But the big problem looming in several industries is not about low stress levels, it is about very high stress levels as intensifying global competition forces employees to take-on multiple roles and battle shrinking deadlines. Stress in the workplace is now a costly epidemic the rework and lack of productivity caused by high levels of stress tends to be very costly and has very negative impacts. It also has an impact on the way the workplace is perceived by potential employees. There is an emerging trend of employees turning to stress-free work environments even though potential pay is lower.
A de-stress zone often called a “chill zone” can be effectively used to bring down stress levels from very high levels to optimum levels. The de-stress zone is a room employees will visit when they feel their stress levels are impacting their creativity and productivity. Many de-stressing instruments can be used in the de-stressing room including game consoles like the Nintendo Wii, Televisions, stress balls, comfortable stress reducing chairs and a Ping-Pong ball table.
Any employee who then feels stressed out can visit this area to reduce stress levels. HR departments must encourage employees to visit this zone during stressful times as naturally employees would not want to associate themselves with such a place – thinking that it would lead to a negative perception about them. HR and corporate communications should also continually clearly inform employees about the benefits of the de-stress zone and how they can effectively leverage such a benefit.
On the other hand, HR should also monitor the de-stress room for indications of abuse. Some employees may spend too much time than required in the chill zone which will also hamper productivity. Access to the room should be time limited and should be used only on the basis of need. HR should have a west of principles on how the room should be used, but at the same time they should not enforce too many rules. When there are too many rules, employees feel they are in a highly restricted environment which will add to the barriers of reducing stress.
Letting employees come up with their own ideas, suggestions and principles for the stress room will help its adoption and abuse-free use. It will also help in designing a de-stress room which will be of best use for employees. Sometimes employees in a particular department may not console gaming, and if the workplace de-stress room only has a gaming console they may feel left out. This also bring up the need of properly balancing the different types of de-stressing instruments.
A de-stress zone, if managed properly can help best utilize employee potential and provide a peak in productivity and creativity. If improperly managed, it would result in abuse and reduction in performance. A de-stress zone would undoubtedly improve employee perception of the workplace and improve attrition rates.