By Sarita Harbour
More than half of the respondents to the 2016 Staples Business Advantage Workplace Index feel they're overworked, and with only 9 percent saying they never work more than 40 hours a week, stress and burnout are constant concerns. One possible solution is adult coloring books, which have become increasingly popular around the country in the past few years and are thought to relieve stress and stimulate creativity. In 2015 alone, the Washington Post reported that an estimated 12 million adult coloring books were sold. Office managers looking to improve productivity and creativity in their office should consider incorporating adult coloring books into their company culture by simply placing an assortment of books, colored pencils and crayons in a break room for employees to use at their leisure.
Regardless of the type of office or business you manage, your employees — and their productivity — could benefit from this simple, relaxing pastime. Here are three ways that providing adult coloring books to your employees could positively impact your company.
Although adult coloring books have only recently become widely popular, the idea of using art or coloring as therapy has been around for decades. Coloring within the lines lets a person immerse themselves solely in that task, relieving the stress and worries of the workday. Furthermore, coloring within a picture entails no added pressure or unknown outcome, removing any possibility of stress or anxiety.
By taking a few minutes out of the day to relieve stress in the office, employees in your office will have improved mental health and will return to their work with a renewed sense of productivity and a positive attitude. Various advocates of adult coloring books compare their stress-relieving benefits to those of meditation and yoga, according to the Washington Post.
The act of coloring — deciding which shades to use and where — shifts human brain activity from the left to the right, stimulating the creative parts. Encourage the use of coloring books to stimulate creativity among employees in your office. Inspiring creativity prompts employees to think outside the box and may help them find solutions to business problems by using a different perspective or approach. Paired with the stress-relieving aspect of coloring, stimulating creativity gives your workers an opportunity to find creative ways to improve their work.
The therapeutic calming of coloring within a set of lines helps relax the brain and create a state of mindfulness. According to Cleveland Clinic, the relaxation effect stems from the focus needed while coloring. For employees who struggle with a specific task or even become overwhelmed, a short coloring break can help them carry over that renewed focus to their work.
Managers and employees across the business world know that happy employees make good businesses. Incorporating coloring books into your office is a simple way to foster more creativity, focus and happiness in your employees. Adult coloring books contain dozens of pages, come in a variety of themes and range from $5 to $12, making them some of the most inexpensive office supplies — and therapy tools — around.