Note: This article was filed by a paid contributor to Xerox Corporation.
Workplace stress is a scary thing. Not only can it wreak havoc on you and your employees’ mental and physical well-being, but it can also be destructive to your business. So, to try to maintain some calm in your office, it is essential that you consider what elements are causing increased stress and try to rectify them. One area that many businesses overlook as a cause of stress is office equipment. As you will see below, it can sometimes lead to nightmare office equipment scenarios.
According to The American Institute of Stress, 14% of surveyed workers admitted to taking out their stress, frustration, and rage on the things around them. That said, if someone chooses to take their frustrations out on their computer, phone, printer or even their chair, is it possible that a poorly chosen, outdated, or un-maintained piece of hardware is to blame? Perhaps.
Challenges abound when you run an office, especially when you try to equip it with high-quality and efficient hardware without going overboard in spending.
Let’s take a look at the scary side of what can happen when your office equipment is not working in favor of your employees.
Simple equipment investments that can lower stress and increase productivity for your entire office.
3 Nightmare Encounters with Office Equipment
Anyone who’s ever worked in an office has experienced a “nightmare” encounter with office equipment, especially technology equipment. The dreaded computer lock-up or failure to get on the internet. Many times it is not the equipment at all, but the user’s lack of knowledge or experience. However, it is still quite stressful – and not only for the user but your IT person as well.
Stress from user error tech situations and the printer down the hall that’s without paper yet again or the phone that’s too staticky to understand the person on the other end are all situation that can typically be fixed easily and while frustrating, don’t typically cause employees to ‘lose it.’
But what about those nightmare office situations you have undoubtedly seen on the web or TV. Although many of these may be staged, they are still fun to watch because, well, they are similar to horror movies in that respect. They play into your worst fears and yet you can safely watch them from afar and feel a shared relief with the protagonist when it is all over.
That said, here are 3 of the most common nightmare office equipment scenarios:
You’ve Gotta Be Comfortable
You would not necessarily think an uncomfortable or uncooperative chair would be the source of someone’s anger, but when you think about the amount of time that your employees spend sitting in that chair…well, it is probably not hard to see how on a high-stress day it could put one over the top.
You can avoid situations like this in your office by ensuring you have comfortable, ergonomic chairs that work for your employees and their workstations.
Tight Spaces Make for Higher Stress
If you are looking to lower stress and increase productivity in your office, then you might want to take a closer look at your workstation layout. As you will see in this clip, putting employees too close together and not allowing a buffer, especially from the more boisterous employees, could lead to a breakdown.
The Craziest Thing Showed Up on My Computer Screen
This clip comes from the TV show The IT Crowd, but I am sure it is something most of you remember feeling frustrated with back in the days of spammy pop-ups. Thank goodness we have more robust ways to secure our offices these days.
Regardless of the size of your company, avoid this situation by ensuring that all your computers have reliable and up to date security software installed.
The Moral of the Story
And of course, we have all known the frustration of being late to a presentation and finding the printer out of toner, or needing to print and finding a disconnect between the printer and your PC. Thankfully these situations are now completely avoidable thanks to more advanced multifunction printers and automatic supply reordering.
As a business owner, it is your responsibility to choose hardware that will ensure consistency, high levels of productivity, as well as general happiness among your team. There is already enough stress in the workplace, so don’t give your employees more reason to become stressed while at work. It will only work against you in the long run.
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