Business

Steps to Create a Healthier Office Atmosphere

Americans spend a huge portion of their days at the workplace. Creating a healthy office environment is not just good for your employees’ wellbeing but it can also boost productivity, reduce absenteeism and minimize health costs. 

Cleanliness is Key

One of the most critical factors is keeping things clean. A dirty, unkempt office can spread germs and illnesses like colds and flu. Make sure to stock up on supplies like disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer and EPA-approved cleaning products. Hire professional office cleaning services like those from All Pro Cleaning Systems, for routine deep cleaning of bathrooms, kitchens, carpets, and high-traffic zones. Encourage workers to sanitize their personal workstations frequently.

Improve Indoor Air Quality

Poor indoor air can trigger respiratory issues, headaches, fatigue, and general malaise. Vacuum carpets weekly using a HEPA filter to trap dust and dander. Use air purifiers to filter out pollutants, chemicals, and odors, and open windows regularly to allow in fresh outdoor air. Keep HVAC units properly maintained and consider upgrading filters.

Ergonomic Assessments

Repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel, back pain, and eyestrain are common among office workers. Have an ergonomics professional evaluate workstations to ensure chairs, desks, keyboards, and monitors are properly positioned for each employee. Make adjustments and consider ergonomic equipment as needed. This helps prevent musculoskeletal issues.

Encourage Stretching 

Build stretching breaks into the workday. Suggest employees set a reminder to stand up, stretch, and move around for a few minutes every hour or so. Even simple movements can increase blood flow and prevent muscles from getting stiff and sore after long periods of sitting.

Enforce Illness Policies

It is important to have clear policies about staying home when sick so contagious illnesses don’t spread through the office. Encourage employees to use their sick days and to work remotely when possible if they are feeling under the weather. Set expectations that no one should power through as it puts others at risk.

Provide Health Education

Host seminars and information sessions focused on health topics like nutrition, exercise, managing stress, getting adequate sleep, preventing disease and more. Bring in expert speakers or offer free access to virtual webinars. Helping staff learn about wellness increases their health literacy.

Start a Fitness Initiative 

Why not kick off an office fitness program or physical activity challenge? Supply pedometers and have a steps competition or offer discounted gym memberships. Set aside space for exercise equipment like treadmills, stationary bikes, or weights. Having options to stay active makes healthier choices easier.

Stock Healthy Refreshments

Avoid keeping sugary snacks and sodas in the breakroom. Instead, provide nutritious refreshments like fresh fruit, vegetables with hummus, unsalted nuts, and bottled water. Consider getting rid of the vending machine filled with junk food. If you have a cafeteria, ensure it offers balanced meal options as well.

Promote Work-Life Balance

Create a culture that emphasizes the importance of balancing work demands with personal wellness. Allow for flexible schedules so staff can fit in doctor’s appointments or a workout class. Encourage employees to unplug from emails after hours. Consider offering paid time off for mental health days. Making self-care a priority reduces burnout.

Foster a Supportive Environment

Beyond just promoting physical health, create an atmosphere that supports employees’ overall wellbeing, including mental health. This means fostering a culture of respect, openness, and work-life balance. Provide resources like an employee assistance program that offers counseling services. When people feel cared for holistically, they will be healthier and more engaged at work.

Conclusion

Building a health-focused culture takes commitment from both employers and staff. But prioritizing wellbeing pays off through improved productivity, morale, and fewer sick days. With some simple adjustments, you can create an energizing, health-conscious workspace.

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