Reducing stress in The Lab. Part 2: Autonomy and freedom

By Katie Mitchelmore on 17 April 2019
Autonomy and freedom

In this five-part series, we’re exploring the steps we’ve taken to reduce stress here in The Lab. We’ve already talked about the importance of finding your purpose, and in this part we turn our attention to the impact that giving our team autonomy and freedom has had managing our stress levels.

Autonomy and freedom

More and more studies are showing the benefits that increased autonomy in the workplace has on people’s wellbeing. We believe that applying limits, policies, or hierarchical lines of ‘reporting’, whether in the workplace or in life in general, rarely results in the best output for anyone. It all comes down to trust. We know that we’re all adults, and trust our team, and each other, to make our own decisions and manage our own time to get things done. Feeling more in control of our workloads and knowing that it’s OK to get things wrong sometimes, helps reduce stress and takes away the ‘surprise’ deadlines or pressure of ‘reporting’ to someone.

We’ve also extended this philosophy to our unlimited holiday and flexible working initiatives, which allow people the flexibility to take time away from the office as and when they need it.

“For me, it’s important to find your own pace and not be taken over by the pace of everything leave around you; emails, other people, notifications on your phone, social media etc, - everything that your brain takes in, and can often feel overwhelmed by, on a daily basis. It’s about really taking control of yourself and your days - for example - taking a day to work at home and focus on one project, rather than going into the office and opening emails,  and being sent off on about 20 others, takes away a lot of potential anxiety and stress. You know what needs to be done - it's up to you to decide how and when. Being able to do this at the Lab means better results for everyone, and a lot less stress.”

Siobhan, People and Culture

Topics: design, team, spacelab, architecture, workplace productivity, Office wellbeing, employeeappreciation, company culture