Keep Your Office Happy with these Workplace Health Tips
More than two-thirds of Americans say their actual working conditions don’t match up with their desired working conditions. Yikes! While jobs have never been known for their irresistibly fun environments (people do get paid to show up, after all), it doesn’t mean employers should ignore how healthy and happy their team members feel at work. A subpar working environment and the dissatisfaction it breeds can lead to poor health, disengagement, and an unproductive team in the office.
What can you do to keep your office happy, healthy (and best yet, productive)?
Kick the Clutter
No matter what your team members might try to convince themselves of at home, the reality we all like a clean space. In fact, spaces that are full of unnecessary clutter and chaos are shown to negatively affect the brain’s ability to focus and process information. So, keep communal areas like kitchens, lobbies, and conference rooms organized and regularly cleaned. Whether it’s something like implementing a team fridge clean-out every Friday or selecting the right organizational bins for the office supply area, make it easy for everyone to pitch in and keep shared spaces tidy.
Protect Against Germs
The moment you hear that first sneeze from across the office, you can guess what’s coming next: the office plague. In most offices, germs spread rapidly if left unchecked. Empower your team members to take health into their own hands by providing hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes throughout the office and keep a first aid area well-stocked with common over-the-counter products like Emergen-C and pain relievers. It’s also important to make sure employees know you want them to take the day off or work from home if they’re feeling under the weather. Many people come to work sick because they’re afraid to miss a meeting or a deadline – don’t let that culture of fear cause your entire team to get sick!
Embrace the Green
Science shows that our brains react positively to the color green – it helps us think more creatively. If your company branding doesn’t include the color green – therefore making the addition of a green wall or green accents less of a possibility – simply consider adding more plants around the office. Plants will output fresh oxygen and create a natural aesthetic that can put the mind at ease.
Create a Sense of Community
It shouldn’t just be about work every minute of every day. Humans are social creatures by nature, so find ways to bring people together around the office. Instead of letting coworkers fall into the trap of eating a quick lunch at their desk, create a lunch space that’s communal and inviting, so that people will want to get up from their desks and eat together! You can also encourage the team to take group breaks (ex: walks outside, coffee runs). Give them permission to socialize and take a brain break. You’ll likely find you have happier, motivated team members as a result.
Quit the Sit
Another way to boost workplace health? Discourage too much sitting! Sitting for an extended period of time has been associated with chronic disease (some medical professionals have even gone so far as to call sitting the new smoking). Consider offering standing desks for employees, or working with your HR team to develop a wellness program that incentivizes employees to adopt healthier habits for rewards (sometimes in the form of lower insurance costs).
How healthy is your office? Which of these workplace health tips could you easily apply? Let us know in the comments section below!