With today’s longer working hours and increased pressure to perform, the risk of workplace stress is higher than ever. Unfortunately, many companies overlook the way in which workplace design can affect employee happiness and wellbeing, and this can prove to be a costly mistake. A stressful work environment can lead to low morale, reduced engagement and increased absence rates, all of which are bad news for businesses’ bottom lines. Luckily, these problems can be averted with a well-designed workspace. To find out more, read on.

Inadequate office furniture

Poorly designed office furniture is not only distracting, it can also have a damaging effect on workers’ physical and psychological wellbeing. Uncomfortable chairs and cramped desks can increase the risk of long-term health problems and lead to high levels of frustration and stress, making it difficult for staff members to focus on tasks. If you want to create a healthy, productive workforce, it’s important to ensure that your employees are as comfortable as possible by investing in ergonomically designed furniture. For example, sites such as Calibre Office Furniture offer a range of specilaist back support chairs and adjustable sit-stand desks that are designed to improve employee comfort and boost performance.

Inactivity

While it may not seem like a particularly hazardous activity, spending the majority of the day sitting down in front of a computer screen can have a negative impact on worker health. Long periods of inactivity can lead to increased levels of stress, anxiety and depression. To create a positive, stimulating environment, workplace layouts should encourage staff to move around by providing alternative spaces, such as break-out rooms, recreational areas and canteens. While it may seem counterproductive, giving employees the chance to have regular breaks and temporarily get away from their desks allows them to bounce back from stressful work demands more easily and can actually increase performance in the long run.

Open plan environments

In recent years, workplaces have seen a shift from private offices and cubicles to open plan designs. While these environments can be a great way to enhance camaraderie and encourage interaction among colleagues, they can also be a breeding ground for stress. With increased noise levels, distractions and a lack of personal space, concentration levels and motivation can suffer. To combat this problem, workplaces need to be diverse and incorporate flexible working zones for different tasks, including both open and private spaces. Giving employees more control over the way they work is guaranteed to boost morale and enhance job satisfaction.  

By taking into account the needs of your staff with a flexible, carefully designed workspace, you should be able to keep stress levels to a minimum and create a happier, more engaged workforce.

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