Stress%20balls.jpgAs stress levels in commercial kitchens rise in the run-up to Christmas, head chefs wanting to release pressure in their brigades might wish to take inspiration from staff at HM Revenue & Customs.
Apparently, morale is so low at HMR&C, that employees are demanding punchbags, squeeze balls and aromatherapy to help them relieve work-related tension.
One posting on Disgruntled Lemmings, a discussion web site run by tax staff, have called for stress balls, “a cheap idea, these could be placed on every desk within easy reach for people to squeeze away the tension after dealing with an awkward caller or a difficult piece of post.” Another suggests that “a punchbag could be kept in a staff room/chillout area for those on breaks to take out their frustrations on.” And a third asks tax bosses to consider offering “discounts for stress-relieving therapies such as Indian head massage, aromatherapy and reflexology”.
Could such techniques be applied to the kitchen? Aromatherapy is probably out: the delicate aromas of lavender and patchouli might be lost amid the smell of the stockpot. But a meat carcass hanging in the cold room could double as a punchbag; and balls of dough would work nicely as stress balls.
On the other hand, other, bosses might opt for more practical ways of keeping staff happy and motivated.