With most Briton’s spending an average of 8 hours a day at work, it’s important to ensure that the office is a clean, healthy and active environment; which promotes staff welfare and in turn, reduces staff absence.
Whilst there are no guarantees that the dreaded lurgy won’t float around your office at some point in the year and result in staff illness, there are a few steps you can quickly implement to achieve a healthier and more positive workplace.
Turn your office green
Adding the odd plant here and there around the office is actually proven to be an effective method for making your office a healthier place to work. The plants help to absorb unhealthy toxins in the air and replace them with oxygen; which not only helps improve air quality, but has also been shown to help increase productivity.
Keep the desks clean
The workplace is one of the worst places for spreading germs – office phones alone harbour up to 25,000 germs per square inch! Wiping down your staff’s desks with a lightly dampened (not wet) cloth each week will keep bacteria levels to a minimum. Even supplying staff with antibacterial hand gel is a simple yet effective step to take to minimise the chance of germs spreading.
Promote good food health
Encouraging healthier lifestyles in the office can be as simple as ensuring the vending machines and business meetings are stocked with healthier options, like water, nuts and fruit. Some employers have even been known to subscribe to weekly fruit box deliveries for staff.
Keep staff moving
Office life can be incredibly inactive – many of us never reach the recommended number of 10,000 steps per day. Whether it’s getting them up from their seats for an hour each day or using the stairs instead of lifts, it’s important to keep your staff moving in their daily routines.
It’s becoming more common for employers to implement standing desks for staff and replacing office chairs for exercise balls. Simpler solutions could include moving printers and copiers further away from desks.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Water really can work miracles. It provides many health benefits for staff, and just by swapping out caffeine, which causes dehydration and fatigue, for water dispensers placed in and around the office, it will improve employee concentration and performance.
Provide natural light and ventilation
Air and light are two factors that are frequently overlooked when designing an office environment. According to a study by Northwestern University, people with windows in their office get better sleep and are more physically active than those without. Likewise, offices with poor air quality experience a 9% loss of productivity in the workplace.
Pay attention to posture
Have you ever considered a staff member’s posture as a potential reason for absence? Sitting up tall supposedly gives staff a sense of accomplishment, whilst slouching can make staff feel tired and lazy. Moreover, hunching over a PC is a leading cause of back pain.
Some employers have even invested in a gadget that can be pinned to a staff member’s shirt; which vibrates when it senses them slouching.
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