Helping Staff Be More Relaxed and Productive

Helping staff to work better and to feel better is one of the keys to running a successful small business.

Keep them happy and relaxed and you will have far more chance of increasing their well-being and productivity levels. So what are the best ways of doing this?


image courtesy of digitalpimp. via Flickr

Group Meditation

A recent example from London comes from Yniche. The workers in this company spend 10 minutes meditating together every Monday morning. It might sound a bit crazy but the company founder Vincent Choi says that the mindfulness meditation approach has been helping staff to feel happier and has also increased productivity levels. He also claimed that they are now coming up with better business ideas as well.

Other research has suggested that this kind of meditation technique can also help to lower stress levels and to cut down on the number of days taken off work due to sickness.

This is a good point to start with, as stress is one of the biggest issues for many employees right now. Anyone suffering from it can see their productivity levels drop and may end up losing many days of work through it as well. A study by the University of Washington a few years ago concluded that mindfulness mediation is useful for helping workers to concentrate better and also get a better memory.

Another company that uses many different techniques to best stress and to make staff more productive is The Huffington Post. As well as mediation, they also offer nap rooms, yoga classes and breathing classes. While they might not be right for everyone, these ideas are designed to help staff cope better and get more out of their time at work.

The Benefits of Nap Rooms

The possible benefits of nap rooms, in particular, have been the subject of a number of studies lately. For example, Dr Manolis Kallistratos is a cardiologist who works at the Asklepieion Voula General Hospital in Athens, Greece. His research suggests that a nap during the day can help to lower blood pressure.

Other studies reveal that a nap can boost creative thinking and stop people being overly impulsive or getting frustrated too easily. Despite these benefits, the most recent studies suggest that fewer than 10% of companies surveyed by the National Sleep Foundation in 2011 have nap rooms. However, the arrival of desk beds and other napping aids could be just what some companies need in order to make the move towards allowing their staff to have a nap during the day.

Another example worth looking at from London comes from the co-working space called Huckletree. In this case, the entire working environment has been designed to help the small business owners using it to feel good.

Taking a Dog to Work

This is done in a number of ways, such as by allowing people to bring in their dogs with them to work. It has been suggested that taking a dog to work can help to lower stress levels and to make the work more enjoyable as well.

This is an idea that has become a lot more common with businesses lately, thanks in part to the success of Take Your Dog to Work Day. This initiative has been on the go since 1996 and is especially popular in Australia, the UK, the US, Canada and New Zealand. If you plan to allow workers to bring their pooches in to work then don’t forget that there are some important points to bear in mind first of all.

The premises at Huckletree that we looked at earlier are also filled with plants, which is an increasingly common approach in business premises around the globe. This might sound like a purely aesthetic touch but there is more to it than that. University of Exeter researchers carried out a study at the Chelsea Flower Show that suggests that office plants can boost well-being by up to 47%.

The University of Queensland carried out a similar study in Australia. Their results gave a more modest 15% increase in productivity through the use of office plants. The authors of the report suggest that filling the workplace with greenery shows to employees that you care about their well-being. This is just one of a number of studies in this area, all of which suggest that more plants in the office can be a good idea.

As we can see, there are a number of ways of helping your staff to work better and enjoy it more at the same time. Some of these ideas are simple to implement while others are a bit more complicated. In each case, it is definitely worth considering the benefits and then seeing what your employees think about it.

This video gives more information on helping staff to be more innovative

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