Effects of workplace stress compound and will chip away at morale if left unchecked. A stress-filled office hurts communication channels, impedes decision-making systems, and ultimately threatens a company’s well-being.
Let’s look at the outer and internal factors causing stress and use workplace design to turn stressful forces into productive results.
Stress in the Workplace – Outside Factors
Operating profitably and gaining market share in previous economies was always challenging.
Suddenly, in 2020, the Covid-19 shutdown hit companies with sudden stress that no one had ever experienced before. Large and small businesses throughout Southern California were forced to respond.
The manager of The Derby restaurant in Arcadia, a well-known local landmark, was quoted by the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce in a video presentation as saying the moment was unprecedented during 98 years of operating.
Fortunately, some systems were already in place like webinars that were used for instructional and promotional purposes. Many offices had been using modular workstations and open office spaces with flexible designs.
Photo: Darran Chameleon Workspace
Working remotely became necessary and normal, and the use of Zoom quickly turned into a well-used meeting platform.
Photo: Senator Group Play AV Media Table
Outside forces that are global or ones that pertain to specific industries will always be a cause of some stress. Stressors can come from inside as well.
Stress in the Workplace – Internal Factors
Clients changing specs on a project, miscommunication, and the complexities of personal lives are just a few of the stressors within the workplace.
Equipment not working, fuzzy goals, and changes in personnel all contribute to stress.
Use Planned Engagement to Reduce Office Stress
Engage your team in their tasks with a purposeful design and space plan that accounts for the overall company goals, the needs of departments, and the needs of employees.
Flexible seating, room for personal space, and furnishings that assist team members in completing tasks lend to an engaging environment.
Photo: Source International Scape HB Booth
Incorporating elements of the company’s history and the surrounding neighborhoods creates continuity of purpose and place.
Take a fresh look at the many design options that reduce stress with the use of pleasing colors, the ability to incorporate your brand, and maximizing nature. Engagement should begin when people first step into the office.
A Sleek Welcome
A reception area shouldn’t act like a barrier between outsiders and the interior office space. Create a pleasing first impression where visitors feel welcome to linger in the waiting area. Modular seating and a sleek reception table add to the comfort.
Photo: Arcadia Scenery Modular Lounge
Build Stress Relievers into Your Plan
Make systems “calming to the nervous system,” advises the director of the American Institute of Stress in a 2019 article on Buildings.com How to Design to Reduce Workplace Stress.
Flexible seating with privacy booths and mobile partitions is one strategy while designing with nature is another.
Photo: Friant Shield Freestanding Panels
Keep it Green
Green spaces reduce stress.
A University of Edinburgh study in 2012 concluded that for every one percent increase in green space there was a corresponding decline in stress levels.
More green space helps people respond better to disruptive events, either by not getting as stressed in the first place or by coping in as healthy a way as possible.
See what a green office design can do for your environment.
Photo: Stylex Free Address Series
Ensure that your team is able to use their workstations, chairs, desks, and accessories to easily accomplish their purposes. This reduces the toll of physical stress.
Excessive workplace stress causes 120,000 deaths and results in nearly $190 billion in health care costs each year, as the American Psychological Association found in their 2018 Stress in America survey.
Use chairs that support the body’s weight and natural movements so stress on knees, elbows, and the lower back remains at a minimum level.
Height-adjustable desks position laptops and desktop computers at the right level for each individual user, allowing for proper posture and reducing strain on the eyes and wrists.
Letting in as much natural light as possible keeps your team on a natural rhythm of being active at work while promoting restful sleep cycles at home. Natural light is a perk that’s valued by many employees.
Rely on 2010 Office Expertise to Help Reduce Workplace Stress
You may decide to refresh your office or plan a completely new layout. The team at 2010 Office Furniture has a combined half-century of experience working with Southern California’s most distinguished companies.
2010 Office Furniture’s clients are leading corporations, universities, and small businesses in greater Los Angeles, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.
Contact us with your questions and office needs.
Read Also: Easy Ways to Reduce Office Stress and Create a Welcoming Atmosphere
Main Photo: OFS GrowUp Planter
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Arcadia Contract, Darran, Friant, OFS Brands, Senator Group, Source International and Stylex