Did you know that stressed out employees cost companies an estimated $200 billion per year in absenteeism, lower productivity, staff turnover, worker’s compensation, medical insurance and other stress-related expenses. We certainly have our fair share of stress here in the InkHead office, but I like to think that we deal with it differently than most other companies. Feel free to implement any of these tactics into your office environment.
There was a time when everyone in our office was armed with a Nerf gun and darts. You had to always be on guard when walking to the kitchen or even the bathroom. When I started working at InkHead I bought my own Nerf gun and darts because attacks were so prevalent. Sneak attacks were frequent, it was very easy to sneak up on an unsuspecting co-worker and just pummel them with foam darts. You also needed to be able to run away quickly as retaliation attacks were standard. Afterwards a good laugh would be had by all and everyone’s stress would go down. When stress goes down, productivity goes up.
In case you did not know that stress balls have other uses than just squeezing, I am here to let you in on a little secret. They are great for throwing…maybe throwing at your co-workers. We once had a shipment of 500 round stress balls returned to our office. It was almost immediate that we opened the box picked up as many stress balls as we could hold and began launching them at each other. This went on for a good little while until the stress balls mysteriously disappeared. If you decide to go this route and order some stress balls for your office, InkHead is not liable for any bodily injury or broken office equipment.
We love a good office prank. They make everyone laugh and at least for a moment forget what they were stressing about. Also, there is no way around them as they are constantly happening around here. We prank employees when they go on vacation. Account Manager Eric Cooksey knows this all too well. He went on vacation and returned to a cubicle that was completely wrapped like a Christmas present. When I say completely I mean we wrapped his pencils, his monitors, his chair, even the individual change on his desk. We have even gone as far to exploit employees when they are scared of something ridiculous. For instance our very own Tamara Lindauer when she was scared of the squirrel that was living in our ceiling (long story). We got her pretty good and luckily got the whole thing on video.
I think I can honestly say that outside of the office all of the employees actually like hanging out with each other. This is a great way to blow off steam. We have small get-togethers that happen after work every once and a while but we also have company sanctioned get-togethers. In particular we have a summer get-together every year. While goofing off and eating great food all day we elevate the stress we have all accumulated over the week.
Theme days can help alleviate the stress of a long week. We have done pajama days, ugly sweater day and dress up days in the past. We have also had an accent day, where we all answered the phones and generally talked all day with outlandish accents. We have not done one of these in a while, it may be time to have a theme day again soon.
There is a very special room in the InkHead office, we call it…The Nap Room. OK, so it is not officially the nap room, but it does have blankets and pillows at all times. Some employees have even been known to nap under their desks. A mid-day nap is a great way to de-stress, just relax and let all of your problems drift away. Even if it is only for 45 minutes.
Another relaxing method to get rid of stress is by listening to music. There are multiple radios playing around the office. I know the sales room has at least two. And you can usually find employees wearing headphones and listening to something that is hopefully keeping them calm.
There are quite a few of us in the office who spend our lunch breaks working out. Whether we go to the local gym or just go outside in run, nearly half of us are in workout attire by the end of the day. Some of us even get super competitive with our Nike Fuel Bands. It is pushing it to call it exercise, but our COO likes to ride around the office on a scooter.
Now watch this bulldog puppy roll down a hill!