Blog, Facilities Management

Mental Health and Well-Being at the Workplace

A recent report out by the Stress Management Society, describes a stress epidemic among the nation’s workforce, with over a third of people saying their workplace stress has been ongoing for the past five years.

In another poll by the Short Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale, identifies two-thirds of workers have ‘poor’ or ‘below average’ mental well-being in the workplace.

Employees are urging their employers to take a flexible, fresh and dynamic approach to help them tackle stress, with almost half of workers wanting a yoga and meditation room and exercise facilities to help relieve stress; heating and ventilation, quiet working areas and breakout spaces are also high on the list.

In this insight, we look in further detail, at ways and methods to improve your own mental well-being.

Stress, loneliness, inactivity and lack of sleep are just a few reasons why you may be suffering. No matter the reason, it can be helpful to remember that you deserve to feel good and there are steps you can take, both in the workplace and outside, to improve and maintain your mental health.

gray ballpoint pen on top of white book

Keep A Mood Diary

Tracking your moods can help you to work out what positively and negatively affects your mental wellbeing. You can take steps to avoid, change or prepare for negative situations. Check out these FREE mood diaries online such as moodpanda.com, moodscope.com, medhelp.org/land/mood-tracker and mappiness.org.uk.

Tell People What Helps

If certain treatments have helped in the past, tell your doctor. Let your friends and family know how they can support you, whether it’s listening to you when you’ve had a bad day at work, helping you to keep on top of commitments, or being aware of triggers.

person standing wearing red shirt

Set Yourself Challenges

Find something you like doing and do more of it. You could take up a hobby, join a class or volunteer your time for something you feel passionate about. It can be hard to find motivation to set goals for yourself, especially when you don’t feel confident or worry about what other people may think. Making small goals such as trying a recipe or learning a new language can help you feel more positive about yourself. Learning new challenges can help boost your confidence and give you a sense of achievement.

Want more ideas?

Read our Mental Health Awareness at Work, which looks at the signs, symptoms and six simple ways to deal with work-related stress.

Step by Step Guide to Switching Facilities Providers

We speak to businesses every day who feel they ‘don’t want the hassle’ of switching suppliers or are unsure about the terms of their current contract. That’s why we’ve created a Step by Step Guide to Switching Facilities Providers. See our three simple steps to switching your supplier and how easy it can be to make a significant positive impact on your business.

How Facilities Managers can Help Reduce Stress in The Workplace

In today’s fast-paced and demanding business world, stress has become an all too common companion for many employees. As Facilities Managers (FMs) play a crucial role in creating a conducive and comfortable work environment, they have the power to significantly impact the stress levels experienced by employees. This article explores various strategies and examples of how Facilities Managers can help reduce stress in the workplace.

Creating a Tranquil Physical Environment

Ergonomic Workspace Design

One of the fundamental ways Facilities Managers can contribute to stress reduction is through ergonomic workspace design. Providing employees with comfortable chairs, adjustable desks, and proper lighting can greatly enhance their physical well-being and reduce the strain on their bodies. For instance, offering adjustable monitor stands that promote proper posture can alleviate neck and back pain, leading to a more relaxed and focused workforce.

Natural Elements and Biophilic Design

Incorporating natural elements into the office environment has been proven to have a positive impact on employee stress levels. Facilities Managers can introduce indoor plants, water features, and nature-inspired artwork to create a calming atmosphere. A study conducted by the University of Exeter found that employees working in offices with natural elements reported a 15% increase in well-being and productivity. Thus, FMs can strategically position plant-filled spaces, such as relaxation corners or indoor gardens, to provide employees with a refreshing retreat during hectic workdays.

Promoting Social Interaction and Collaboration

Thoughtful Space Planning

Facilities Managers can play a pivotal role in fostering social interaction and collaboration among employees by strategically planning office layouts. Open-concept spaces, communal areas, and breakout rooms encourage spontaneous conversations and idea-sharing, which can help alleviate stress by promoting a sense of camaraderie. For instance, having a well-designed break room with comfortable seating and recreational activities can provide employees with an opportunity to unwind and build stronger relationships with their colleagues.

Quiet Zones and Private Retreats

While promoting social interaction is important, Facilities Managers should also recognize the need for quiet zones and private retreats. Some employees may prefer solitude or require a peaceful space for focused work. By providing soundproof booths, secluded corners, or designated quiet rooms, FMs can offer employees a chance to escape the noise and pressures of the main work area, ultimately reducing stress and enhancing concentration.

Enhancing Health and Well-being Facilities

Fitness and Wellness Facilities

Facilities Managers can contribute to stress reduction by incorporating fitness and wellness facilities within the workplace. On-site gyms, yoga studios, or meditation rooms provide employees with convenient opportunities to engage in physical activity and relaxation. Research by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests that regular exercise and relaxation practices can significantly lower stress levels and improve overall well-being. By offering these facilities, FMs demonstrate a commitment to employee health and help alleviate stress-related issues.

