Health is often disregarded in the everyday life of most employees, but it is such an important part of building a positive work culture. Time and again, research reveals how mental and physical ill-health can lead to a greater likelihood of absenteeism and low productivity in the workplace. This is why it’s essential to push for holistic wellness. Here are ten tips for a healthier work environment.
Having good communication can ensure a transparent and open workplace. And while clashes and disagreements are unavoidable, they aren’t necessarily entirely negative. A feature on employee engagement highlights that 89% of HR leaders agree that peer feedback and check-ins are essential. Voicing out opinions and healthy confrontations will not only prevent future disagreements but also bring open-mindedness and innovative ideas out of everyone.
Offer Support and Services
81% of leaders claim that they have policies and practices dedicated to helping employees suffering from stress or mental illness. But more than a third of employees are either unaware of these services, don’t have access to them, or fear being perceived negatively by peers. To foster a reassuring environment in the workplace, leaders should regularly survey their team to measure their awareness of company-offered programs and counselling services.
We’re fortunate to have such a progressive society that puts importance on building connection and community, even in the workplace. It’s also shown in many cases that inclusivity has helped companies win the war for talents and find really dedicated and diverse workers. A healthy workplace environment also entails promoting inclusivity in all aspects — from the makeup of teams, culture, and practices, to promoting open communication.
Make Clear and Feasible Goals
One of the best tips for improving employee productivity is to make timetables and identify specific goals. They establish one’s work hours, breaks, socialisation times, and time for clocking out. Having a clear schedule for work not only prevents decision fatigue but also encourages employees to be more motivated and willing to finish their tasks. Organisation-wise, it’s also best to have a company roadmap that displays targets and goals to work towards.
Invest in Ergonomic Furniture
Ergonomic furniture isn’t simply trendy. Poor posture can lead to more serious and lasting health problems such as shoulder pain, neck pain, and even spinal dysfunction, according to this article. So investing in ergonomic chairs or adjustable desks, for example, can aid one’s health and productivity levels. Companies should put in more effort into upgrading work furniture — after all, the workplace is an area where you spend much of your time in.
Implement Work and Personal Boundaries
For those who have experienced work-from-home setups, you would know the necessity of setting clear boundaries between work and personal life. For employees, don’t neglect setting aside time for yourself and your friends and family, especially during the weekends. Turning off your work brain and setting aside time for the things that make you happy can do wonders for your mental health, and help your physical state recover from work stress as well.
Avoid “Always-on” Culture
Employers, on the other hand, should avoid implementing an “always-on” culture, as it greatly affects employee health. In fact, a business news report talked about after-hours emails and the harm they can contribute to employees’ chronic stress and fatigue. Unrealistic expectations for employees can hinder them from tending to personal needs and unwinding from a full workday.
Make Efforts for Wellness
Surveys show that more than half of employees would willingly participate in workplace wellness programs if provided by their companies. Some organisations even offer discount gym memberships, online fitness class subscriptions, and even sports events to encourage physical activity. Physical health goes hand-in-hand with an employee’s overall working condition.
Improve Breaktime Areas
While most companies will already have designated areas for breaks, it’s important to assess if they’re really conducive to rest and recovery. For instance, some provide their employees with books, snack bars, and coffee machines to help them destress and get their energy back. Moreover, some employees may use break rooms to socialise, while others might prefer some peace and quiet, so it would be thoughtful to provide quiet nooks where they can relax.
Encourage Company Culture
Finally, encourage employees to participate in company culture endeavours. Organisations that neglect this aspect can actually suffer from lower employee retention rates. Help your team build relationships with their coworkers and mentors by holding team-building activities, celebrating events, organising company trips, or even through online means such as team calls, weekly check-ins, and game nights.
The link between holistic health and employee productivity mustn’t be underestimated. But slowly, workplaces and all the teams involved can all work together towards a common goal of promoting workplace wellness.