People often focus on motivation and productivity in the office but there is something else that is just as important – our wellbeing. If we are healthy and feel good in the workplace, we will be more productive and creative. Moreover, we will not have to miss work and sickness absence will be lowered.
It doesn’t matter if you work from home on your own or if you are in charge of a crowded office with many employees, putting mental and physical health into the spotlight is of the essence. The best thing is that it is not at all difficult to implement some healthy practices into the workplace. Here are some things that you should keep in mind.
Allow flexible schedules
Not every industry has the ability to introduce a flexible schedule for their employees but if you are in a position to do so, it is a great way to encourage wellness and a life-work balance. For example, a part of your workforce could work from home if it suits them better. Furthermore, they might not have to work from 9 to 5. If they manage to do everything that is expected of them, let them set their own work hours.
What is more, even just one day of remote work can be beneficial for preventing burnout and de-stressing. On the other hand, if you run your own business from home, you have the luxury of deciding on when you will work, so make the most of it.
Take regular breaks
You might think that breaks will interrupt your workflow; however, research indicates that regular breaks can actually be good for your productivity. To boost your performance and reduce stress, make sure you go on a lunch break and not just eat at your desk. Go outside for a walk in the park and eat on a bench or simply go to the work cafeteria or break room.
Moreover, even micro-breaks during which you will chat with your coworkers or take the opportunity to stretch your legs are great. Set a reminder on your phone or agree to have lunch with your colleagues so that none of you can skip the break. If you work from home, take a walk around the block or just do something unrelated to your work.
Create a comfortable and ergonomic workspace
To promote wellbeing, you also want a comfortable and ergonomic office. For one, you should make sure every employee has an ergonomic chair that will properly support their back, neck, and limbs. As an option, you can also consider height-adjustable desks that will allow them to spend a part of their workday standing. Other ergonomic equipment such as computer mouses and keyboards is also available.
Moreover, the colors that are used in the workplace can also be beneficial to our wellbeing, so consider looking into color psychology that will inform you on which shades have what effect on productivity. For example, yellow can boost creativity while blues and greens are great for relaxing.
Ensure the office is properly illuminated
Something else that should not be overlooked in the office is lighting. In order to protect your eyes, your workplace should have plenty of natural light. However, as that is not always an option, you want to introduce a combination of fixtures that will create the preferable layered lights effect. Moreover, keep in mind that the distance between the screen and the eyes should be an arm’s length, so increase the font size if you can’t read properly.
Have a relaxing break room
In addition to a comfy workspace, a comfortable and relaxing break room is also desirable. Perhaps your premises have an extra room that you can turn into a quiet space where employees can go to recharge their batteries and be ready to tackle their new tasks. Adding a few sofas and armchairs, Relax For Life neck massagers, soft lighting, and soothing smells as well as a no-screens policy can make this a safe haven for everyone.
Alternatively, you can also add a TV and some video consoles so that the workforce can relieve stress by watching videos and playing games. When working from home, you can simply add some relaxing elements to your living room for when you need a break.
Make time for exercise
Just like relaxing is important for our wellbeing, so is exercise. That is why it’s important to make time for it in your schedule. Taking a few breaks to stretch, walk around, and get some fresh air is of the essence both for our mental and physical health. Moreover, if you are in charge and not sure how you can encourage your employees to get some exercise, you can consider implementing various fitness initiatives.
For example, you can pay for their gym memberships or at least provide them with a company discount. Then, try asking them to walk or bike to work. Make it a challenge if you think that will help – offer gift cards to all employees that reach a certain fitness milestone.
Opt for healthy meal choices
Besides encouraging exercise, workplaces can also promote healthy eating. For one, by adding a kitchen to the office, the company gives employees a chance to prepare some healthy meals on their own or together or, at least, the chance to keep the lunch they brought from home fresh. Then, instead of vending machines filled with unhealthy snacks and drinks, companies can provide their workforce with healthies alternatives like fresh and dried fruits, nuts and seeds, granola bars, and plenty of water.
Finally, if there is a practice of ordering takeout for the entire office, make sure that the meals that are getting delivered are fresh and healthy. Luckily, it is not difficult to find a healthy meal delivery service nowadays. If you work from home, it should be easier to make your own healthy meals but if you’re not an expert in the kitchen, delivery is also a great option.
Put an emphasis on communication
Healthy communication in the office also contributes to everyone’s wellbeing. Being able to freely talk about their issues, both in terms of coworkers and assignments, is crucial as employees will then get all the support they need. For instance, an open door policy where the workforce can come and talk to their manager without any fear of repercussions works amazing. Whether it’s a misunderstanding with their colleagues or a problem they’ve encountered with their tasks, asking for help should not be seen as a bad thing.
Openness and tolerance contribute to a quality company culture that is surely appreciated by all. Moreover, if you work from home and feel annoyed and disturbed by other household members, make sure you let them know how their behavior is affecting you.
While traditional meditation is not for everyone, mindfulness is a tool that you can turn to in order to feel a little bit less overwhelmed with work and chatter in the office. Whether it’s to feel more present, to reduce stress, or ease anxiety, you can try practicing mindfulness for just 10 minutes a day during one of your breaks. You will surely notice a difference as you ground yourself in reality and sideline all worries.
No matter if you work from home or manage an office, there are many ways how you can promote and improve wellness in the workplace, from having an appropriate space for work and breaks to making time for exercise and eating healthily all the way to practicing mindfulness. If you keep all these tips in mind, maintaining a healthy routine at the office should not be a problem.