Seven ways you can calm return to work nerves in your staff

As you prepare to have more and more staff returning to work in the office, you may need to acknowledge that life in the workplace won’t be quite the same as in pre-pandemic times.

While your staff might have missed the camaraderie, collaboration and companionship of working in the office full-time, they’ve also had two years to get used to a new way of working – and some introspection might have helped shift their approach to work. 

As your business and your staff prepare to get comfortable with a hybrid working model, it’s important to consider that there may be return-to-work nerves, feelings of anxiousness and worries about the work environment that affect your staff’s happiness and productivity levels at work.

Fortunately, alongside considered HR policies that take these worries into account, there are some simple décor tips that can calm return to work nerves. Felicity Stevens, an interior design expert at Haus Interiors, and Cala Homes provide the following seven tips.

1) Provide ergonomic chairs and keyboards

There’s nothing better than an ergonomically designed office space for the wellbeing and productivity of your staff. Ergonomic chairs can reduce discomfort in workers and increase productivity by 17.7% while ergonomic keyboards can reduce discomfort in 44% of cases while boosting productivity and morale. 

2) Consider standing desks

According to a survey by Westfield Health, 60% of British workers spend the majority of their day sitting down. Being this sedentary for this long a time can have serious health consequences, so giving your employees the option to stand and work could go a long way to helping keep them happier.

Standing desks – or hybrid sit-stand models – can increase comfort by up to 60%, and any device that can help raise the level of the laptop or screen can help reduce issues with posture.

3) Offer calming accessories

Complement the desk setup for your staff with other accessories that are proven to boost overall wellbeing.

This could take the form of blue-light blocking glasses to prevent eye strain, gentle background music to boost work performance, or, even better, a pair of noise-cancelling headphones so employees can block out what they don’t want to hear, and listen better to whatever helps them concentrate. 

4) Maximise natural light

Studies have also found that workplaces with natural light improve productivity by up to 40%, with proper lighting also helping reduce eye fatigue. Keep window blinds open as often as possible and consider providing individual desk lamps for each employee that they can use for task lighting.

5) Pick calming colour schemes

Choose colour schemes based on the type of energy and ambience you want in the office. Blue can stimulate creativity, red can bring a sense of urgency and proactivity while yellow can trigger innovation and green a sense of balance and calm.

6) Add plants

As a finishing touch, plants in an office space can enhance air quality, concentration, workplace satisfaction and increase productivity. They’re also a pleasingly cost-effective addition to the office!

7) Give your employees more control over their work environment

As you work to implement the above, keep in mind that the act of setting up a work desk to promote productivity can do just that – employees who have control over the design and layout of their workspace are up to 32% more productive. So, wherever you can, give your staff the option to customise their desks and workspaces to suit their working style more.

With all the tips and techniques mentioned above, hopefully, you’ll be well on your way to a happier, less stressed and more productive workforce as they return your office space back to its former buzzing self.

Photo by Raj Rana