Prevention is most of the cure, and if we know how to create a stress free workplace, unnecessary stress and especially burnout can be prevented. I would like to share with you a few tips and tricks to keep your work environment safe from pressure or that will, at least, keep toxic influences to a minimum.
- Have a plant on your desk. If you don’t have a green thumb, then get a low-maintenance one that doesn’t need a lot of water. Plants brighten up the ambiance.
- Have a photo of something or someone that you love, a photo that will bring a smile on your face every time you look at it. A smile can work wonders.
- A plant and photo are not enough, of course. There is a lot more we must do keep our work place stress-free. Stay away from the complainers. There is always someone (or more than one) who spends his/her time spreading negativity. Don’t get caught up in it. Whenever I found people complaining in their lunch break, I usually turned the other way, because their negativity just pulls you down with them, and you don’t need that.
- Eat right and sleep well. To read more about how to eat healthy, please click this link here: Healthy Diet, Good Mental Health
- Don’t push through impossible deadlines. If the schedule is unrealistic or will cause unnecessary anxiety, then talk to your supervisor to find a solution. Perhaps you could get more help or the deadline could be changed.
- This is an important one! Separate home from work. Too many people make the mistake of bringing work home, but as soon as you leave the work place, you should leave not just the place but everything else behind too. Don’t sit at your kitchen table, talking to your boss on the phone. He (or she) has had enough use of your time, now it’s your own time, and your family’s. Especially when you go on a trip, leave the laptop home and don’t take any calls from the office. Wasn’t vacation designed to relax and forget about work for a while? It always baffles me to see people still dealing with office business while sitting on the beach. The office will survive without you, believe me.
- Communicate with your boss. Lack of communication is a problem. It can lead to misunderstandings, a feeling of under appreciation and lack of support. It’s true that we cannot choose our bosses and having a great boss isn’t always guaranteed … I’m lucky to have a boss I can always talk to, but I know that that isn’t the case everywhere. It is, however, important to stress that communication between your boss and his/her colleagues is essential.
Related: How to Prevent Burnout at Work
- Eliminate interruptions. They only take your attention away from what you’re supposed to be doing and will prolong your work time. When you have a deadline to meet, interruptions are not convenient. It is a fact that workers are bombarded with interruptions every single day, several times an hour … Now that I’m working from home due to the covid lockdown, some neighbors seem to think that they can call on me anytime. I’m happy to see them, of course, but preferably in my free time.
It often happens that I’m in the middle of a class (I’m a teacher), in a meeting, or working on an article, and someone is at the gate, even though I specifically told them that I teach online classes in the mornings … In the end I put up a sign at the gate, indicating my work hours and the times I am available. So far it seems to be working 🙂
- Take a deep breath. When you feel overwhelmed, simply inhale for 5 seconds and then exhale deeply (for another 5 seconds). Do this five times. It is a simple technique that brings immediate calm.
Related: The Best Meditation Apps
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If you work at home, then you can simply create a peaceful work environment, take regular breaks in between (like a short walk in the garden, for example), post a sign at the door with your work schedule (to avoid interruptions 😉 ) set realistic deadlines, and make sure you eat healthy and get enough sleep.
Do you have any other tips that help to create a stress-free work environment? Have you tried any of the above? Please let me know in the comments.
18 thoughts on “How to Create a Stress Free Workplace”
Wow, the timing of your article is perfect. With the pandemic and working from home for almost a year has really taken a toll on me. I’m back in the office on a rotating schedule and find my self in such a weird emotional place. I think the tips you listed in here will really really help. I love the idea of putting a plant on my desk. I have plants at home and really enjoy being around them. These tips will surely put me in a better frame of mind as I work more and more in the office and get back into the daily grind.
Thanks so much!
It must be such a big change to be back in the office after having been on lockdown for so long. Even if we spent most of our lives working away from home, returning to our previous routine has its effects, I’m sure. I’m still working from home, but there is talk of letting us come back to school (where I work).
Thanks for your comment!
Thank you for sharing these tips. I found your article very useful. The truth is that stress is a problem that affects more and more people every day, so it’s necessary to find the best way to prevent it.
Personally, I loved the tip about having plants. The truth is that I love plants and I have a house full of them, but I had never thought that they were good for controlling our stress levels, how interesting!
