A consistently stressful work environment is often detrimental in the long run, whereas a more relaxed environment can allow for positive interactions and freedom of ideas. Here's how to facilitate a more relaxed work environment.
Change the look and feel of your workplace
There are many small but effective ways of making your environment into a calmer place. You can make changes to the decor which will influence the atmosphere. According to psychologists, adding lots of green, leafy plants to the workplace improves worker well-being and productivity. Plants absorb pollutants, improve air quality and offer aesthetic qualities thereby creating a less stressful environment. You can also redecorate; replacing aggressive colors with calmer pastel tones, swap fluorescent lighting with dimmer, less invasive lamps and change the furniture layout to give the illusion of more space. All these elements can have a dramatic effect on the feel of your small business office.
Provide a space where employees can relax
Many small to medium businesses have decided to offer their employees a specific zone where they can refresh their batteries and unwind, as they find their staff are more productive once back in the office. Some firms possess a serenity room, a quiet space where workers can meditate, practice yoga or simply have a few minutes of silence. Other companies offer a games room, where employees can play ping pong, video games or enjoy other fun activities. Certain businesses provide an exercise room, or a group fitness instructor or massage therapist who comes into the office on a weekly basis. Whichever option you chose, all of the above will guarantee your employees are more relaxed.
Improve work-life balance
Ensure your staff are not overworked and take into account their lifestyles. If you want them to be at their best when working at your small business, you need to give them time to recharge outside of the office and spend time with their families and friends. Our workplace has become increasingly dominated by technology, which may mean employees need to work longer hours, as they feel they must always remain accessible constantly. On the other hand, this technology need not cause stress, it can actually reduce stress. Studies have proved remote employees are often happier and more productive. Therefore you might want to encourage certain days in your work week where employees telecommute, work remotely or establish other flexible work schedules to match their routines.
Give your employees a voice
In uncertain economic times characterized by volatility, many employees are concerned about their job security and small business longevity. Worries about being fired, overlooked for a promotion or constant fears that the business is in peril may lead employees, whose minds should be focused on their jobs, to get caught up in a whirlpool of mental stress. Employees may be scared to speak out about concerns they have as they do not want to be labeled trouble-makers and risk their job. It is important to create spaces where employees can voice their thoughts; whether it is an idea box or a weekly idea-generating meeting, you need to demonstrate to employees that they are respected.