TG Escapes Blog

Environmental improvements can reduce stress in the workplace

by TG Escapes | May 10, 2013 | Blog, Commercial

As working hours get longer and expectations for fast turn-arounds increase, the number of employees that are getting stressed due to their work lifestyle is rising.

A report published last year by the Health and Social Care Information Centre showed a sharp increase in hospital admissions due to work-related stress. Many blame the recession and the pressure to meet deadlines, with most admissions being linked to concerns about financial issues.

There has always been a degree of stress in the workplace but that doesn’t mean that it should be considered the norm. While it may not be possible to reduce the obligations of employees or diminish their needs to worry about finances, there are ways to ensure that the office environment is one that is more comfortable.

Environmental improvements to the workplace can help benefit the mental and physical health of those that use it day to day.  Research has shown that urban environments without green space provide little or no opportunities for people to recover from mental stresses or physical tensions. A natural, open space in the workplace provides employees with an area to relax, to stop and process their daily routine. Closed and dysfunctional building layouts can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety amongst staff.

Businesses and companies are now looking for ways in which they can provide their employees with a more comfortable, natural environment. Developing outdoor rooms as offices or break rooms has been a popular choice for many. This way they can add to their pre-existing development and give staff a space to break the monotony of a regular office build.

When developing a new outdoor space, businesses need to think about how aspects of the design will benefit their employees. Large glass windows and doors allow more natural light into the environment while features such as eco-friendly insulation and heating will ensure that the room feels fresh and not stuffy. A bright, airy space can be achieved by using natural materials that blend with their surroundings. With additions like sedum roofs, businesses can make their new outdoor room the green space that workers need to reduce their stress levels.

For those that are not in a position to be able to develop a brand new outdoor office, there are other alternatives. Shelters or canopies are a simple way to encourage staff to spend more time outdoors. Providing them with a covered space where they can enjoy a break away from the main office is likely to increase the amount of time they spend outside. Many workers find themselves staying at their desks for lunch or taking breaks by the coffee machine. Something as straightforward as an outdoor shelter could make break times more al fresco.

It’s important for employers to understand stress and the small changes that could make a big difference. Creating a more natural environment for staff to work or relax in can help reduce stress levels and make employees feel more comfortable in their surroundings.

About the author

TG Escapes
Providing net-zero timber frame buildings since 2003. As a gold member of the Structural Timber Association we are fully compliant to design, manufacture and build giving us full control of the quality of all the timber components in our system.

More posts from our blog

The Power of Biophilic Design Within Education

Pupils today face a wealth of issues, from mental and physical health problems, to complex SEND needs. As designers and producers of modular school buildings across the UK, we are finding increasing demand for positive environments that uplift students and staff,...

read more

TG Escapes Win Contractor of the Year 2021

Now in its 9th year Education Estates®, the annual gathering of the Education Community, with conference and awards in partnership with the Department for Education, saw over 100 exhibits and more than 150 speakers across 6 stages! The event is all about discovering...

read more

Construction faces the perfect storm and costs are rising

The construction industry is facing 'the perfect storm'. The impact of Covid has been to delay many construction projects which are now coming back into play. Brexit has caused disruption in the supply chain and these two factors together are creating an increase in...

read more