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7 ways to improve well-being in the workplace

Written by Bedfordshire Chamber of Commerce | 26 Nov 2018

Managing a workforce of multiple personalities, likes, dislikes, learning abilities and working preferences is a task in itself.

But recently, there has been even more of a focus on workplace well-being, and for good reason.

Not only should it morally be a priority to ensure your staff’s mental and physical wellbeing is as good as it can be, but keeping your staff happy, healthy and comfortable is one of the keys to sustainable business growth, productivity and even happier customers.

Studies show that happier colleagues perform better, are more productive, self-motivated and take less sick days.

With that in mind, let’s look at how you can implement better staff wellbeing, for a more efficient, focused and healthier workforce.

 

1. A comfortable workspace

Start by assessing your workspace. Desks, chairs, the positioning of screens, break-out areas, and distance from windows all have an impact on a workers’ ability to function and focus adequately. Investing in a more inspirational design, artwork and plants can impact job satisfaction and improve the quality of output and services within your company.

 

2. Encourage movement

The average office worker sits for 8.9 hours a day. Being sedentary for that amount of time can promote a whole host of health problems including back pain, stiffness, lethargy, and low blood pressure. These problems go on to affect wellbeing and quality of life. But how do you encourage people to get moving?

Stand-up desks are a trendy way to help employees burn those extra calories, and avoid sitting down for too long. Meanwhile, hosting meetings while standing up or walking outside is also an effective and more cost-effective way to inject some movement into your daily schedules.

Walking groups at lunchtimes or team-based activities that involve gentle exercise are often more appealing to those who would prefer to avoid traditional exercise or the gym, so think outside the box, and involve colleagues in choosing those activities.  

 

3. Happy snacking

Having nutritious meals, drinks and snacks on hand is a given when trying to promote a healthier workplace. Many workplaces offer free fruit, juice bars, healthy lunch options and ideally somewhere to prepare healthy meals to boost workplace wellbeing. A healthier diet can help employees keep blood sugar levels steady, maintain mental clarity and stave off illness.

 

4. Promote flexibility and a work/life balance

The act of trying to juggle both work and life is a common cause of stress in the workplace. Employers who cater to flexibility and offer remote working solutions so that employees can better manage multiple demands can expect to see better performances in their staff and an overall decrease in absenteeism, illness and stress.

 

5. Prioritise communication

Communicating with staff and setting up regular check-ins is an ideal way to monitor well-being. One-to-ones enable you to identify warning signs of employees who might be suffering from mental ill health, or are just generally unhappy at work. This gives you the opportunity to try and mitigate any potential problems. Not only that but using these opportunities to be completely transparent about what’s expected of staff and where the business is heading can stop speculation and gossip, which can be toxic in a work environment. As long as everyone is on the same page, staff will be more motivated.

 

6. Air circulation/temperature control

Being too hot or too cold is simply yet sure fire way to agitate and demotivate employees. Ensuring proper air circulation and management of temperature is an easy win for those wanting to positively impact productivity and well-being.

 

7. Lighting

Fatigue headaches, migraines and eye strain can all come as a result of poor lighting. A cool, white light of around 3000 k to 4500 k is recommended for visual comfort. Similarly, natural light should be considered to enhance wellbeing, as studies show that sitting within close proximity of a window and being exposed to regular daylight can improve health as well as productivity.

On top of looking after your staff’s wellbeing, it’s important to prioritise your own. Business leaders are often at risk of suffering from stress, burnout and mental fatigue. Leading by example, and practising these techniques yourself so that staff can emulate your health approach will undoubtedly lead to a happier, healthier and more productive environment. Do you have any more tips on enhancing workplace well-being? Let us know!

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Topics: workforce

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