5 Features of a Healthy Workplace
Your employees are only as productive as they are motivated. Giving them these five basic elements of health in the workplace will reward you with more employee engagement and fewer absences overall.
1. Air Quality
Air quality in the workplace has received a fair amount of attention in industrial occupations, but has been relatively ignored in medical facilities, office buildings, and small businesses. Poor air quality and hidden airborne toxins often trigger allergies, asthma, and respiratory illnesses.
Most office jobs do not use toxic substances in their daily work processes, but toxins can be present in the building materials or during ordinary cleaning tasks.
Make sure to have disposable gloves and faces masks available to your employees during such tasks and office renovations. Click to order personal protection equipment for a healthy workplace.
2. Access to Nature and Daylight
Circadian rhythms are very important to human wellbeing. The changes in weather and daylight throughout the day contribute to sleep regulation and hormone production. Working in an environment devoid of sunlight and variability breeds lethargy and disinterest.
Workers’ motivation suffers as a result.
To combat boredom, provide outdoor areas, encourage employees to go outside for breaks, and increase the visual variability in the workplace with a mixture of lighting sources, ensuring access to windows and natural light, and mixing furniture and décor textures.
Once chronic injury monsters, like back pain, plantar fasciitis, and carpal tunnel syndrome, set in, they are distracting and difficult to treat. The common cause of such injuries is improper posture or repetitive movement. As difficult as it is to enforce proper positioning during the workday, it is still possible to introduce ergonomics and variety in seating.
Standing desks, adjustable seating, and anti-fatigue floor mats at nurses’ stations and other locations where people are expected to stand all day will allow people to adjust their work habits to their own needs.
Split keyboards and wrist support pads can help to guard against carpal tunnel symptoms, but encouraging a work culture that permits periodic exercise or regular activity will go even further in promoting overall employee health.
4. Noise Control
Ask any college student or freelancer where they get the most accomplished and you’ll likely hear the name of a chain coffee shop with Wi-Fi service.
It’s not just the caffeine that boosts productivity. Humans tend to work best in a low-noise atmosphere.
Using apps like Coffitivity can help replicate the hum of a coffee shop, while also blocking neighbors’ conversations. Many people also swear by listening to classical music, or other complex music without vocals (e.g., video game soundtracks) in the background to help them to focus on tasks.
Consider allowing employees to use headphones while they’re working on solitary tasks.
5. Employee Choice & Engagement
Worker satisfaction is highly related to employee choice. Employees should have flexibility in the following:
- seating type
- working hours
- noise levels
- social functions
These allowances will go a long way to balance the various work-life arrangements that people now keep. Establishing core hours, 10am to 3pm, for example, will let people come in after getting the kids to school, but still ensure employees will be in contact during the workday. Bookend hours will become more productive for solitary tasks.