Creating a healthy workplace


Healthy workplaces boast many benefits – from higher morale to increased productivity and happier workers, it certainly pays to invest in promoting a healthy workplace.

Here are four simple ways to create a healthy work environment in your business:

Encourage work-life balance
Thoroughly analyse your business’ culture – are staff expected to work overtime or through their lunch breaks? This is one good indicator of your business’ attitude towards work/life balance. Think about your staff turnover rates – if they are higher than your industry’s average it may be worthwhile to reflect on why this is the case. To encourage a healthy work/life balance, set standards for staff, i.e., limit access to email communication while on holidays, impose an end time for after-hour communication, for example, no emails or calls after 8pm and so on.

Provide a clean and comfortable workspace
Whether you operate from an office or a warehouse, employees are likely to be more productive if the work area is clean, organised and clutter-free. Be sure to have a cleaning roster in place (if you do not have a cleaner), the lighting is appropriate for the type of work conducted and that the furniture and work equipment is safe and comfortable. Providing a clean and comfortable work environment shows you care about your employees’ wellbeing and in turn can boost productivity.

Promote healthy activities
The essence of a healthy workplace is healthy employees. Encourage your employees to live a healthy lifestyle by providing healthy snacks, starting up lunchtime team sports or a running club, providing free yoga or group fitness classes or teaming up with your local gym for discounted memberships. Make subtle changes to your business’ culture by scheduling walking meetings, providing healthy food at catered lunches and if possible removing junk food vending machines.

Support mental health
A healthy workplace must be all-encompassing every element of employee health – emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. Mental health is equally important as physical health; however, many businesses forget this. Between 15 and 30 per cent of employees will experience mental health issues. Stress, burnout, fatigue and illness are just some of the side effects of poor mental health. Improve your business’ attitude towards mental health by facilitating an inclusive environment, i.e., offer employee assistance, act on bullying or discrimination, reinforce positive messages about mental health, run mental health awareness and stress management training and so forth.

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