Work stress – what do you think about when you hear this term? Most probably you mention ever increasing workloads, difficult co-workers, challenging bosses and managers. Oh, and how can we forget about the everyday commute back and forth? Decreasing demand for the company’s products and services, mergers and acquisitions add to the list. No wonder that work stress is mentioned most frequently among stress factors in life.
There is one unexpected stress factor you may not have considered yet. It isn’t the people or your salary – according to one study – but where you sit that results in whether or not you feel stressed out at work. Interesting!
Studies have shown the correlation between workspace and stress levels. One study proved that private offices resulted in less stress than open space offices where workers have cubicles they call their own.
In an open space it is easy to get stressed because you might feel being watched the whole day and you never have a moment of down time. Increased noise can cause stress because all the distraction it brings. Many people feel stressed when they’re trying to work and are exposed to chatter in the background.
Sitting in an office where you’re exposed to a hot window or the blast of a too-cold air conditioner pointed at you? None of these situation will help you have a balanced, stress-free day!
Now take a minute and look around your work space. Where do you sit? What about your surroundings? How is the temperature? The noise level? How does this place make you feel? What would you think when you visited your own office space? What would you think about the person who works there? Do you like your desk, your cubicle or office?
Do you feel less than happy with your work space? Here are a few tips to make your office space less daunting!
First, consider how you can fix things yourself. How about adding a little personalization? Add family photos, a green plant or flowers, and some knick knacks that make you feel like the space is less sterile.
Now if your work area actually killing your productivity, you might need to discuss this with the management. Too much noise, inadequate air flow, less than appropriate lightning will make you less effective in your job! Talk to your boss about the loss of productivity you suffer and he/she might be able to find a better space for you – sometimes you just need to ask!
If the area where you work is dimly lit, you can bring your own lighting or ask for a place by the windows. Consider adding some of your favorite colors to the work area.
If you’re in a position where you’re overwhelmed with aromas like popcorn cooking in the break room or a co-worker’s strong perfume, then bring a diffuser of your favorite essential oils to work to give you some much needed stress relief via aromatherapy.
Take proactive action to create a better work environment for yourself!