Can Your Employees Sue You for Emotional Distress

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Suing for Emotional Distress|Can Your Employees Sue You for Emotional DistressAny business should consider the mental wellbeing of its employees. Work is stressful enough without people having to deal with the outrageous behaviors of others. Major depression and burnout cost companies billions of dollars every year. In this context, the stress in the workplace is not something to neglect. From a legal standpoint, employees have the right to sue a business for emotional distress. Here is what you need to know.

Employers Have Double Legal Duties

As an employer, you have the legal duty to avoid inflicting emotional distress to other people. You must use reasonable care to prevent such issues. You are responsible for all your employees’ conduct. Say an employee causes emotional distress to another employee or a client. If you knew and did nothing about it, you are vulnerable to a lawsuit.

Making the Difference between Legal Types of Emotional Distress Cases

An employer must follow the letter of the law and its spirit. You may do everything right and face legal exposure. Some of your employees may have asked themselves, “can you sue for emotional distress” at least once. The answer is “yes,” but it depends on the situation. Most people will not sue you because you are annoying as a person. They will if:

  • you are a negligent manager;
  • engage in reckless/outrageous behavior towards them;
  • your management led to workplace accidents and injuries;
  • you ignore their complaints.

With burnout syndrome, depression, or sexual harassment, the law is intricate. In this context, you need to know the difference between NIED and IIED.

The best way to move forward is to hire legal aid. It may be hard as a small business to find the right law firm. But, it will save you money in the long term. Most likely, it will protect your reputation.

NIED – Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress

Employees can sue for NIED when someone else’s negligence leads to their emotional distress. The proof varies from state to state. These are the general provisions when making a case:

  • The employee must prove that the defendant (employer) engaged in a negligent activity.
  • The employer is open to an NIED suit if he/she willfully violated a statutory duty.
  • The plaintiff suffered significant emotional distress (as described by the law). They must prove its occurrence, persistence, symptoms, etc.
  • The plaintiff’s emotional distress is a direct consequence of the defendant’s negligence.

Example: Employees can sue within an NIED framework if a piece of equipment fell and nearly crashed them.

IIED – Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress

Bad behavior opens the door to an IIED suit. There are no guidelines on what represents extreme, reckless, or outrageous behavior. It is why IIED is hard to prove in court. Don’t misjudge the courts and lawyers, though. An IIED claim must target conducts that go beyond the usual workplace insults, threats, or annoyances. They should not exist, either, but they do not pack a big punch in court. What comes with heavyweight is the following combination of factual elements:

  • The employer/their agent’s conduct was deliberate and reckless. And there is proof to back up this claim.
  • The defendant/their agent engaged in extreme or outrageous behavior (and the plaintiff can prove).
  • This conduct led to an employee’s emotional distress.
  • The employee can prove the causality and the severity of the distress.

Example: You are open to IIED claims if you neglected an employee’s complaints regarding sexual harassment. Your failure to respond to numerous notices for months will most likely put you in the defendant’s chair.

In IIED claims, fright or shame can fall under the umbrella of “emotional distress.” As we said above, you are responsible for the conduct of all your employees. Consider promoting a safe working environment. Remove any risks of sexual harassment, bullying, shaming, emotional abuse, social isolation, etc.

Can You Put a Price on Your Employees’ Feelings?

If an employee wins an NIED or an IIED claim, you have to pay for damages. The payment is relative to the severity of the emotional injury. You should consider legal advice in such cases, even if you are a small business. Many NIED and IIED cases settle outside of court. You need to know your rights, your employees’ rights, and the methods you have to make their lives better and safer.

The best fidget toys to relieve stress and anxiety at your office

StrategyDriven Managing Your People Article |Fidget Toy|The best fidget toys to relieve stress and anxiety at your officeWe live in a fast-paced world with cut-throat competition. Companies try their best to be number 1 in the league. This does not come without a cost. Every individual in the office must give their 100% to stay ahead in the game.

From leadership to the employees, everyone is in constant pressure and stress. Since offices can’t put an end to the work problem, they have introduced stress toys to help the employees combat stress.

Being constantly under pressure can harm us, deteriorate our health and affect our ability to enjoy and even work efficiently. The office often overwhelms us and we can’t manage the work-life balance in our lives. We don’t take stress seriously but when it becomes chronic, anxiety can deteriorate the quality of life and severe our personal and work ties.

