White-collar workers use new products to relieve stress

16:34, November 05, 2010      

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Slamming an unbreakable plastic bulb can help relieve unhappy feelings, and a sticker with the sentence "Feeling sleepy when getting down to business" on it seems to be able to elevate spirits. As the end of the year is drawing near and performance appraisals are looming, many young white-collar workers have turned to various interesting stress-relief products for reducing psychological stress and refreshing oneself.

Store selling stress relief products enjoys booming business

Hu went directly to a small handicraft store near the People's Square after calling on a customer. Planning to buy three "stress relief bookmarks," she gave a piece of paper with three sentences written on it ?"I want a pay raise," "Overtime work makes me tearful," and "It will not kill you to buy more stuff" to a salesclerk.

Then, the salesclerk proficiently inscribed the three sentences on three cowhide bookmarks respectively. Hu told reporters that she is a front-line salesperson at a Japanese-funded company. As the year-end is approaching, her workload has become even heavier. She is on the home stretch of achieving her required sales target, so the pressure is very high.

She dubbed the bookmarks "stress relief bookmarks," and planned to save one for herself and give the other two to her two best friends at the company who also feel depressed. She hopes that the presents can help them ease stress so they will smile more and have more fun in life.

In addition to customizable bookmarks, the store also sells other products, such as cups, badges and fridge magnets all printed with self-deprecating and ironic phrases and sentences, including "Dozing off on company time" and "Struggling hard before age 30, and even harder after that."

The salesclerk said that although the prices of these products printed with interesting remarks are 30 percent to 50 percent higher than those of unprinted products, they still sell pretty well, especially in recent days when the number of young white-collar workers who came to buy stress relief products increased significantly.

Straightforward and unconstrained toys are more popular

Compared with graceful and restrained stress relief goods, straightforward and unconstrained toys are more popular with white-collar workers. For instance, after throwing a fake plastic light bulb to the ground or wall, the bulb will turn into a "pool of stuff" before returning to its original shape in seconds.

Similar stress relief toys include fake eggs, and there is also a type of stress relief toy called a "screaming chicken." If it is pressed, it will utter a vivid sad scream. Some white-collar workers pinch this "screaming chicken" to keep themselves from screaming or shouting. Reporters found at handicraft shops in commercial areas of People's Square, Jing'an Temple and Zhongshan Park that white-collar workers favor these funny and cheap straightforward and unconstrained toys so much that they are keen on buying them.

A white-collar worker named Xia bought a bubble bursting toy online several days ago that can emulate the feeling and sound of bursting real bubbles. "This toy is so popular in my office that several of my female co-workers have it," Xia said. He added, "As the year-end approaches, our workloads are mounting, causing us to be very anxious sometimes. Since we cannot release such feelings at the office, I may appease myself through repeating the dull actions of bursting bubbles, and then feel refreshed to solve problems."

Note: Pay attention to where the toys are played with

Human resources experts noted that white-collar workers are under high psychological pressure because of intense competition in offices. In particular, the stress they face is close to the critical point near the end of a year. During this period, it is reasonable for white-collar workers to use both mild stress relieving bookmarks and unrestrained stress reliving toys to release emotions and ease stress.

However, experts also noted that white-collar workers should pay attention to the places where to play with the toys, and avoid both pasting adhesive paper and throwing "eggs" and bursting bubbles in public, particularly at the office. It is especially inappropriate to play exciting games such as throwing a "light bulb," or squeezing a "screaming chicken," which will leave negative impressions of being impulsive and naive on and show a lack of professionalism to superiors and co-workers. Thus, even if it may relieve stress to some degree, it may cost too heavy a price and doom career prospects.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:王寒露)

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