Let’s face it: Work is boring and tedious, and there are much better things to do than sit in an office for 40 hours a week. As people say it, “It’s the hustle.” The hustle doesn’t need to be boring and tedious, though, because employers can—if they wanted to. On the other hand, maybe employees just want to avoid stress.
The Attitudes in the American Workplace VII reports that 80 percent of workers are stressed because of work. Half of them feel the need for stress management techniques and skills, and 25 percent of workers just want to scream. The STRESS…At Work NIOSH Report found that 25 percent of American employees identify their jobs as the number cause of stress in their lives. 26 percent are “often” and “very often” burned out.
Employers need to pay attention to these numbers because it also affects their business. Employee productivity, satisfaction, and retention are needed to keep the business going. Without them, employers might be left to do everything on their own. Therefore, employers owe it to their employees to minimize the stress of the employees.
In the workplace, allocated space for relaxation would be better if it is an enclosed space. This will isolate them from the hustle and bustle of the main pit of the office as well as block their view of stressors. This is a place is for pure stillness and relaxation only.
Relaxation equipment can be as simple as a yoga mat. It’s cheap, versatile, and easy to access. Just make sure that the mat is thick enough, so it doesn’t add to the back pain of employees. A study conducted in 2015 found fewer warning signs of burnout in nurses who attended a yoga session once a week. Another study found that employees who do one hour of yoga daily are less likely to throw a fit in the office.
A fancier option—and a nice-to-have thing in the office—is a massage chair. There is a wide range of options for massage chairs online that can cater to the company budget as well as the space of the room. It can ease the tension in the muscles. It breaks the hours of sitting with stress by sitting to relax instead.
“Toys” is a broad term. The toys for “big boys,” they say, are cars. Children, on the other hand, view toys as anything they can play with.
Sometimes, when people are stressed, it’s good to have something to fidget. It could be a Rubik’s cube, a Slinky, or a fidget spinner. Research suggests that fidgeting is a sign of over or under-stimulation, and this is the brain’s way of compensating. Similarly, people tend to do better when they’re holding stress balls, doodling, or taking notes. All these lead to a notion that fidgeting increases productivity, attention span, and memory retention.
Toys can also be puzzles or board games. There are types of work that are so procedural and technical that doing them all day every day can numb the brain. Engaging the brain in between work can bring color and liveliness back. By assembling a puzzle and strategizing on how to monopolize the game, employees are activating regions in the brain that aren’t tapped by repetitive tasks.
Pets are more than just cute animals people treat as family. Sure, sometimes, they do dumb things, but they make it so cute humans are fascinated by them.
The sheer joy humans feel when they’re with their pets relieves stress. 74 percent of pet owners felt that their mental health has improved since having a pet. Additionally, 75 percent think the same for family members who have recently welcomed a pet into their lives. According to HelpGuide, older adults (65 and above) with pets visit their doctors 30 percent less than those without pets.
Hence, having pets around the office is beneficial for the employees. Research suggests that pet-friendly offices have higher employee engagement and retention. The presence of pets allows 90 percent of employees to be one with their company’s mission, full engagement in their jobs, and higher chances of recommending the company. These mental health benefits do not only extend to one person but to the entire group.
Having a pet around gives instant smiles to employees. When they feel burned out during their tasks, they can call on the pet, play with them, and give them a little pat.
Employers should think of these as an investment. When one comes to think of it, these solutions are don’t cost much, but employees will appreciate the effort, care, and the options given to them.