One of the latest trends in the business industry today is the maintenance of a healthy workplace environment. Not only do you ensure that your employees are physically and mentally healthy, you also ensure that you create a working atmosphere that is positive, supportive, and relatively stress-free. Keeping your employees healthy also helps you avoid costs related to medical benefits or workers’ compensation.
Beyond the physical benefits of having a healthy workplace environment, this also has the effect of boosting morale, which in turn, boosts productivity. Happy employees are motivated employees, and if you’re able to channel that energy into sales, then a healthy workplace environment becomes good for business.
What Does it Mean to Have a Healthy Workplace Environment?
In this case, the word “healthy” doesn’t just relate to a physical mental condition: it also means a positive, supportive, and even nurturing atmosphere that permeates the workplace. In creating this healthy workspace, 4 things need to be reviewed:
- Workplace Culture
- Physical environment and occupational health & safety
- Health and lifestyle practice
- Supportive workplace environment
We’ll take a look at each aspect to find out what they mean and what you can do to improve it.
Every company in the world has its own unique workplace culture. This culture is the foundation of a company’s values and is usually a standard set of rules, ethics, and practices that every employee in the company follows. A positive workplace culture can influence employee productivity and overall happiness. Companies with positive workplace cultures generally enjoy lower turnovers, less absenteeism, and more productive output.
Ensure you maintain a positive workplace culture by promoting a healthy work-life balance with your employees. Always be the first to de-escalate stressful situations, and try to incorporate as many supportive and nurturing messages as possible. Remind your employees about your company’s vision and mission and always show them that their work has purpose and is appreciated.
Treat all employees the same, regardless of rank or tenure. This shows everyone that you treat people equally with respect and courtesy, and that favoritism does not exist in your company.
Physical Environment and Occupational Health & Safety
While the mental and psychological health of employees is important, one must not forget their physical wellbeing. A healthy workplace environment means maintaining a physical space that is free of risks, obstacles, and defects. By maintaining a safe physical space, you also unburden your employees of worrying about their personal safety, which helps them relax and focus on their tasks instead.
Create an environment that is safe by ensuring your office is up to the safety code of your locale. Make sure that all electrical equipment and cables are covered, taped down, or hidden, so as to avoid any accidental tripping or electrocution. Facilities like bathrooms and pantries should be kept clean and hygienic at all times. All office equipment like chairs, sofas, tables, and workstations should likewise be clean and free of defects.
By providing your employees with brand-new equipment, you show them respect and ensure that they’re using the best tools for their job. It also gives them a reason to be excited to come to work. There is nothing more exciting than working with shiny new office equipment!
Health and Lifestyle Practice
Business magnate Richard Branson once said: “If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business”, and this rings true for any industry. Well cared-for employees are always more productive and more eager to get work done. Remember that a company’s best asset is their workforce, so making sure that your employees are physically and mentally up to snuff is of utmost importance.
Encourage healthy lifestyles around the office: stock up your pantry with fresh fruit and have plenty of water dispensers available. Discourage unhealthy habits like smoking and eating junk food as much as you can. Hold weekly exercise sessions and workplace safety seminars. Go on fun runs and organize community events that promote health and well-being. Not only will this make your employees feel like the company is looking out for them, it also helps your company reduce instances of sick leaves and medical leaves. Remember: a healthy workforce is a productive workforce.
If an employee does fall sick, attend to their needs as much as you can. Show them that the company is willing to go the extra mile to provide them with the best medical care you can afford.
Supportive workplace environment
Everyone has their own personal struggles, and sometimes, these problems get brought into the workplace. While some companies try to discourage this, do the opposite: be caring and nurturing. Supportive employers show their employees that they care not just about their productivity, but their human core.
It doesn’t take much to be supportive, just lend a listening ear and offer advice when sought for. Check up on employees who are having a tough day and send them encouraging emails or messages when you can. Keep an open-door policy and take the time to really listen to your employees. Not only does this help you be a more compassionate person, it also gives you the opportunity to practice problem-solving and de-escalating situations.
This is one of the foundations of a healthy workplace environment: a caring and supportive culture. Make this an important aspect of weekly meetings, and discourage loud and aggressive behavior.
Encouraging A Healthy Culture
The best way to turn your healthy workplace environment into a healthy workplace culture is by encouraging it with your employees. Promote healthy living and exercise, make sure that employees treat each other with respect and compassion, encourage teamwork and camaraderie, and always give people the best equipment. You’d be surprised at how small changes like this can give employees a new reason to be excited about coming into the office.
In creating this healthy culture, not only do you ensure a loyal base of employees, you also promote your company to potential employees and investors. This kind of growth is to be expected with a company that has a positive influence on their workforce.
Creating a healthy workplace environment doesn’t have to be costly; in fact, a lot of the suggestions we’ve given require little to no capital at all, only a willingness to care for employees as people.