5 Ways Your Furniture Can Combat Worker Burnout

And improve employee experience.

What is worker burnout?

Burnout is a syndrome resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed — it is a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. The World Health Organization has officially classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon. This is the first time burnout has been directly linked in its classification of diseases as a work hazard.

The good news? Worker burnout is not inevitable.

Here's how you can utilize furniture to fight it.

Ergonomics

If you're not providing ergonomic seating and height adjustable desks, it's time to start. The importance of ergonomics goes beyond a healthy seated posture. Not only can a total ergonomic solution relieve back pain in 75% of workers, but providing sit-to-stand options has been shown to increase worker productivity by 46% on average, which means higher employee engagement.

Social Stimulation

The workplace is a social setting. Workers are happier when they feel a sense of belonging and connection. Provide settings that promote and encourage conversation, both formal and informal. Collaborative project tables and coffee bars are a great way to promote community.

Provide Respite

Supporting the needs of individuals is just as important as supporting community. The best way to provide that support is to promote areas of respite, such as: reservable private offices, phone booths, or wellness rooms. These spaces are used for activities like focusing, resting, meditation, or simply for private phone calls. Workers need in-office escapes to reset and maintain their mental health and effectiveness.

The Right Tools

You want to make your employee's work lives as easy as possible, providing the right tools and technology is key. Insufficient technology for employees to do their jobs was identified by 20 percent of HR leaders as another primary cause of burnout, according to Kronos (2017). Technology and intuitive tools make a difference in every task that is completed in the workplace.

Flexibility

Flexible work cultures allow employees to determine the best setting for them to accomplish their work. Empowering them with choice can increase productivity. Autonomy in the workplace can be a powerful tool to motivate or energize your employees. Providing a balanced variety of settings on your floorplate including conference rooms, phone booths, desking, collaboration spaces, and lounge vignettes supports all the different ways that people need to work.

The Takeaway

Design a space where people want to work.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for an office space. Understanding and prioritizing your employees is the first — and most important — step of combating worker burnout. Take stock of what kind of support your people need in the workplace and provide the environments and tools they need to be effective.

"Good design is good for business."

— Candace Nelson

The Age of Free Address

Dig into Candace's latest piece on the changing landscape of office spaces and why unassigned workplaces are gaining popularity.

How to Make a Flexible Office Space Work for Your Employees

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