Nowadays more than ever, offices are becoming health conscious work spaces, having realized the relationship between healthy employees and productivity. Good health ensures fewer off days by employees to combat ailments and hence more efficiency. However, workplaces should not merely look at alleviating stress and poor wellbeing. They should, in fact, aim to improve their employees’ health by encouraging them to be at work.
Stress at workplace
According to recent survey by Cigna TTK Health Insurance, Indians suffer from work stress much more than employees in other nations. The survey, which covered how respondents felt towards the key areas of well-being like physical, family, social, finances and work, points towards a grim reality. The same fact was resonated in another survey by Optum, which found that nearly 50% of the Indian workforce was suffering from stress.
With stress reaching epidemic proportions at workplaces, an increasing number of people are being diagnosed with depression, anxiety and related health issues. Add to that, the typical sedentary lifestyle of a normal person who is almost chained to the desk and the computer screen for hours, and you have a deadly combination.
Tackling the Stress Epidemic
Since the office has become the major source of stress, it makes sense to deal with the problem at the source. Workplaces that focus on employee wellness are ideally placed to tackle high levels of stress that employees face. For eg, studies have shown that office design can impact employee stress and productivity levels.
Many work spaces are tackling this problem by offering clients flexible and ergonomic spaces that focus on wellness, health and comfort. Several coworking spaces are also focussing on wellness-oriented spaces that take care of the mind, body and work.
If you are aiming to create a workspace that cares about the overall wellness of its occupants and helps reduce stress then here are a few tips.
Bring in the outdoors: Have you heard of biophilic work design? This design concept embraces the fact that natural elements have a positive impact on our mind. In short, try and bring as much of nature inside your office as possible. Greenery and open spaces with natural light can reduce stress and make staff happier and more productive.
Try adding an area for doing physical exercise: It is scientifically proven that exercise can decrease stress levels and help elevate mood by releasing endorphins. However, busy professionals find it difficult to find time. That is why coworking spaces like Eccosphere have started offering on-site fitness centres for all professionals to de-stress while they are at work. Some even offer yoga and meditation classes at discounted rates and organisations can avail these classes. If you cannot afford that, encourage people to take the stairs or have shared resources like the printer, tea points or bins so that there is movement on the floor.
Have more breakout spaces: Comfortable loungers, cushioned sofas, soothing music and quiet space are a few things that are dominant in coworking spaces that are focussed on wellness. These secluded areas allow employees to relax and get some me-time so that they are ready to take on the curve-balls that work throws at them. Usually, these areas are sunny, airy and green, evoking a feel-good factor that helps combat stress.
Implement better technology: If employees are spending hours to download documents or accessing the cloud, it can lead to work-related stress. Hence, workplaces are focusing on providing cutting-edge technology, namely high-speed internet, to help employees get their work done quickly and without a hitch. Employers can also use other technologies, like collaboration software and CRM applications to help employees do their job without hindrance.
The Bottom LineOrganisations need to have open minds when it comes to choosing the ideal workplace. Work-related stress is a harsh reality and decision makers should lead by example. They should encourage employees to use the wellness facilities at the workplace and educate them about the benefits of these facilities. Also, organisations should consider setting up their base in flexible co-working space.