What is the best tool that any business owner has at their disposal? It is not some fancy electronic gadget and it is not large powerful industrial equipment. Your employees are the most powerful tool that you have. However it can also be the most fragile tool as well.
This paradox is often misunderstood or not understood enough by employers. Yes you can push your employees to work harder and for longer hours but eventually they will burn out. Emotionally they may not have the same amount of drive to reach deadlines and explore new ideas.
You need to make sure that you push your employees just to the edges of their limit but never over. It is also important to make sure you have new ways of helping staff members at work but also away from work.
Helping them be more at ease and know how to shut off when work is over for the day is crucial to their mental stability. In fact, if you can balance this ethos of hard work, plenty of fun and fun then you may be able to boost performance from each individual. A mix of solutions are needed, with some that aid in the mental health of workers in the office and at home.
Drab and dull is no good
Office spaces are places where we spend a lot of our waking hours. Work has become such as great part of our lives ever since we stopped caring about working hours. The usual working hours for the average employee used to be the classic 9 to 5.
However we the advent of task management software and supply chain interfaces, we can access our work profiles at any time we want. Work can be done online and tasks move with more fluidity than ever before. A task might be completed at one level at the end of a working day but then might be picked up by another department immediately. This can cause some people to stay behind and get an early start on their end of a project. Therefore our office spaces might actually be somewhere we spend 10 or more hours.
To help your employees stay upbeat and enthusiastic about their work, their environment has got to make them feel good. The drab and dull walls of office spaces in the 90s are to be given the boot. You need brighter office spaces, with floral colors or perhaps a pastel palette. Bright tones help our creativity, they help to be more relaxed as well. Consider painting the walls a different colors or perhaps a vibrant mural of some kind. Anxiety and depression are known to decrease in office environment where there are bright colors, so implement this in your workspace.
Engage in debate
Creativity does live within people, but it can also be fostered. When ideas clash with each other, you can form new ideas that can solve an issue you have been wrestling with. Debate is absolutely crucial because it lets your workers know that you are celebrating free speech.
So for those people that feel like they have ideas that the majority won’t agree with, they still have a platform from which they can be heard. This means that those individuals won’t feel alienated and psychologically kicked out of their group. It is vital to the mental health of some people because when you can’t express how you truly think and feel, you inherently will begin to feel oppressed.
No business owner should ever want their employees to walk around on eggshells, avoiding each other. What you can do to foster debate is to have a slotted time in meetings, where there are not decisions or recaps being done, but just everyone sitting around talking.
Many entrepreneurs don’t want to do this because time is money, but something wonderful might come out of these debates such as ideas that you have never thought of before. Honesty and trust among workers also increases because the more you allow ideas to go back and forth, the more comfortable personalities get. Interacting with each other at this level and having an intellectual discussion can really help the stability of the mind.
A day of professional advise
Not every day has to be about frantically chasing deadlines, or even just the mundane office days that we all dread. You can have some days where work isn’t the top priority. Having a health professional come and speak with the workers about how they can keep stress at bay is definitely something to consider.
A professional in the field of mental and physical health can come in and talk with all your employees and give them solutions and advice to their problems. Someone might be suffering from anxiety at work, and perhaps paranoia. They can be given advice they need to help them live a more mentally stable life and this will help them further their career. On the other hand you may also have people that have hidden issues with their work and personal life imbalance.
For example an employee may always look like they need rest, but never talks about it. They might be suffering from insomnia and stress which is the last thing you want them to be dealing with. Burnout or worse could be just around the corner for these workers.
The health care professional might recommend something that could help them such as therapy. This helps people who have stress and insomnia feel a sense of calm and relaxation. It must be properly used and treated just like any other medical substance. On the other hand the health professional might just give them simple breathing techniques they can use at their desk to calm them down. Sometimes the solutions to our anxieties is right in front of us and just needs to be pointed out.
A space to get away
Modern offices are becoming more and more spacious. This isn’t just due to the simplistic décor and interior design that you see being implemented everywhere. It is also because workers need to have their own space. Working together all day long comes with its own challenges.
Needing some time to think in quiet is often a rare commodity as people all around you are furiously typing away, clicking pens, wracking their knuckles on tables and talking on the phone. Even with large open plans, offices can become quite a hive of activity that can affect individuals where they are sitting. It is not uncommon to get up and go for a walk around the office to stretch one’s legs. This is good but usually never enough.
For your office you should create a space where employees can come and give their mind a rest. A space where they can get away from the noise and business of the office will greatly improve their mental health. Stress can be managed this way quite effectively as simply removing yourself from a stressful environment can calm you down.
The bigger picture can be thought about in this area. They might be struggling with a task and can’t quite seem to break through the deadlock in their mind. It is also a good place to go when you aren’t feeling too well but deadlines are due. Taking a breather, slowing down your mind and being in a place of serenity will massively help workers stabilize their mental faculties.
One on one time
Employees can significantly benefit from having one on one time with their seniors. The heads of departments should always have time to talk with their team members. If something is bothering an individual, they should never feel as if they must bottle it up. It could be an issue they are having with a coworker and they don’t want to make a big deal about it by going to the human resources department. Instead, a senior staff member should always have their door open to anyone that works under them. This doesn’t grey the lines of authority and can bring employees to actually respect their superiors even more thanks to their openness.
Even you as the boss, should tell employees that you are open to hearing their concerns. If they want some time alone with you to talk about something serious or otherwise, show them you actually care. This is something that a company culture will always pick up and define internally. It is not like you can put up signs that anyone can come into your office for a quick chat. But verbally remind workers that if something is bothering them about work scheduling, another employee, an idea or task, they can always come speak with you directly.
The employee is the most powerful tool that any business has. They are complex, brilliant, clever, problem-solvers but also sometimes mentally fragile. If you overwork employees and push them over their limits regularly, you can start seeing the signs of stress and performance deterioration.
Allow workers to stay behind and work late but if they have gotten ahead on their tasks, give them half a day off here and there when they seem like they need it. Create an office that is bright and colorful. It is known to alleviate the anxieties of many people to be surrounded by vibrancy colors and décor.