If you’ve ever worked at a major retailer, you’ve probably come across the term “corporate office” or “corner office” as often as the word “office”.
If you’ve never worked for a company that’s listed on a stock exchange, you probably have a sense of what a corporate office is like.
Corporate offices are offices where employees spend most of their time, which means there’s a lot of stress and uncertainty around working there.
“The more stressful a company is the more likely they are to use their facilities as corporate offices,” says Jaimie Cottle, a business professor at San Diego State University and author of The Corporate Office Myth.
Many businesses have tried to minimize the stress, and they often don’t have enough people to deal with it all.
But they still have employees who will be working in an office every day for many years to come.
“The stress of being in a workplace is not just physical, but emotional,” Cottles told Business Insider.
While the most stressful environments in the workplace are physical, the psychological toll of working in one can be even greater.
Cottles studied the psychological effects of working at an office for a nonprofit organization, and found that those who worked there were more likely to feel stressed and anxious, and more likely than others to be depressed.
They were also more likely not to have the energy to be active or to participate in their community.
“They were more prone to have more frequent breakdowns, and that was a huge factor in their suicide attempts,” she said.
In fact, Cottels study found that while many employees may feel stress and anxiety in an average office, it’s not the same for every employee.
She says it’s also important to remember that while there are certain mental health issues that can affect an employee in an industrial setting, those issues aren’t exclusive to industrial settings.
“There’s also the issue of how people cope with stress in an occupational setting,” she says.
For example, if an employee feels stressed, that employee might feel more stressed because that employee is in a more physical space.
“When you’re in a crowded office, there’s no way to control the stress that’s there,” she added.
Cottle said there are some steps that can help keep employees in a productive workplace.
One of them is making sure employees are comfortable around each other and don’t feel like they’re being treated like a prisoner.
She suggests making sure the employees are interacting with one another in a way that doesn’t create tension.
Another step is to make sure that the workplace is inviting and comfortable.
Lastly, Cottage says that an organization’s goal should be to create a safe space for employees to work.
Employees who are anxious can’t work in a stressful environment, and she recommends that organizations try to create environments where employees feel comfortable.