonomics
Kitting out an office can be done very cheaply using standard computer chairs and desks. Although this saves money in the short term, it costs money in so far as your workers being less efficient and effective due to low productivity.
Many studies show that uncomfortable chairs lead to physical discomfort in employees. According to Brighton MI Chiropractors, it’s one of the biggest causes of back pain, which not only causes physical injury, but also increases the chance of stress. If someone feels they can’t do the task in hand due to severe discomfort, they’ll end up becoming less efficient gaining an overwhelming workload leading to workplace stress.
Secondly, a recent study by Dr Alan Hedge and Cornell University showed that office workers who has the flexibility to both and stand, as well as move around a little were less likely to develop stress-related illnesses and more likely to be productive. This is because with choice, people don’t feel tied to their desk and have a more comfortable feeling of ease.
4. Turn To Temperature
Temperature is on the same line as physical discomfort due to ergonomics. Workers who are in an environment which is too hot can become dehydrated which decreases productivity. Workers who are in an environment which is too cold will be less productive as their body will be dedicating its concentration to warming itself up. Furthermore, forcing the body to adjust its own temperature as well as working on difficult tasks will cause stress.
To decrease workplace stress, try to find office spaces where the temperature is adjustable within the office, not set by the Landlord. Alternatively, provide extra heaters and fans for employees to share on blocks of desks.
Decreasing workplace stress is one of the most important ways to increase productivity among workers.
If workers feel like they are being pressured, it becomes a slippery slope to stress-related illness and a severe decline in work. By taking a few simple steps, you can avoid this altogether.
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Freelance writer Melissa Cameron loves fitness and yoga. She believes that sites such as www.awesomedr.com are right when he says that exercise, such as yoga, prevents muscle and joint pain, keeping you fit and healthy. As she works from home, she thinks it’s important to get some exercise on a daily basis to stay in good shape physically and to keep your mind in good shape mentally.