Reducing Workplace Stress Through Design
With more and more companies embracing the concept of promoting wellness in the workplace, finding ways to support stress management should be part of the big picture. Work-related stress can take a serious toll on peoples’ mental and physical well being. According to the American Institute of Stress, 80% of workers feel stress on the job and that stress can lead to problems like anxiety, depression, headaches, higher blood pressure, difficulties with sleeping, and general disengagement with their job.
While there isn’t a way to completely eliminate all stressors in the workplace, office design can be an effective way to help reduce stress so that people can be happier, healthier, and more productive.
The colors you use in your office can have a deeper effect than you might initially expect. Some of the most popular colors for offices are blues and greens because of the calming effect they can have on people. Since both of these colors are often associated with peaceful natural scenes like beautiful blue skies, calm waters, and fresh plants, they often help people feel more at ease. Adding some pops of sunny yellows can also help bring a cheerful, vibrant vibe to a space.
If decorating with colors that remind people of nature can help them feel more relaxed, finding other ways to incorporate nature into their office design can take those benefits even further. Biophilic design is a concept built around the idea of bringing elements of nature into interior design as a way to help people feel more relaxed and uplifted. In the workplace, this can also help people be more productive, more focused, and more creative.
Some other ways to bring biophilic design to your workplace can include decorating with natural materials like wood and stone, displaying artwork that features natural scenes, and displaying plants around the office. Maximizing access to natural light is another important thing to consider. People love feeling connected to the world around them and natural light is very important to physical and emotional health.
One very common complaint people have about their workplaces, particularly when offices have open layouts, is that noise levels are too high. Not only can noise be annoying and frustrating to deal with, it can lead to a major loss in productivity. Reducing noise in the office doesn’t have to mean switching to private offices or instituting any rules about keeping voices down. There are lots of options for acoustic controls on the market that can help keep the noise down without making people feel closed off or make your office feel like a library.
In addition to high noise levels, a lack of privacy in the office can leave people stressed out because of distractions during the day. It’s important to remember that everyone has their own style of working and even that can change depending on what, exactly, they’re working on. A person might be fine working at their desk in an open office most of the time, but still occasionally want more privacy when they’re trying to concentrate or need to have a conversation with a coworker without disrupting others.
Including a variety of spaces with different levels of privacy is a great way to reduce stress since it gives people more control over the environment they work in. Check out a few different ideas for how to create privacy in the workplace.
Invite Fun & Relaxation
Sometimes, people need a reminder to take a break during the day. It’s important to balance work and play and features like game rooms and fitness centers make it easy for people to incorporate a little more play in their workday. But even simpler things like lounge areas and break rooms where people can take a few minutes to relax, have a snack, or chat with a coworker can help keep stress at manageable levels.
Is it time to give your office a new look? Let Premier Construction & Design help. We’ve designed and built spaces for companies in a wide range of industries and would love to work with you. Take a look at our portfolio and case studies to see just a few other projects we’ve worked on. When you’re ready, contact us to get started.