Happy spaces
Simple ideas to keep your team happy and smiling

If work is stressing you out and you find yourself pulling your hair out when things get hectic, then you’re not alone.

We all deal with stress in the workplace in varying degrees. At times, stress can be useful and serve as fuel, propelling us forward. If left unchecked, stress becomes a destructive force, affecting our productivity, emotional state, health and relationships with the people around us. Our own personal stress has the power to negatively impact a whole team, spreading like wildfire.

We all want a space we can work and thrive in, a happy space if you will. So we’ve come up with some simple ideas that could be helpful in keeping your people happy and better equipped to manage stress when it inevitably rears its ugly head.

1. Minimise distractions.

Headphones are a great way to indicate whether you are deep in the zone or are available to chat. We like to use the rule of…headphones in = do no disturb, 1 earpiece in= I’m available to chat  🙂

 2. Reduce interruptions by using effective tools of communication

Use a web-based messenger to communicate with stressed out teammates. We like Slack. When your teammates are deep in the matrix, using Slack or any other messenger, helps the frazzled individual deal with your request when they have a moment, so as to not interrupt their flow.

3. Take regular breaks.

Take walks, take lunches, take a lunchtime yoga class, stretch your legs. This means taking your lunches away from your desk… Also, this has the added benefit of no crumbs on your keyboard.

4. Find ways to safely let off steam.

About to pull your hair out? Go play some foosball, a computer game, take a walk or enjoy whatever outside area you might have. Our office is kitted with an arcade machine and a foosball table to help with that. Annoyed that your colleague keeps doing that annoying thing? Don’t resort to passive aggressive post-it notes. Instead, challenge them to a healthy game of foosball where the winner buys the other a drink at the end of the week.

5. Stay connected.

Schedule time in your work day to see a friend for lunch or coffee. This re-boot will leave you feeling re-connected with the world at large and energised. You also may find you are more productive when you’re back in the office

6. Music makes the world a better place.

Listen to feel good music or whatever floats your boat. Listening to something positive will keep you inwardly smiling, making you less like to snap in a moment of crisis.

7. Enjoy nutritious snacks.

This will help keep your blood sugar levels stabilised helping to keep your mood a nice even constant. Loading up on caffeine and sugar, although tempting, can lead to out of control moods and temper tantrums. Think fruit and nuts to keep the hangry’s at bay.

 8. Reach out to others.

Attend a meetup, start your own or find a community who you can share with and learn from. This is a great place to share your own challenges and come up with solutions you can implement in your team.

Simple ideas are often overlooked because they seem almost too basic. This doesn’t need to be high level. There is no need to re-invent the wheel here but rather pick out and explore practises that will work best for you and your team.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments and whether you have any additional tips. What works for some might not work so well for others but I reckon as long as you’re actively helping to cultivate the environment you want, you will more than likely get there. Right?