How To Create A Healthy Work Environment For Employees

All companies want to increase productivity at the workplace at any cost. While there are many ways to give your employees the incentive to work harder and bring you greater revenues, one of the most effective ways to achieve this goal is by creating a healthy work environment that inspires, encourages and empowers your employees to go the extra mile and produce even greater results than before. Not only is it beneficial to your company as a whole, but it also does wonders for your employees’ morale. An environment that shows consideration for the employees’ well-being and growth will engage them further in giving back with better work.

Here are eight ways you can create a positive and healthy work environment for your employees. 

1. Standing work station: Many people have complained about health issues that emerge from having a sedentary life. This can be attributed to sitting for long work hours, at the computer, and not getting much movement, thus losing on blood circulation. In general, it isn’t a healthy idea to sit in one place for long hours. This can be easily remedied by introducing standing workstations! A standing desk ensures that the employee gets enough movement, muscle stretches, and blood circulation. Not to mention, it keeps them on their toes, avoiding the lethargy that sets in after sitting at your laptop for long periods. Employees have the option of sitting or standing, giving their bodies enough action and rest for the workday, and their minds some extra exercise!

2. Comfort is key: A workday involves long hours staring at a computer screen, making phone calls, sometimes having heated conversations with clients or vendors, and all the while cramming brains together into space to churn out new business strategies. This can take a significant toll on the mind and body. You need to create a comfortable workspace for your employees, a space that is evenly spaced out to give each employee some breathing space, but also not too large, isolating them from one another. This keeps them connected and also the office supplies within reach.

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3. Reinforce good behaviour: If your employees are hitting regular home runs at work, reward them! Rewarding exemplary behaviour inspires more of the same from other employees. It also shows that you pay attention to every employee’s progress and that their work matters to you. You could create milestones for projects or teams, offer rewards and perks for every goal reached, and regularly appreciate your employees personally and with the team, showing them how important they are to you. Maybe buy a round of coffee for your teammates once in a while, just to show how much you appreciate their hard work. A little goes a long way!

4. Staying connected: You may have people on your team working remotely or are constantly on the move. Not everyone may be present at the office at all times. Don’t forget to include them in team-building exercises, offsite trips or celebrations. You could even have virtual chat groups, with fun conversation starters like “What’s your favourite hobby?” or “What’s your favourite movie genre?” to break the ice, or have book clubs or movie appreciation groups where people come together and discuss the book they read or movie they saw over the weekend. And there’s always game night – the ultimate crowd-pleaser, where the entire team can sit back and have some fun! It’s essential for your employees to feel like they are valued members of a closely-knit group. A sense of belonging can be very wholesome and motivating.

5. Go green: Having some potted plants around the workplace is truly a great way to create a better environment for your employees to work in. Not only are plants an excellent source of natural air purification, but they also lighten the mood. Plants improve air quality by reducing the stuffiness of a closed office and can give your employees some visual respite after staring at their computers for long periods. Stick to the soft, leafy ones versus the prickly cactus variety (so that nobody gets poked around the office).

6. Pay attention to air quality: Speaking of air quality, remember that your employees are cooped indoors for at least 8 hours in the day. So the air they breathe needs to be clean and fresh at all times. If you do not provide this, it can lead to lower concentration levels, deteriorating health, reduced energy levels and even allergies. This is crucial, especially if you get any renovation or painting work done at the office. Chemicals released in the air can cause severe allergic reactions and illnesses if you don’t clear them out with sufficient ventilation. Air purifiers are a great way of cleaning out unwanted elements in the office environment and providing fresh air for your employees to breathe. Get your air conditioning regularly serviced. Let your employees feel taken care of, so they feel like putting their best foot forward.

7. Creative colours: While going green is synonymous with being eco-conscious and conserving energy, studies have shown that the colour ‘green’ itself is considered very soothing and stimulates creativity and growth. If you can paint your walls a soothing sea-foam or sage green, you can rest assured your employees will show a boost in creative output. Companies need their employees to find innovative ways to sell their products and services. If you cannot paint the walls, use decor and accessories with pastel green shades to create a calm environment that inspires new ideas.

8. Healthy debates: Arguments at the workplace? Not such a bad thing, after all. Sometimes it’s good to let your employees challenge each other with opposing views. This facilitates a hashing out of different ideas and perspectives and helps reach a standard solution to many problems. It also allows your employees to think through their ideas thoroughly and iron out any uneven areas. Some healthy conflicts can give rise to the best ideas and even stimulate excellent discussion about different topics. It also teaches your employees not to shy away from being challenged. Of course, you must ensure that these debates are healthy and respectful, and your employees don’t take to brawling to win an argument!

Conclusion: We all want results. But to get those results, we have to put in the work. And when it comes to your employees, you need to create a physically and mentally healthy work environment to feel motivated, empowered, and energized.

Reference: From “8 Steps to Create a Positive and Healthy Work Environment” | Glassdoor Team, Glassdoor | 16 August, 2021

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