Office Design Tips To Create a Stress-Free Work Environment

People in the office
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Spending working hours in the atmosphere of serenity and calmness seems impossible since work and stress are perpetually intertwined. However, the reasons that cause work-related stress vary. Most of the employees report high levels of stress due to the workload and people issues, but those reasons fall under the category of structural and organizational problems within the company. Another thing that can cause anxiety and inhibit our productivity, even though we tend to overlook such obvious facts, is our surrounding. Although stress-free work environment may sound like an oxymoron, there are ways to reduce stress by making small yet important modifications in your workplace.

Do something about the light

Given that we spend half of our waking hours at work, the quality of light in the office is crucial for our well-being. Fluorescent strip lights are common in many offices although being a health and safety danger. Aside from containing mercury and spreading uneven light, fluorescent bulbs often flicker and buzz which can be very annoying and even harmful to people with epilepsy. Natural light reduces stress so try to get close to the window, but if that is not an option, have a small desk lamp that will help you reduce eye strain.

Add some greenery

Plants are the oldest trick when trying to improve any interior, no matter how small. However, the benefits of having plants go much further than decorating your cubicle. Besides the fact that greenery will improve the air quality, it will lift up your mood and increase productivity. Numerous studies confirm positive effects of plants on our mindset and mental health, so make sure to include few colorful flowers around your desk. Be creative and make air plant holders that will hang there and brighten your day. Also, use a coffee break to go to the nearest park since it will refresh you and replenish your mental energy.

Personalize your workspace

With all that neutral colors and generic furniture, offices can be quite dreary places, so allow yourself to customize it and add a personal touch. Place no more than three or four personal items that mean something to you. A mere glance at the family photo, kid’s drawing or a small gift from a friend in the middle of the demanding working day will bring back smile on your face and remind you of all good things that await after work. Only make sure not to clutter your desk with excessive details since it can cause more stress.

Speaking of clutter

Organize your desk and computer since chaotic workspace can only trigger more stress and anxiety. Clutter is harmful in many ways, far beyond the situation where you lose precious time to find a paper that was here yesterday. Visual clutter is a distraction that overloads our brain and limits the ability to process information. Reduce office items, clear the desk and organize the drawers. Store papers where they belong, place promotional material in the brochure holders and get rid of all unnecessary things. Try to go paperless as much as possible and store files digitally.

Have mini breaks

Although working hours are for working, include mini breaks since no one can work efficiently eight or more hours in the row. Use this mini breaks, no longer than few minutes, to unplug and to reset. During these few minutes do nothing related to work but make it personal time instead. Deep breathing and short meditations can be quite helpful since it will help you to calm your mind and renew the energy. Also, you can use these short breaks to stretch and move around the office since too much sitting can cause various health risks.

Final words

Stress is an inevitable part of our lives, so one might think that there is only so much we can do about it. We can reduce levels of stress by being more mindful and aware of ourselves and our surrounding. No one can avoid stress, but we can remember wise words of Shantideva who says: “If you can solve your problem, then what is the need of worrying? If you cannot solve it, then what is the use of worrying?”

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