Creating a healthy workplace environment

Creating a Healthy Workplace Environment for Your Employees

A healthy workplace environment is ideal when it comes to maintaining a positive outcome in a stressful atmosphere. The most important thing that influences employee motivation and happiness, and how productive and efficient they can be, all goes down to their working environment.

A healthy workplace environment is good for your company as it could lead to bringing sales for business. A healthy workplace environment improves productivity and reduces costs related to absenteeism, turnover, workers’ compensation, and medical claims.

What is a Healthy Workplace Environment

Healthy does not only constitute as needing medical attention, it could also be the outlook of the workplace and even the surroundings. There are four aspects to look into when creating a healthy workplace environment:

Workplace culture

As mentioned in one of our blog, Creating a Happier Corporate Culture, every company has their own corporate culture that determines its value and it usually creates a standard that employees generally follow. When you have created a positive workplace culture that is being practiced by employees as well as yourself, the environment of the workplace tends to be healthier as everyone would have nothing to be upset or unhappy about.

A great company culture can keep employees productive and even help your company retain the best employees and happy workers are also more likely to stick around.

Physical environment and occupational health & safety

A healthy workplace environment also involves the physical environment of the office or workshop and the occupational health & safety of your employees. Reduce the worry of your employees by looking into the safety of the workplace.

Simple things such as ensuring that all electric cables are covered or taped down with a cable tray to prevent employees from tripping over them are one of the issues, which your employees should not be worried about. Nobody wants to sit underneath a cracked ceiling! So, allow your employees to come to a safe workplace environment.

Health and lifestyle practice

Employees will care for the company they are working for if they know that they are being looked after. Employees are the best asset of every organisation, and putting effort into employee wellness can encourage better teamwork, increased productivity and reduce sick leave and workplace accidents.

You can help your employees to develop and maintain healthy lifestyle practices and drop any unhealthy and/or risky habits that they may have. Having weekly yoga sessions or evening runs with the team are one of those activities that promote and encourage a healthy lifestyle. You can get more ideas on our blog, Great Ways to Encourage Better Employee Health.

Photo: steve slm, Flickr

Photo: steve slm, Flickr

Supportive workplace environment

Everyone has personal problems and it is only human that some personal emotions get brought into the workplace. Try not to ignore them but instead, find the core of the problem and be a supportive employer by showing concern. Your employee may come in to work depressed due to a passing a loved one or they had a terrible weekend.

As an employee, show compassion and be there for them. You do not need to sit by them the whole day, but by dropping an email, saying your doors are always open for them, shows that you not only care about the progress of the company, but you also care about the well-being of your employee. Remember that a supportive workplace culture is the foundation of a healthy workplace environment.

Ways to Create a Healthy Workplace Environment

A happy (and healthy!) employee is a productive employee. People who enjoy their jobs are more likely to engage thoroughly with their work. As an employee, it is always in your best interest to keep your staff happy; otherwise, resentment could start to impact on the quality of their work or they may even consider leaving.

Here are some ways that you could create a healthy workplace environment:

Promote wellness: You can encourage health and wellness of your employees by having a weekly exercise program such as a yoga session before the start of their work day or an aerobics class after work. This not only encourages a healthy lifestyle among your team but also give them the opportunity to get to know their workmates better.

Engage with different personalities: Every workplace has a combination of characters, and what works to motivate a particular employee, may not necessarily help others. Get to know your employees and find out whether a hands-on approach or more independence will help them.

Fair employee policy: This should apply to all employees regardless of their position or designation in the company. If a supervisor constantly misses deadlines, you should take it as seriously as you would with a junior employee. If your policy changes, ensure everyone knows about it.

Eat healthy: Healthy eating is not about strict dietary restrictions, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. It is about feeling great, having more energy, improving your outlook and your mood. Another great way to create a healthy workplace environment is by eating healthy, and no – skipping lunch break because employees are busy is not a good excuse. Try catering a healthy lunch meal such as salads or sandwiches. You could also provide a bowl of fruits for snacks.

Photo: Honey Tee, Flickr

Photo: Honey Tee, Flickr

Team building activities: Team building activities not only bond employees closer but also motivate them, creating a positive workplace environment. These activities help improve internal communication and productivity, boosting morale at the workplace and in helping employees get to know each other better. Read our blog on Team Building Ideas for Great Staff Engagement to get some ideas.

Break time: Another great way to create a healthy workplace environment is by encouraging your employees to take a quick 5-minute break from their desk. Regular breaks will assist to relieve muscle fatigue, eyestrain and to restore the level of concentration. There are a couple of apps that you can permanently install on your employees’ desktop, which reminds them take to a break and stretch. Try some of these free apps such as Eyeleo or PC Work Break.

Clean and comfortable office: Working in a clean and comfortable office can have tremendous effects on the interactions among colleagues. Even if your office does not get the sunlight, try to make an effort to provide a relaxing atmosphere with comfortable furniture, working equipment and add a few work lights to make it brighter.

In Summary

Creating a healthy workplace environment does not have to be difficult or costly. A healthy workplace environment improves productivity and reduces costs related to absenteeism, turnover, workers’ compensation, and medical claims. A summary, there are four aspects to look into when creating a healthy workplace environment:

  • Workplace culture
  • Physical environment and occupational health & safety
  • Health and lifestyle practice
  • Supportive workplace environment

It is ideal when it comes to maintaining a positive outcome in a stressful atmosphere. Deal with problems as soon as possible and regularly ask for feedback on how your workplace could be improved.

Good luck in creating a healthy workplace environment!