Help employees let off steam
Eastday.com , a local web portal, recently reported about an exhibition in Shanghai with the theme of helping employees relieve stress.
The curator said that similar exhibitions had been held at multiple locations in the city and proved popular with employees in need of mental relief at work.
The exhibition featured rooms used to simulate the office environment, so that visitors could relate to certain moments of frustration, such as when they work overtime to meet deadlines.
However, despite receiving over 300 visitors on weekends, the exhibition drew criticism that stepping on instant noodles and smashing glass provide temporary solace, but fall short of tackling the underlying problem.
Social media have increasingly blurred the boundaries between work and personal life. Since many stay connected through WeChat, this has made it easier to pester people during off-work hours with extra assignments.
Besides, employees’ anxiety is often associated with pay structure, promotion mechanisms and office climate.
In the United States, programs designed to help employees overcome stress are highly valued by employers. Google, for instance, points needy employees in the direction of designated therapists and has established online support groups for staff to seek help in the safety of anonymity.
The morbid fascination with overwork is now being called into question by the young generation who tends to value freedom and a chance to be left alone after work.
The exhibition in Shanghai signaled employees’ growing demand for stress reduction and called for a better working environment that offers more than just income.
A comfortable sofa, some fitness facilities and a break room filled with the aroma of coffee are some of the typical components of an employee-friendly modern office.
It would be more considerate of employers if they can provide extra counseling services for employees where necessary. After all, the well-being of employees is closely tied to a company’s achievements.