February, the designated American Heart Month by the American Heart Association, is a good time to reflect on our physical status and our mental state as well. Too much stress can impact our overall health. The right work-life balance may not be as easy to find as you think. Without it, our wellbeing is in serious jeopardy.
That’s why 70% of those currently employed are searching for other jobs and less than one-third of Americans are happy with their work. Half of the workforce is mentally absent. Eighteen percent are unhappy with their current position with some even undermining the success of their workplace.
American businesses know an unhappy or unhealthy work environment is bad for their bottom line and bad for employees – or do they? Studies have shown being unhappy at work can take a toll on health, relationships, and even life expectancy. Workers in unhealthy environments tend to gain weight, have more healthcare visits, and have higher rates of absenteeism. Stress from work can also impact family life, mental health, and physical health.
The top causes of stress in the U.S. are money and work-related pressures, according to a survey from the American Psychological Association. So what can businesses do to help create mentally healthy, low stress environments? Here are five solutions to put to work.
1) A productive office space:
This is the first step to a happy, healthy workplace. A well-organized office can save time and prevent disgruntled workers. Availability of flexible scheduling helps employees rotate work hours as needed. However, this trend finds agile employees roaming from one location to another in search of desks. If they can’t quickly find the best spaces to work, it hinders productivity – and the frustration can create a negative mindset.
Hot desking or hoteling (reservation-based unassigned seating or desks) helps solve this problem. There are software programs to manage the sharing of office space and desks, opening work spaces to employees on a “booking basis” rather than for regular use. Desks remain unassigned and are scheduled through a formal office reservation system each day for the hours needed.
2) Competitive salaries:
This is another step to keep employees happy, which in turn gives them a healthy attitude. Do research and find out how much competitors are paying their office staff, managers, contract workers etc. This information will allow a correct structure for a livable pay scale. It will keep employees from jumping ship and their attitudes on board for better job performance.
3) Round-the-clock work/life balance:
Like it or not we live in a world where technology keeps us connected to work 24/7. Given this, it’s hard to maintain a good balance between the hours we work and the time we put aside for family and friends. Options such as flexible scheduling, meeting management, hoteling, and video conferencing should be available to help alleviate stress and provide more time away from work related activities.
We already discussed hoteling, which is related to flexible scheduling, so let’s touch upon technology for meeting management. Software programs find a room, book it, and integrate with Outlook to announce the time and location of a meeting, incorporate video conferencing and more – all this reduces worry and headaches.
4) Is investing in technology tools to make your meetings more efficient worth it?:
Here are the top four considerations:
> Scheduling Beyond Outlook – An enterprised scheduling platform integrated with Outlook offers the ultimate room and desk booking experience. It will communicate with the booker, manage meeting changes and deliver real time utilization reporting.
> Sensor Technology – Sensors supply visual information on the availability of space making it easier for the user to view details. Digital signage allows attendees to see which rooms are in use or vacant.
> Integration – of a room booking software with digital signage gives the user the ultimate connected experience.
> Mobility – With increased mobility of office staff, meeting requirements and services can be very different based on an individual’s location and needs. Today mobile room booking apps work on multiple platforms, putting users in control wherever they are.
In summary, Resource scheduling software will monitor attendance and release the room back into availability if no one shows up; used together with desk sensor technology it’s also a great way to make sure hot desks are being actually used.
5) Control in the workplace minimizes stress:
Many studies have shown that a controlled atmosphere minimizes stress. This is particularly true in the workplace. According to Forbes, stress primarily comes from not taking action over something that you can have some control over, and as soon as you identify it and take action, the less stressful it will be. For example, eliminating multi-steps to complete a task whenever possible helps. Deciding where to hold a meeting, what time is best, what equipment is needed to convey your message to teammates, catering, parking for attendees etc. can become overwhelming when coupled with other day to day responsibilities. What happens when the time of the meeting changes without much notice? Or once the meeting starts the AV and VC equipment aren’t in the room? Meeting room scheduling tools takes care of all this – in one easy step – eliminating unnecessary stress.
So take time to recharge and de-stress at work. Whenever possible let technology cut down on the amount of steps needed to fulfill a task. Software programs for meeting room management alleviate meeting multi-tasking, leaving time for other work-related functions.
And leave time for unrelated work experiences. The happiest, well-rounded employees tend to include interpersonal relationships, commitment to the organization, and a sense of meaning or achievement for the areas of their job with which they are most satisfied – therefore eliminating stress, building a healthy work attitude and adding to the organization’s bottom-line.