Is your work space a barren cubicle with nothing on the walls? Or a cluttered office with piles of papers stacked on your desk? Not surprisingly, your office environment can have a major impact on how stressed out you feel at work.
Stress in the workplace is a serious issue. More than one-third of working Americans report experiencing chronic stress at the office, according to the American Psychological Association, but most aren’t given the tools to deal with it. In fact, only 36 percent of the workers polled said their organization provided the necessary resources to help them manage stress.
Luckily a few simple changes to your work space can help reduce feelings of job stress, experts say, leaving you more inspired and motivated. Follow these tips from Forbes, Open Forum and Levo to make your office space your sanctuary:
1. Add a personal touch. Include a few personal items in your cubicle or office that have special significance to you, such as a photograph, piece of artwork or meaningful accessory.
2. Tidy up. For some people, a messy desk inspires creativity. For others, it causes profound stress. Try organizing your desk, filing your papers and cleaning your office regularly. Chances are, your stress level will plummet.
3. Grow plants. Adding living plants to your work space can help relieve stress, lower blood pressure and promote positive well-being – not to mention improve the air quality of the office.
4. Get comfortable. Lighting too harsh? Chair hurting your back? Bring a lamp to work that adds a softer glow, and swap out your chair for one that fits you better. Small changes like this can make a big difference to your mood.
5. Play with color. The hues featured in your office can influence your state of mind. “Neutral tones tend to be calming,” Sherry Burton Ways, an interior designer and color therapist, told Forbes. “Yellows promote intellectual activity while blues and greens are more restful. Earth tone colors encourage warmth.”
6. Move your body. Sometimes you need to get out of your immediate environment to relax. Research shows that a lunchtime walk helps relieve stress. But if you don’t have time for that, take time to stretch or do some office yoga to unwind and refresh.
7. Build relationships. Coworkers are a big part of your everyday office environment – and genuinely enjoying them goes a long way towards reducing stress. Why not start a company softball team, organize an office book club or suggest a volunteer opportunity you can participate in together?