Stress is the natural byproduct of most jobs. Although upcoming deadlines, a despicable boss, and irrational clients can cause workplace stress, a lot of stress results from workers wanting to do well in their jobs and then struggling to meet expectations.
Additionally, many people compound their at-work stress by bringing stresses from home to the workplace.
With that in mind, we often ask ourselves how to turn our soul-crushing workspace into a calm, stress-free haven.
So for all of you office soldiers, cubicle dwellers, or even virtual workers, here are 5 best ways to upgrade your drab area into a more relaxing and inviting space.
1. Rearrange and redesign your work area.
Rearranging and redesigning your work area can be an inviting, much-needed change every once in a while.
Most of the time you spend in your cubicle will be spent behind the desk, so the arrangement of your workspace must be compatible, comfortable, and visually appealing.
Whether you work from a home office or sit in a corporate cubicle, there are things you can do to make your workplace better for your health and wellbeing.
For example, you can start by adding a touch of green to your workspace. Displaying plants not only will improve the air quality, but studies have shown that plants improve our psychological health such as reducing our stress levels.
In our recent article, we have given a few good examples to improve your workspace such as improving the light quality in your office. Updating the lighting of your workspace can dramatically change the ambiance and your general day-to-day job satisfaction.
Moreover, experimenting with new office style trends such as a standing desk or modern coffee machines might be the next new thing that works for you.
There have been lots of studies in the workplace on productivity, and it has been said that a well-designed workspace can increase your productivity by 20%. The physical environment is the number one factor in determining an employee’s ability to focus and stay focused.
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2. Keep your workspace clean and organized
More often than not, a chaotic work environment means a chaotic mind.
Removing stuff that is visually distracting can have a great impact on reducing your workplace stress level. Taking the time to clear surfaces, organize drawers, and throw away rubbish can turn a stressful workplace serene. Also, you are more likely to avoid wasting your time in finding what you need.
Once you declutter your space, do the same for your project lists and your email inbox. Keep things neat and you’ll feel much more nimble when it comes to decision-making. Label and group your papers and projects into action types, set a daily schedule, and most importantly, update your to-do-list!
Imagine how a clean and organized workspace can add productivity to your daily work life!
3. Upgrade your equipment
Imagine working in an office environment with outdated equipment such as a sluggish computer or an age-old xerox machine.
Although some business owners will be hesitant to make a new investment when it comes to office equipment, the long-term benefits often outweigh the initial price. Upgrading your office equipment makes a vast difference in the amount of work you are able to complete in a given day.
It really makes good business sense to purchase new equipment when other printers and devices become faulty and become more of a burden than a help.
In fact, a recent survey found 51% of office workers experience ‘desk rage’ while at work, with one of the most common causes including failing technology, such as the computer crashing or the printer going into meltdown. With this unnecessary workplace stress in mind, it is vital to make sure the equipment you use is of good quality.
Thinking of a much-needed office upgrade soon? Here’s our previous article about 8 ways your workplace will change in 5 years.
4. Display a few personal items
Personalizing your office space is an important step in improving your productivity.
Studies show that people who personalize their workspace are more satisfied with their jobs. It’s rewarding to have some sense of control over your environment. Feeling comfortable and free to express yourself at work can lead to other positive repercussions as you get through your day.
Start with a few small personal touches and see how you like the changes. Bring personal items that give you more comfort such as your favorite throw pillow, your support cushion for your chair, or whatever that boosts your productivity.
Brighten up your workspace with something from home that has meaning to you. Pick out only two to three things that are significant to you—like a photo, a display figure of your favorite superhero, or an award you’re proud of.
But keep in mind that while personalizing your space is important, too much clutter may make it difficult for you to work or give the impression that you are disorganized (Go back to no. 2). It’s always important to find a balance between expressing yourself and maintaining a professional appearance.
5. Allow food and beverage in your workspace
Let’s face it! Food makes us happy. While you are rushing for your deadlines, working on a project, or doing your daily sales reports, no one wants to work with a grouchy stomach.
So why restrict yourself from reducing workplace stress by not having food and beverages available?
It is clear that there are a huge number of benefits associated with having easy access to food and beverage in the workplace. This goes hand in hand with our recent article where we discussed 7 good reasons you need food and beverages in the office.
Food and beverage boost your brain power and supply your energy. This increased energy leads to better concentration at work and higher productivity. The better your focus and attitude, the more effective you are in your role.
However, having a slammed schedule on your to-do-list, you may find going to the cafeteria, canteen, or pantry too time-consuming.
Therefore, having easy access to food and beverage can boost your all-day productivity. Not only does this allow you to focus on your work more, but it also means you don’t have to leave your workplace to grab a cup of coffee or an afternoon snack.
One does not need a plethora of studies to recognize the importance of the workspace and its role as a contributing factor in behavior that will either stifle performance or boost productivity.
Our surroundings have a huge impact on stress levels and well-being. Workspaces have traditionally been dreary places, with dull color schemes and generic furniture. But more and more people today are realizing that making a few small tweaks to their environment can be surprisingly powerful.
Reducing workplace stress does not require anything drastic– a few small alterations to your space can create a touch of serenity, even if you work in a very stressful environment.
Make sure to share this article with anyone you think could use it!
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