Four ways to create a healthy work environment
our team is your best asset. This is why helping your employees to be employable should be a key part of any business strategy. Fall in the number of sick leaves, explosion in productivity … By encouraging your employees and colleagues to follow a healthy lifestyle, you will immediately reap financial benefits.
But showing your employees that you value them will also bring you long-term benefits and boost their loyalty and morale. So here are the 4 key areas you need to focus on to create a healthy work environment.
Working in an environment of questionable cleanliness can be a demotivating factor. Colds and intestinal problems could multiply and thus undermine productivity. It is therefore necessary to invest in quality cleaning products and to regularly involve certified companies that provide deep cleaning.
But don’t just focus on the kitchen and washroom: bacteria and viruses can also lurk in your employees’ workspaces. Landline phones, computer keyboards, as well as offices and equipment, such as printers, can easily be contaminated with germs.
Hand hygiene is the key to fighting the spread of germs and preventing contamination. To remind people of the importance of washing their hands, you can install wall-mounted disinfectant gel dispensers or have a small bottle available at each workstation. To prevent germs from spreading, be sure to provide your staff with several soap dispensers in the kitchen and washrooms.
Finally, do not forget the bins and bags so that waste management is under control. Your staff spend a lot of time at work, which is why it is essential to ensure a high standard of hygiene and cleanliness.
Design at the service of health
In a workspace that aims to be adapted to the specific needs of an employee, the ergonomics of design play a major role in the creation of a healthy working environment. Quality seats that are inspected and replaced regularly when they are defective, or desks adjusted to the right height, are essential elements that are less expensive than prolonged sick leave.
Lower back pain is the cause of many sick leaves and can become disabling over time. This type of pathology is specific to jobs that involve lifting heavy objects, but they can also be the result of long periods spent in a sitting position on unsuitable office chairs.
While providing suitable seats is important, there is more you can do to prevent injury to your employees. Ensuring comfort at work for your employees by investing in ergonomic furniture will prevent muscle problems but will also help them feel valued and respected. Carpal tunnel syndrome is pain in the wrist caused by excessive typing. This preventable pathology may require time off work and sometimes even surgery. To remedy this, invest in padded palm rests, which are both inexpensive and effective.
Lighting in your offices is also a key factor in creating a healthy workspace. A poorly lit workspace can affect the mood of your employees, who may feel demotivated and listless, while too bright lighting can cause migraines to appear. Natural light is your ally, so let it in as much as possible and you will immediately find that the atmosphere is warmer.
Fight the flu
Your employees may be active and in good physical condition, but they can still be affected by a common cold. And the risk of working in an office is the rapid spread of germs. Provide your employees with antibacterial wipes so they can clean their phones and keypads, and encourage them to use hand sanitizer.
Even the most sterile workplaces do not guarantee protection against colds, due to coughing and sneezing, which are extremely effective viral transmission mechanisms. Employers can be their own enemy when they greet employees who come to work in pain, spreading their infection wherever they go. Having a policy that encourages employees to stay home when they are contagious pays much more. For those who are infected but still feel fit to work, equip them with laptops and encourage them to work from home.
Engaged and happy employees
Showing your employees that their health matters is a powerful tool that helps you increase their engagement and motivation. It is also a way of showing the professional world that you are a responsible company that knows how to take care of its most precious resources.
Our work culture tends to reward people for the hours they spend at work, with employees who feel they need to show they are around long hours if their workload demands it. However, research has shown that this has a negative impact on the quality of work provided by those employees who spend too much time in their workplace.
It seems that our cognitive resources are limited and gradually exhausted when we work continuously, without taking a break. Working without interruption leads to negative stress reactions that prevent people from concentrating and which can build up over time and affect their mental and emotional well-being. Taking breaks during work is essential to give new impetus to thinking and creativity. Encouraging your employees to take regular breaks can boost their productivity.
Regularly recharging the batteries is essential for the brain to function optimally. But your employees will only feel empowered to do so if they are encouraged to do so. And the best way to do this is to lead by example. Going for a walk during your lunch break, leaving the office on time and taking time off is a good start.
Promoting a culture that celebrates health and wellness is a vital business strategy and it is your responsibility to ensure that workplace health is taken seriously. Not only will you give your employees a better image by caring about their well-being, but you will gain recognition in your industry and more broadly in the corporate world. You’re already investing in staff recruitment, training, and development, so why not also make your teams happy and healthy?