There are many ways professional workplaces try to lower the anxiety of their employees, they might be excursion trips, exercise or yoga. All these things take time and most are practiced away from the workplace. To relieve pressure and lower the stress that office workers experience, it is worth trying some stress games that, in addition to entertaining, allow us to improve well-being and restore psycho-emotional balance.

Toys to relieve stress

Our brain is a powerful tool and when it spends too much time stressing over our worries it can damage itself badly. The problem is the brain itself does not realize the amount of stress it is in.

It is not crazy to think that small toys or simple games can be good allies against stress. Several investigations indicate that fiddling with small devices can generate benefits in restless people who feel anxiety since it can help them focus on what they are doing and even serve as a boost for their creative ideas. Fidget means small and frantic movement which we unintentionally make while stressed. The fidget toys come with options to choose the best suitable stress relieving fidget toy for you.

Here we will tell you the best fidget toys which come with many options and are the best allies against the stress. These fidget toys also help adults with ADHD.

They are basically small “toys” to keep your fingers moving and relieve tension. They are simple and come with options to choose varied and in different materials. They have the most varied formats, from plastic disks that allow wheel spin or press switches to metal tops.

Fidget Spinner

Fidget spinners were the most popular fidget toys. The people who were not going through a stressful period had a fidget spinner as well.

They became famous among kids, teens, and adults likewise. It gave a calming effect to the user and surely relieved anxiety. The Fidget Spinner has become the ultimate global entertainment. It’s all the rage in schools and even presidents use it.

Fidget spinners are of different materials, such as plastic or steel, they are formed by a central axis with two, three or more arms, which rotate. Due to the equal weight distributed to the arms, the fidget spinner rotated for quite a while and helped people regain their calm.

Fidget Cube

It is a gadget in the form of a cube that, in each of its six faces, has a different mechanism oriented to calm the nerves. Completed with buttons, wheels, levers and even a metal sphere, its creators ensured that the different fidget options in the fidget cube allow releasing tensions easily and efficiently without disturbing anyone.

Although they vary in different versions, a fidget cube has buttons that click, a sphere which you can rotate, a wheel, rotating gears and a switch to press it as many times as you want.

You can have fun with it, calm your nerves or simply stop biting your nails. And the best thing is that everything in that fits inside your pocket.

Epic Pen Spinning

This toy, which also works as a pen, is elongated and has counterweights at its ends to turn it around and do impossible tricks with the fingers of the hand.

Pin Art

A Pin Art screen, Pinscreen, Needle screen or Rod screen, is a device that allows you to form images by moving very thin cylindrical rods, guided by a suitable mesh and held in a frame.

The Pin Art screen was patented by Ward Fleming and in its beginnings, back in the ’80s, it was considered a “toy for executives”. It is a mechanical, simple and fun game that today is in a lot of homes. Only with how to press or sink fingers, faces or objects, a small 3D sculpture appears.

Coloring books

Coloring books have proven to be an excellent stress-relieving option. Coloring had always been something exclusive to children. In an increasingly fast-paced world, the need to sit down and distract the mind became an adult demand and mandalas became an ideal anti-stress option.

Mandalas are circular designs that symbolize the notion that life never ends and has been used for centuries as a spiritual tool in the East. Today they are fashionable in the West and many recommend them as a resource to relieve tension and improve concentration by painting and coloring these drawings.

Stress putty

Stress putty is like slime but less runny. It is an excellent option to relieve office stress and anxiety. They come in different colors and textures as you can even customize them by adding Styrofoam balls or glitter.

Fidget pen

How many of us repeatedly press the button on the end of our ball pens without even realizing that the sound it makes can be a nuisance for all the other employees? That is why a fidget pen is the best option for such people as it can give stress relief and also does not make any sound.

Fidget toys manufacturers have to keep a number of things in consideration like it should not make sounds that can disturb others. They should be lightweight so the users can easily take help from stress toys to relax and relieve the extra office stress and last but not least, it has to be easy on the pocket.

Work in a stress-free environment

Chronic stress can lead to several psychological and physiological ailments. Individuals and offices have to take care of the employees by managing other factors that might lead to access to stress and anxiety.

Fidget toys, helpful colleagues and an understanding leadership can help in creating a stress-free environment for the people in your office and keep the employees happy.

Designing Your First Office: A Guide

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleBecoming an established business with its own premises is a great leap forward in your company’s journey. No longer are you a one-person band; now you can hire talented employees and invite clients and suppliers to your office for meetings. Creating the perfect office space can be a challenge, however. After all, there are numerous aspects to consider, and each one will impact on the atmosphere, efficiency, and first impression you give. With that in mind, you will find two areas to focus on when designing your first office below.

