Break the stress cycle
DID YOU KNOW?
Balancing work & home
Most of us lead hectic lives, often balancing a busy work and home life. Some stress is normal and can be a good thing for certain tasks and to help you perform. But relentless stress can really take its toll on your sleep and quality of life. It can not only lead to burn out but long term stress can also have serious long term health consequences if it is not managed.
Is it possible to be stressed and now know it? Stress manifests itself in the human body in different ways for everybody. For some it may affect the length and quality of sleep, for others it may bring on certain underlying conditions such as eczema and in others it can affect memory and other brain functions such as mood and anxiety. Chronic stress may lead to physical symptoms, like headaches and stomach aches or intestinal issues. Without taking adequate breaks from work, employee productivity, mental wellbeing and overall work performance begin to suffer.
Research by Tork reveals that 94% of people agree they are happier when they take a break during the workday. The research shows that taking breaks from work is important for recovery – which is critical for top performance. Energy isn’t finite, and just as athletes have breaks between races, employees need to rest so they can do their best work. However busy you are, it’s important to take a proper break to allow your brain some down time. This could be a walking lunch break, reading a book or taking a power nap.
Solutions for recharging
How Can Workplaces Help Employees Recharge?
As is so often the case, nature provides the answer. Biophilic design promotes physical, emotional, and intellectual wellbeing in humans when implemented in the built environment. Including plants or plant walls in your working environment has the same mental effect on wellbeing as being outdoors in real natural environments. When biophilic design elements are applied, stress levels are reduced and creativity is enhanced.
Incorporating living architecture into an indoor and/or outdoor space is what most people think of when talking about biophilic design. The use of plants in an indoor space promotes indoor air quality as well as improves one’s aesthetic perception of the interior environment.
Studies have also shown that spaces with access to natural light have positive effects on human wellbeing. When lighting practices are used effectively, studies have shown that employees are more productive at work and are absent less, people think clearer and overall engage more when performing varying tasks and activities.
We suggest creating a wellbeing hub to encourage people to take time out. If you include elements of nature such as a green wall people tend to feel more relaxed, and circadian lighting enhances the overall feeling and experience. Aim to keep this zone separate from classic break out areas which people tend to use for ad hoc meetings and lunch breaks, and which tend to be busier and more noisy.