Four Methods Of Managing Employee Stress Through Office Decor

Posted on: 16 June 2015

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Your office environment can have a significant impact on employee stress levels. For the majority of people, more waking hours are spent at work than at home. Employee stress levels don't just lead to unhappy, unhealthy employees -- they also lead to unproductive employees. However, you have options for reducing their stress in the office:

1. Indoor Water Fountains

A gentle, calming background noise is often enough to break up the monotony of the day. Indoor water fountains can be quite serene: they provide a gentle, trickling, natural sound throughout the day in addition to something pleasant to look at.

Indoor fountains have another great benefit -- they look fantastic to visiting clients. An indoor water fountain can often be hooked up without any water line, it simply needs to be refilled on an occasional basis. 

2. Spreading Natural Light

Natural light is a mood elevator, and the harsh lighting of fluorescent fixtures can be distressing. While you can't always have open windows in every office, you can plan your decor around the bouncing of natural white light. Use mirrored surfaces (such as frosted metal panels) and soft, light-colored cloth (such as cream-colored cubicle walls) to effectively disperse light through smaller spaces. Where fluorescent lights are needed, use the ones that most closely approximate "daylight."

3. Using Soothing Colors

Colors have a tendency to be linked to emotions. Red tends to be an aggressive color, whereas blue can inspire calm. Lighter shades, such as pastels, are less of a visual assault. A pale blue or green office will likely be less anxiety producing than a brightly-colored red office. Even a sterile white office can seem a bit drab and depressing, not to mention be difficult to keep clean.

4. Opening Up the Plan

There's a reason why the open office plan has become so popular -- not only is it cheaper, but it also creates less of an oppressive environment. An open office plan is a plan that has as few walls and obstructions as possible. Teams can work together and interact with each other, thereby not feeling as isolated and alone throughout their workday. If sound becomes a distraction, headphones can be used by those who want to concentrate without losing the benefit of being within reach of their colleagues.

There are many ways that you can approach employee stress, in addition to decor. Productivity coaches can help you in crafting the best possible environment for your employees -- and don't forget to ask your employees for feedback! Sometimes just having more of an influence on your surroundings can make you feel a bit better.