1. Electricity, Heat & Water

Regardless of what industry you are in, you will need a reliable energy supply, which is both cost-effective and eco-friendly. You will no doubt be running a number of computers, providing internet access, telephone lines, along with lighting and more. One highly popular option, especially in newer builds, is to use solar panels to power the building. These convert sunlight to electricity, but the good news is that they work even in cloudy weather. What’s more, sunlight is free, which means your electricity bill will be reduced by opting for this energy source.

When designing your office, you will also need to keep in mind the comfort for everyone who is in occupying the space, whether that’s employees, clients, or just yourself. To keep the office warm and cozy in the depths of winter, PBE Fuels are your go-to for biomass boilers, which use sustainably sourced wood pellets to provide adequate heating for the whole building. By picking biomass, you will be choosing a self-sustainable heat supply and one which will also work to lower your heating bills.

Comfort also applies to your water supply. Without clean, running water, you will not be offering the legal requirements to your workforce. As a business owner, it is your responsibility to provide a healthy, safe environment, and this includes drinking water. Of course, most offices opt for office water coolers, but you still must ensure the water running from your taps is drinkable.

2. Décor Scheme

The next step in designing your first office is choosing how to decorate it, including the color scheme you want and the furniture. It is a lesser known fact when planning your first office, how impactful color can be in regards to productivity and overall atmosphere. The color possibly depends on your business’s logo, but take the time to consider what feel you want to evoke in the room. Purple, for instance, can work to represent magic and mystery, or it can appear somewhat fake and artificial. White, on the other hand, evokes feelings of purity and cleanliness, or it can feel stark and sterile. When deciding on the color scheme, think carefully about how you want people to feel the first time they walk into the room. Do you want to impress clients and show your authority? Use black to create elegance – but use it sparingly, as it can absorb all the natural light.

The furniture will usually depend on the industry you are in; an office-based company will require a series of desks, chairs, and computers, whereas a manufacturing warehouse will need heavy machinery. However, both buildings will require a reception area, and this is where you can make your best first impression. By creating a welcoming, friendly reception area, where clients and potential employees can wait in comfort, you will be subtly showing your professionalism. Opt to place a relaxing couch in the waiting area, along with refreshment facilities, as these are proven to wow clients and make them feel at home.

Great Ways To Improve Your Work Environment

Being a business owner, whether it is a small company or a larger one, is one of the most challenging activities, which is one of the reasons why not everyone can launch a business and make it work long-term. Entrepreneurs have a lot of commitments and daily responsibilities to take care of; besides having the necessary knowledge and skills to start a business, one has to be truly organized and know how to establish relationships with workers. As no one likes working in a disorganized environment, it is important to make changes to the workplace. It is a well-known fact the productivity of the employees is often linked to the environment where they have to perform their tasks.

Optimizing that space and making it look and feel as comfortable and welcoming as possible should be the main priority for business owners. Making a small investment is worth it in this case because your workforce will appreciate your effort and your company will benefit a lot from that. Contrary to popular belief, improving the work environment does not always involve spending large amounts of money. With the help of some simple yet effective tips, business owners can improve the mood, drive, and performance of their workers.

Hire Great Team Members

In order to be able to make a business work, it is essential to hire the best professionals out there. The hiring process is the first step to creating a great work environment. Generally, professional people have a positive attitude and know how to handle difficult situations. If you already have a team of workers, you might want to take some time and assess their work performance. Don’t be afraid to let go of those who are not good enough for your company. You want to avoid hiring toxic workers at all costs as they will easily transform the general atmosphere from a normal one to a negative one, which will decrease the productivity of your workforce. Let poisonous employees go no matter how hard it is for you.

Improve Communication

Working as a team leads to success. As a business owner, you need to be careful when communicating with your team members as your message can be misunderstood. A simple way of motivating workers to become better is by making them feel valued and giving them positive feedback. Your employees need to understand that their work is very valuable and it contributes to the success of your business. Moreover, they need to be able to establish connections between them and know how to communicate effectively. Improving communication is simple if you keep your employee’s feedback in mind. Ask them how they feel about this aspect and think of ways of showing gratitude for their work.

Create a Comfortable Office

One of the most important aspects that provide great results is the office where your employees perform their work. You need to make sure that little aspects such as lighting and office furniture are comfortable enough for your workforce. Working in a clean, organized office can have great effects on the team members and their relationships with both you and each other. For example, you need to allow employees to work in a comfortable place, whether it is a certain area of the office or a standing desk. If the furniture of your office is considered “bad” or “uncomfortable” by the workers, they will be less productive. A virtual office is a great option in this case because they are a lot cheaper and provide all kinds of facilities.

