Top Tips For A Healthy & Happy Office Environment
Apr 22 2016
In this day and age, every company boss should know the importance of keeping employees happy and healthy; there is a definite positive correlation when it comes to employee satisfaction and company success. Whether staff feel discomfort at sitting at desk all day and straining their eyes at a computer, or they simply want to move more to avoid gaining weight, there are lots of things an office manager can easily put in place to keep their staff content. With this in mind, we have put together a list of top tips with a view to keeping employees comfortable, energised and productive:
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This is probably one of the biggest complaints that 9-5 office workers have; working long hours at a desk might seem like the best way to get all your work done, but this just isn’t the case. Employees may complain of back, neck and knee pain due to bad posture; Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a common ailment caused by sitting at a computer, and this can also effect wrists and fingers. Eyes can also be damaged from looking at a computer screen all day, and in the worst cases straining too hard can cause permanent eye damage and headaches. Thinking from a productivity and business point of view, work output is certainly going to be less if employees are uncomfortable and/or in pain. Combat this by encouraging regular movement! A 5 minute walk around and stretch every couple of hours can work wonders for refreshing your mind, otherwise an employee’s only break may be to use the toilet or prepare their lunch. If you want to take it further, some companies even start up lunch time running, cycling or walking clubs – certainly beats eating soggy sandwiches at your desk!
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Following on from our last point, did you know that one third of British workers eat lunch at their desk? Two thirds said they are not even able to stop for 20 minutes, and this in turn is hurting, not helping, productivity! Employees should be encouraged to take at least a half an hour complete break from their work – this means no answering calls, replying to emails or using one hand to eat your sandwich and the other to write your afternoon to-do list! Some offices take a communal break to walk around the corner to grab some food to bring back to the office, or better still, take the full hour and eat lunch out. Although this may seem like a waste of precious time if your office is particularly busy, just remember you’ll likely be more productive in the afternoon if you’ve given your body and brain a break!
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Sometimes overtime is necessary, but when it becomes an everyday occurrence this can be both mentally and physically draining for employees. It is important to ensure employees get down time to spend with their friends and family to keep a balanced lifestyle; a burnt out employee is no use to anyone! Sleep is also vital for physical and mental wellbeing, so if an employee is leaving late every night and going home to housework and responsibilities, their sleep patterns are likely to suffer and so will their work. As we said, overtime is sometimes necessary, but make sure it’s only implemented when it’s essential!
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Everyone knows that when your body is healthy and functioning well, this wellness is reflected in your mental state and therefore the quality and quantity of your work. Keeping a good diet is essential for overall health, and although as an office manager you cannot force employees to skip the junk food and prepare themselves healthy meals, what you can do is provide the facilities to encourage them to do so. Make sure the office kitchen has a working, clean fridge, freezer, microwave etc. and ensure cutlery, mugs and surfaces are cleaned at the end of every day; after all, no one wants to cook or eat in a mess, hence if the kitchen looks like a bombs hit it most employees will head for the local fast food takeaway. Finally, snacks throughout the day are great for boosting morale and keeping energy up and tiredness at bay. The 4pm sugar dip is a scientifically proven real thing, so to stop employees reaching for the chocolate biscuits and suffering the inevitable crash, provide fresh fruit or healthy boxes of food from somewhere like The Office Pantry or Graze!