3 Ways to Create a Stress-free Work Atmosphere
We all know that stressful work environments lead to low morale, low performance, low retention rates, and everything negative in between. Why not make it easy on yourselves and your team by creating a work environment that people want to be a part of? By implementing a positive work atmosphere, you’ll not only improve your team morale but you’ll improve effectiveness and efficiency within your company.
Here at The Cause Collaborative we refer to ourselves as a weird, little family. We’re a small team with a pretty awesome open concept office that helps us to stay even more connected. When thinking about how to integrate your team members and create a more in-sync workplace, consider the actual physical environment. People thrive on being able to socialize and at the very least having the option to do so.
Try auditing your workspace. Are backs turned to each other or are people facing each other? Are people behind closed doors all day or stuck behind cubicles? If you can, play around with movable walls and rearrange desks. If this isn’t an option, consider creating a common area where people can escape their work for a while to take a break, chat, and just breathe.
Don’t create forced fun for team bonding and include your employees on decision making for activities. When people have the chance to use their voice and have their opinions heard, they feel valued and are more inclined to be and feel like they are a part of the team.
Oftentimes, your employees are with each other more than they’re with their own families. Why not make their time as enjoyable as possible and consider what they want and need to keep them motivated and productive throughout the day?
Mental Health Days
Mental Health Days are becoming increasingly popular for the right reasons. As we continue to see a spike in the number of people being negatively impacted by various issues in society, it’s clear that mental health days are necessary. School districts, from Oregon all the way to DC, are implementing these days in an effort to help students perform and feel better. Why not included them in the workplace?
We have and they’re awesome! Here at The Cause Collaborative we make an effort to really create the atmosphere of not only “work-life balance” but “self-care”. It’s important to recognize that you and your employees will truly perform at their best when they’re feeling their best. Try implementing these days to give your team an opportunity to regroup. Trust us - they’ll return to work refreshed, energized, and ready to go!
Autonomy and Independence
People thrive on being given the freedom and autonomy to work when and how they want. Understanding that tasks have deadlines - this doesn’t necessarily mean let your team do whatever they want. It’s more of a suggestion to be flexible. If someone can’t focus in the office one day, offer them the chance to work remotely (from a coffee shop or home) one day or afternoon a week.
Another way to give employees freedom is with their actual work. Encourage your team to think outside the box. Big ideas are usually the best ideas - don’t turn them down! Think them through as a team and you’ll be surprised at what you can come up with for a new project, client, or event.
Happy people = high quality work. When you encourage your team to be creative and independent you’re automatically setting yourself up for success. Along with encouraging creativity, make sure you create a comfortable atmosphere - only allow positive, constructive feedback. Instead of saying, “I don’t like that idea” try saying, “I like where you’re headed but let me push you a little further, what about this…?”
Through inclusivity and consideration for you team and employees, you can create a more productive and positive workplace. Try implementing a few of the suggestions above or work with your team to generate your own ideas! Either way you’re bound to see significant change throughout your company.
Be sure to check out the links within the article to see other options for open concept offices, when and what to do on your mental health day, and ways to encourage autonomy!