We spend most of our day at work, so it is very important that we stay healthy. A healthy work environment encompasses a lot of different factors which contribute to both our mental and physical health in the workplace. Let’s look at the various factors which contribute to employees being healthy, happy and more productive in the workplace and what employers can and should do to ensure this.
Firstly, our health is most important. It is very common to get sick from a colleague or a virus that seems to be spreading around the office. Research shows that providing a healthy environment for employees helps to build employee morale and creates a good work-life balance for them, thus positively impacting the business.
If the employees stay healthy, there will be less absenteeism due to illness and the business will run more efficiently. It also means that when employees do get sick they will most likely recover quickly and stay healthier for longer due to the healthy environment in which they work. In the long run, the company will gain by promoting a healthy environment as they will save costs by preventing absence in the workplace.
The benefits can reduce:
- Sick leave pay
- Insurance costs
- Accidents in the workplace
- Work pressure put on employees who must ensure the extra work is completed while the others are sick.
There are many other factors that contribute to a healthy work environment. It is important to create a positive work culture and environment because when people are happy and see that everyone around them is happy, they tend to be more productive, they enjoy coming to work and spending time with the people there. This will benefit the company as it ensures that the employees will stay loyal to the company and thus there will be a smaller turnover of staff.
Working overtime constantly is not healthy as it interferes with the work-life balance that everyone should enjoy.
A safe physical environment is also highly important. Employees should feel safe each time that they enter the workplace. The company should ensure that employees are regularly assessed for any problems and they should be addressed immediately no matter how small or insignificant they may seem. Examples include ensuring all loose cables are taped down so that employees do not trip or fall or that the ceilings are not cracked as nobody wants to sit under a cracked or leaky ceiling. Ensure that the lighting is correct, and that people are not straining their eyes. These seemingly small things can make all the difference in ensuring both the safety and comfort of every employee in the workplace.
Certain larger companies go the extra mile to ensure the mental health of their employees by ensuring that they have access to a counselling program or the support of a social worker. This is usually available regularly to employees; however, each company is different. If an employee has a personal problem, it can be very beneficial to get the necessary help so that it does not interfere with their work. This again, is a good way for companies to ensure that their employees stay happy, healthy and productive.
There are many other ways that employers can encourage a more healthy and safe environment for their employees. These include:
- Encouraging health and wellness in the office, which can also be fun. Why not offer a free aerobics or yoga class before or after work or, even better, provide gym equipment which can be used before or after working hours or during lunchtime. This will help employees stay healthy and fit.
- If there seems to be a virus or flu spreading through the office, providing vitamins such as an immune booster can help prevent the illness spreading further and encourage a healthier lifestyle, as vitamins are important in giving our bodies all the necessary nutrients that they need to function at their optimal level.
- Healthy eating is very important as that helps our bodies fight illness. If we eat healthy food, then we will have more energy and be more positive which will also improve our mood thus increasing productivity at the office. A good way to encourage a healthier lifestyle is for employers to provide fruit regularly to employees or have a canteen that prepares healthy meals daily.
- Team building activities are very important as they provide the opportunity to get to know colleagues better and this in turn provides a more productive work environment. We need the support and help of our colleagues daily and forming bonds with others encourages communication on a larger level.
- It is also important to motivate employees to take their lunch break away from their desk. Let them stretch their legs and get some fresh air as constantly working or looking at a computer screen can strain the eyes and cause fatigue and muscle strain.
- Lastly, provide some comfortable furniture where employees can sit comfortably and socialize during their lunch break.
After reading all of the above, it is important to note that there are many factors which contribute to a healthy and happy environment. An employee’s mental health is just as important as their physical health. They should always feel comfortable and safe in the workplace as they spend most of the day there and they should enjoy the company of their colleagues. Creating a happy and positive environment which promotes productivity for both the employer and the employee.