Add a Nice Smell

According to academic studies, there is a close relationship between certain scents and memories. They found that certain scents can have a positive impact on people. Although different people can react in different ways to certain smells, there are subtle scents that add to the overall atmosphere. Therefore, if you’re working with traditional office space, you can add a few flowers and plants to each corner of the office. For a fresh and clean atmosphere, you can count on air fresheners. However, opening windows or burning a scented candle has a great effect as well. A cheap bouquet of fresh cut flowers works wonders in any office. It does not only elevate the aesthetics of the place, but it also provides a fresh smell.

Schedule Breaks

Breaks are an important part of the workday. Most workers tend to stare at their screen for a long period of time without taking any breaks for their eyes. You should encourage your employees to take regular eye breaks each time they get a chance. Even a few moments of looking away can make a big difference for the health of their eyes. At the same time, it is just as important to step away from what you are doing. When you step away from your work and focus on your surroundings, you come back with a fresh pair of eyes and mind. You can create a relaxing room where workers can play games, chat or listen to music while they are on their lunch break. Make sure breaks take place often in so that you can prevent burnout.

Water and Snacks

Work days are long and tiring, and people need to stay hydrated all through the day. Nonetheless, water is a pain to drink for some. A great way of motivating people to drink water while they work is by adding a bottle next to their desk. Water improves brain functioning, prevents headaches and makes you feel fresh. As plain water is boring for some, it might be a good idea to provide workers with either flavored water or lemon and fresh mint so that they can prepare lemonade. Moreover, taking a few short snack breaks is just as important when it comes to improving the work environment and the general atmosphere. Workers are encouraged to disconnect from work, communicate with one another and leave their chairs for a few minutes.

No matter where you work, you need to make an effort to create a comfortable space. These tips might come in handy whether you are a business owner or a simple worker. They can be easily customized to your needs as there is no strict recipe for success.

Optimize Your Work Environment With These Simple Tips

Your workforce

The efficiency of your workloads depends heavily on the speed of your workforce, and how good they are at their jobs. Having work done fast is one thing, but having quality is another. Often quality work is hard to guarantee if the employees are under a lot of stress on a daily basis, and it can often be hard to focus. In this case, it’s important to make sure you’ve created a much more stress-free environment for everyone to work in. Many factors can go into creating this calm environment; you just have to know the people who work for you if you want the best results. Firstly, bringing everyone closer can help out a lot if you want to raise the moods.

Teamwork is an essential part of any workforce, as it determines how well everyone can work with one another. If you assign jobs that have to be done in teams, the quality and rate that they’re done at will depend on how much they all trust one another. There are many occasions where you should organize team building activities to strengthen the bond, as not only can it bring a more relaxed environment, but it can inspire more productivity. It gives people a reason to value their jobs more, especially if they can get along with their colleagues.

Team building isn’t the only method, investing in other ways to encourage teamwork can also help over time. Products like onsight connect – Librestream can help not only to allow teams to work together, but also help with their efficiency. Having a medium for everyone to work at the same level while being able to actively assess and learn from one another is an extremely effective tool, and is sure to improve individual productivity.

Your workplace

Your workplace also has an impact on how well everyone can get through their work. It’s important to make sure there’s nothing around to distract people while they’re fulfilling their job. Usually, an effective method would involve not allowing the use of phones or other devices that may cause distractions. Even with the simplest of tasks, losing focus can be as easy as receiving a text. It’s not because of the importance of said text, but the lack of motivation to do their job.

When it comes to making your office a better environment, you should focus on creating something that’s not too dull. While it’s not distracting, dull can often be depressing and demotivating, which is never good for efficiency. Creating your optimal work environment should involve light coloring, possibly some music, and not too many decorations. You shouldn’t have anything that’s likely to catch the eye or attention of your employees, but you also need to make sure you’re sparking creativity. Hence the use of music; which relies heavily on the demographics of your workforce.

Creating the ideal workplace can be difficult, especially if you’re looking at a pretty diverse group of employees. With that said, making sure you’re making a relaxing environment is the best you can do, along with enforcing employee synergy. It’s effective if everyone can get along, else you might need to think about finding new employees who will. As harsh as that sounds, you have to make sacrifices if you’re looking for efficiency.