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From Frenzy to Focus: Designing a Calmer Work Environment

Updated: Jun 12

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Strengths-based teams high-performing teams
Photo Unplash by Vitaly Gariev

Do you ever feel like when you're working, it's like you're on a rollercoaster? It's up, it's down. It's frantic and fast-paced. It never seems to stop, especially when weekends or holidays are approaching. The rush to finish everything on a Friday (we’ve all been there), diving straight back into the chaos on a Monday, and the Sunday evening dread can all be quite overwhelming. 

The constant hustle and bustle can leave us feeling stressed and burnt out. In fact, about 44% of us globally experience daily workplace stress. Stress levels are on the increase and have been for the past decade or so, but why does this matter? Well, it impacts our health, creativity, and productivity and not only that, but with so many of us stressed out at work every day companies are losing millions in sick leave, attrition and burn-out.

That’s why in our ever more connected world, it’s more important than ever that we create a more intentionally calm work environment.

Designing Calm Work

Calm work might sound like a contradiction, but it's not. We often unintentionally add chaos to our work. From habits, learned processes and behaviours, chaos has a way of finding its way into our routines and schedules unless we find a way around it.

By being intentional and designing for calm work we can create a less stressed, more productive work environment. That’s better for you, better for your employees and better for your bottom line. 

Here are some practical, actionable tips to get started. 🥳

1. Rethink Deadlines

First, consider your deadlines. Are you designing calm deadline? Can you change the timing so that you are not tying it to a weekend or a holiday? Manage your deadlines effectively to create calm work. 

Most of us will struggle with our mindset here. We want to over achieve, we want to be productive and helpful. Actually, when we over promise we risk doing the opposite, putting reputation at risk and increasing stress and burnout. 

What can you do to manufacture a more calm launch or project? Push back your deadlines so that you actually have time to deliver in a calm and more effective way. Build in at least 20% slack to deal with unexpected blocks. Negotiate respectfully and effectively to manage chaos. 

2. Adopt the "One In, One Out" Rule

When new tasks come in, ask yourself, "What can we take out so that I can actually deliver this?" We are often so reactive and hesitant to say no (learn how to say no with one of our tworks), but to maintain calm we need to manage our workload better and set boundaries. This approach helps us prioritise and maintain a manageable pace.

 If we take this on, what can we take out so that we can deliver effectively?

3. Extend Your Out-of-Office Time

When you put your out-of-office on for a week, give yourself one extra day at the end. Rather than saying you're back on Monday, give it till Tuesday. This allows you a day to gather your thoughts, figure out what's happening, and catch up on things at your own pace instead of being bombarded and feeling obligated to respond to as many emails as possible that have come in while you were off.

4. Schedule Midweek Events

Here at A Better Work, we found that doing events on Fridays or Mondays added unnecessary stress. If something goes wrong, we're stressed all weekend or scrambling to prepare last minute, or if there is a follow-up to be done, we are left scrambling and stressed out.

Now, we schedule events midweek, on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. This gives us ample time to prepare and follow up without infringing on our personal time.

By intentionally designing these moments of ‘calm’ into our way of working, we can create a calmer environment for employees, leaders and ourselves.

This not only reduces stress and burnout but also enhances creativity and productivity. 

A calm work environment leads to fewer sick days, less turnover, and a happier, more engaged workforce (what’s not to love?).

Let’s make work better together.​​

Michelle Wallace


A Better Work

At A Better Work we work with our clients to make work better and more fulfilling. It's not about happiness, it's about feeling a sense of accomplishment, and building teams that work brilliantly together in good times and bad.

If you want to elevate your team's performance while creating a more engaged work environment. Check out our new ‘Strengths-Based Teams Development Programme’ which gives you the tools and strategies to unlock your team's true potential.


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Let’s make work better together.



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