Proper Ventilation and Lighting

Creating a healthy indoor environment involves ensuring proper ventilation and lighting. Facilities Managers can ensure that workspaces are well-ventilated and receive ample natural light. Studies have shown that exposure to natural light can regulate circadian rhythms, improve mood, and reduce stress hormones. Additionally, energy-efficient lighting systems that mimic natural light patterns can help create a soothing and balanced atmosphere, further contributing to stress reduction.

Efficient Facilities Management Practices

Streamlined Maintenance Services

Efficient maintenance services provided by Facilities Managers can indirectly contribute to stress reduction. Timely repairs, responsive janitorial services, and proactive equipment maintenance prevent workplace disruptions and create a smooth operational environment. When employees know that their work environment is well-maintained and taken care of, they are likely to experience lower levels of stress caused by unexpected inconveniences.

Technological Integration

Embracing technology can streamline facilities management processes and enhance employee experience. Facilities Managers can implement smart building systems that regulate temperature, lighting, and other environmental factors based on employee preferences. For example, automated climate control that adapts to individual comfort levels can contribute to a more pleasant and stress-free work environment.

Facilities Managers Play a Crucial Role in Reducing Stress in the Workplace

Facilities Managers play a crucial role in shaping the physical and emotional well-being of employees. By focusing on ergonomic design, promoting social interaction, enhancing health and well-being facilities, and implementing efficient management practices, Facilities Managers can create a workplace that reduces stress and enhances overall employee satisfaction. As stress reduction becomes a priority for organizations, Facilities Managers have the opportunity to make a lasting positive impact on the workforce and contribute to a more harmonious and productive workplace.

people sitting on chair with brown wooden table

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Reducing Stress in the Workplace through Facilities Management

Q1: What is the role of Facilities Managers (FMs) in reducing stress in the workplace?

A1: Facilities Managers are responsible for creating and maintaining a conducive work environment. They can implement strategies such as ergonomic workspace design, promoting social interaction, enhancing health and well-being facilities, and efficient facilities management practices to reduce stress among employees.

Q2: How does ergonomic workspace design contribute to stress reduction?

A2: Ergonomic workspace design involves providing comfortable furniture, proper lighting, and equipment that promote healthy posture and reduce physical strain. This design approach helps employees feel more comfortable and lessens the risk of physical discomfort, ultimately lowering stress levels.

Q3: Can incorporating natural elements into the office environment really reduce stress?

A3: Yes, introducing natural elements such as indoor plants, water features, and nature-inspired artwork has been shown to have a positive impact on employee well-being. Studies indicate that exposure to nature indoors can decrease stress, improve mood, and boost productivity.

Q4: How do Facilities Managers promote social interaction and collaboration?

A4: Facilities Managers can plan office layouts that encourage spontaneous interactions by creating open-concept spaces, communal areas, and breakout rooms. These spaces foster teamwork, idea-sharing, and a sense of camaraderie, which can help reduce stress among employees.

Q5: Why are quiet zones and private retreats important for stress reduction?

A5: While social interaction is valuable, some employees require moments of solitude for focused work or relaxation. Facilities Managers can create quiet zones, soundproof booths, or designated quiet rooms where employees can escape noise and find tranquility, thus reducing stress.

Q6: How can fitness and wellness facilities contribute to stress reduction?

A6: On-site gyms, yoga studios, and meditation rooms provided by Facilities Managers offer employees convenient opportunities for physical activity and relaxation. Regular exercise and wellness practices have been proven to lower stress levels and improve overall well-being.

Q7: What impact does proper ventilation and lighting have on stress?

A7: Facilities Managers can ensure workspaces have proper ventilation and ample natural light. Exposure to natural light regulates circadian rhythms, boosts mood, and reduces stress hormones. Efficient lighting systems can also create a soothing atmosphere, contributing to stress reduction.

Q8: How do streamlined maintenance services help alleviate stress?

A8: Timely repairs, responsive janitorial services, and proactive equipment maintenance provided by Facilities Managers prevent workplace disruptions and create a smooth operational environment. When employees experience a well-maintained workspace, their stress levels from unexpected inconveniences decrease.

Q9: How does technological integration impact stress reduction?

A9: Facilities Managers can implement smart building systems that adjust temperature, lighting, and other environmental factors based on employee preferences. Automated climate control and technology-driven solutions contribute to a comfortable and stress-free work environment.

Q10: Why should Facilities Managers focus on stress reduction?

A10: Stress reduction is essential for employee well-being, job satisfaction, and overall productivity. Facilities Managers play a pivotal role in shaping the workplace environment, and their efforts to reduce stress can lead to a happier, healthier, and more motivated workforce.

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