National Sickie Day. Top 10 factors to reduce stress in your workplace

An office dog was voted as the best way to reduce stress by the workers of Norwich
  • 1 in 3 UK office workers said that healthy snacks and drinks would increase their happiness in the workplace
  • In a region of dog-lovers, 39% of Norwich respondents stated that an office dog would be a top choice for decreasing stress at work

  • A perfect climate (30%) and cleanliness (26%) were also in the top three most highly valued factors by UK office workers in increasing happiness at work

Today is National Sickie Day – the first Monday in February which has traditionally seen the highest number of workers calling in sick. But what things can employers do to ensure their employees don’t pull a ‘sickie’ and remain happy in the workplace? 

The average employee will spend over 92,000 hours at work during their lifetime, so having a great working environment is important. Not only are happy employees more likely to avoid the negative effects of stress and anxiety, but they’re also more productive. A recent study by the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage found that happy staff increased their productivity by as much as 20%.

Various factors such as well designed office spaces , flexible working hours and having daily stand-up meetings are all ways to improve office productivity that have been well tried and test over the years. A recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, which represents 300,000 HR professionals in more than 165 countries, found that 57 percent of its members offer flexible working hours.

The group’s VP Lisa Horn comments: “Managers who give it a try often find that employees’ morale, engagement and productivity all go up, because they are working at a time that works best for them, and able to get the most work done.”

Liberty Games has surveyed office workers across the country to discover what items would decrease their stress and increase their happiness at work. The top ten factors or items that office workers said would increase their happiness and decrease their stress in 2019 were:

  1. Healthy Snacks and Drinks (33%)

  2. Perfect Climate (30%)

  3. Cleanliness (26%)

  4. Relaxation/Sleep zones (21%)

  5. Subsidised Food (21%)

  6. A Dog (20%)

  7. Office Games (19%)

  8. Parking (17%)

  9. Plants (17%)

  10. Gym (15%)

The top office items prioritised by men were office games (30%) which includes pool tables, arcade/retro games, and football tables; healthy snacks and drinks (37%) were most prioritised by women.

Liberty Games also analysed the most desirable office must-haves in each city across the UK. In Edinburgh (39%), Belfast (43%), Manchester (31%), Liverpool (33%), Nottingham (32%), Birmingham (34%), London (34%) and Bristol (38%) healthy snacks and drinks were deemed as the most desirable office must-have for happy workers.

Residents of Glasgow (34%) and Cardiff (29%) prioritised cleanliness of the office as the fact that would increase their happiness the most. In a region of dog-lovers, 39% of Norwich respondents stated that an office dog would be a top choice for decreasing stress at work, whilst Plymouth (33%), Southampton (43%), Brighton (37%), Leeds (37%) and Sheffield (34%) said that a perfect climate was most important.

Finally, as an emerging hub for gaming, Newcastle workers (36%) chose office games as their top choice for a happier office.

Chris Price