Another tip that I find interesting is to stay away from complainers. It’s true that this only encourages us to generate more stressful thoughts in our mind. I think our own mind is the main stress generator, so I think all those activities that keep negative thoughts out of our mind can help. I think as you suggest, meditation can be a good tool to neutralise our own thoughts.
Thank you, I’m happy you found this useful. Yes, definitely stay away from complainers, they only bring us down. Our own mind is powerful and we can either turn it into a stress generator or a place that guides us to calm.
This is great. I love your Get through burnouts series. When I worked as a GM, I used to always have a plant on my desk, as well as pics of my family. It helped me to know why I was spending so much time at work, to support them. I had a lot of employees that were complainers too, I have to say. Many that started drama that wasn’t accurate or was misleading. It really brought the morale of the store down. It was hard sometimes as the boss to listen to some of the things they would say, but often, I would counter it with the truth and then they would get upset and walk out.
But it is true, the ones that complain all the time bring so many people down. It’s sad, because they’re never happy, no matter what you try to give them.
Thanks for sharing this one. I loved it! And so true!
Yes, photos help you remember why you are spending so much time at work and they make you look forward to getting home again, lifting your spirit.
Unfortunately, complainers are in every workplace, and as a manager it is impossible to avoid them … My own boss deals with it quite well, I must say, but I wouldn’t want to do it 🙂
Thanks for your comment!
Wonderful tips! I have to agree that even as simply having a plant on the table can make a difference. At times I would look up to it and somehow calm down.
I do have a habit of bringing my work back home, which actually doesn’t bother me because I’m a freelancer. But I realise I’ve become a workaholic without realising. The time spent with the family is much lesser.
About avoiding the complainers, YES. Such a drain of energy. I would avoid them as well.
All in all, I agree so much with your article. Great tips shared here.
When you’re a freelancer, your work is at home, true. Much of my work is at home too, since I am also part time freelancer. I just make sure that the work is delegated to one specific area of the house, which still keeps certain boundaries. I also take frequent breaks in which I take walks around the property, it all helps 🙂
Thanks for your comment!
Hi Christine. Thank you for your reminder about how to prevent burnout, because as you mentioned it is all about prevention. If we can prevent that happen, we should fine, right?
I have to say lately, my sleeping routine is somehow changed. When working and living much more outside I tend to sleep shorter and be still ok the next day( 6 hours )Now during the reduced outside time(because of the lockdown) I do sleep 8-9 hours what should be fine in terms of health, but I don’t see the benefit, like more power, higher productivity or feeling more relaxed. Any advice on that? Outside of that, I think I am aligned with your 9 tips-;)
Perhaps it’s the difference in hours of sleep. You used to sleep 6 hours and now it’s 8-9 hours, which is an adjustment for the body. I think that 8 hours are fine, but maybe you could set an alarm and try to get up earlier again. Due to the lockdown we become more laid back about our routines, get up later than usual, sometimes we eat more snacks in between as well. So, if 8 or 9 hours of sleep doesn’t bring you any benefits, try to stick to 6 hours of sleep again.
Hi Christine, I love this article as I can totally relate to it. As someone who works from home I try to keep my work area tidy, and love the idea of having a photo or plant on your desk. Looking at something green, even for a few seconds is good for your wellbeing. I also take regular short breaks such as stretching or just walking into another room. In addition, starting the day with a 20 minute walk outside helps me focus on work as well as making me feel better. You’ve covered some really important points here, some of which I’ve never considered:)Thanks for sharing:)
I’m glad this was helpful. Thank you for your comment!
I think this system can be used anywhere even adapted for the home environment. It’s incredible to learn how not to over-do and create unrealistic deadlines – which I do alot! I have taken this seriously now after reading your post and you are spot on, it’s not worth creating the anxiety unnecessarily.
Thank for your help
I think we often create unrealistic deadlines, I do too, it’s indeed a learning process how not to over-do things.
Thanks for your comment!
Wow! Thank you for the 10 steps to be less stress at the work place. It is very annoying when someone interrupts you when you have a important task to complete. That is why I usually place myself somewhere I cannot be disturbed. I have the habit to bring work home and that is something I must do more less. Thank you for your article!
I’m happy this was helpful to you 🙂
These have been some important suggestions. I am guilty of at least not following 2 of them. Well, I should not be to hard on myself because I honestly hadn’t given it that much thought. The first is that I should not push through impossible deadlines (I should view this from the start). And the other thing is that I should have one or two plants in my office.
Like you said, don’t be too hard on yourself. Little by little we can make some changes.