How the Workplace Can Help to Improve Employee Health and Wellbeing

How the Workplace Can Help to Improve Employee Health and Wellbeing

A person residing in the UK spends around 3,515 full days at work throughout their life. This is a huge amount of time from a person’s life. Breaking it down to simpler figures, employees tend to spend 34 hours and 26 minutes on average at work in a week. 

To stay fit, one must follow a proper diet. The diet just doesn’t include food; it includes what you watch, what you read, what you listen to, and whom you spend your time with.

To stay healthy physically and mentally, you need to pay attention to everything that you absorb. Since people spend so much time at their workplace regularly, it is important for them to have a healthy environment. The workplace has a huge role to play in an employee’s health and wellbeing.

A healthy workplace improves employee’s health behaviors, reduces elevated health risks, significantly reduces your health care cost, and prevents you from paying high fees to therapists. Besides that, your well-being improves productivity, is likely to reduce absenteeism, improve relations with your colleagues and co-workers. The most important is that it helps in sustaining high employee morale.

Here are a few ways how the workplaces such as Apcelero can help improve employee health and wellbeing.

Encouraging Healthy Eating and Physical Activity

Food contributes directly to a person’s health. Eating healthy will keep you fit and active. A healthy body makes a healthy mind.  Workplaces that support healthy eating habits among their employees are contributing to their health and wellbeing.

Soft drink vending machines are now being removed from the workplace. Some companies have also started programs that guide the employees about nutrition and a healthy diet. Besides that, budget-friendly plans are being provided to the employees that cannot afford to spend their entire month’s salary just on food. Fruits are being used as an evening time snack which is a healthier option.

You should also promote physical activity to improve employee health and reduce their stress levels by offering them gym facilities on-premise or giving them discounted gym memberships. You can also promote a physically active workplace by holding sporting events. 

Use More Plants at the Workplace

There are numerous benefits of keeping plants indoors. The main job that they do is to naturally purify the air by taking in carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. Indoor plants at workplaces are also known to reduce employees’ anxiety and stress. They prevent employees from getting sick while also enhancing the ambiance. 

Therefore, use plants to increase wellness. There are specific plants that are kept indoors which adjust to low sunlight and grow even in the presence of working air conditioners. Some low maintenance indoor plants which workplaces can keep to ensure the good health and wellbeing of their employees are:

  • Snake plant

  • ZZ plant

  • Spider Plant

  • Dracaena 

  • Monstera Deliciosa 

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Improving Indoor Air Quality

Poor air quality inside workplaces can cause “sick building syndrome.” This causes people to feel tired, dizzy, reduce concentration, and can also make the eyes itchy and watery. Improper ventilation at workplaces is the major cause that the poor air cannot escape out and fresh air cannot come in. 

Synthetic materials that the building is made out of, chemical cleaners used on a daily basis, and the furnishing inside the office also contribute to the poor air quality inside the office. Air quality can be improved in the following ways, which will directly contribute to improving employee health:

  • Windows to be kept open so that the air flows in and out

  • Humidity levels to be kept below 60%

  • Reducing the usage of chemical cleaners

  • Servicing air conditioners regularly

  • Use air purifiers

  • Make sure cleaning is done properly

Stretching Breaks

Taking breaks while working is important to avoid exhaustion of your mind. Workers who care about their mental health and want to take breaks for reduced stress are sometimes afraid to take a break for fear of being presumed lazy. 

Some people get so busy with work that they tend to forget to take a break. Sometimes they also forget to eat their lunch. Workplaces should allow employees to take a small break from work. 

These breaks can be utilized to perform some stretching exercises that help in reducing muscle aches and eye stress.  Stretching is a healthy exercise, and all the employees doing it together can be a lot of fun. In addition, breaks also enhance employee morale

Realize the Importance of Work-Life Balance

There is a difference in how machines are programmed to work and how humans are programmed to work. Understanding the employee’s potential and mental state and not overburdening the employees that they are forced into working overtime is one way the workplace can contribute to the wellbeing of their employees.

If the employee is mentally exhausted due to the workload, it can decrease the work quality and efficiency of the worker. To be able to give your best, you need to be mentally relaxed, and that is one thing workplaces need to understand. Allowing holidays, vacations, and sometimes early offs can help employees relax and stay healthy mentally as well.

Organizations can also provide benefits, such as health insurance, to promote the health of their employees. If they have health coverage, they will be more likely to visit the doctor before their health completely deteriorates. A healthy work environment is essential for employee productivity and perks, such as health insurance, are absolute.

Mental Health Training

We always see workplaces being concerned about the physical health of the employees. We have witnessed the use of safety equipment where employees possess the risk of physical injury. Fire-extinguishers are hanging on the walls of every office.

Just as caring about your employees’ physical health is essential, so is a concern for their psychological well-being. By providing mental health training to managers can help them in identifying if an employee is undergoing any kind of mental stress. 

Be it due to work or personal reasons; workplaces should encourage the culture of helping out each other in such situations. These pieces of training are especially essential for the people working in the HR department as they are the ones who are coordinating with every employee.

Since mental health is being less stigmatized, creating a comfortable environment will allow employees to open up and seek health.

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Ergonomic Equipment

Ergonomic equipment is designed to ensure the comfort and safety of the workers. Throw out your old, outdated, and non-ergonomic equipment, which is likely to cause injuries to employees. Replace it with fresh ergonomic mice, desks, office chairs, and monitors, etc., to reduce the risk of injuries and provide more comfortable workstations.

Using ergonomic equipment will improve employee productivity. You can use standing desks instead of sitting desks to avoid problems caused by sitting for a long time. Ergonomic screens are also built in a way that reduces the negative impact continuous light makes on the eye.

It may sound like a costly option; however, the quality and durability are worth investing in. Moreover, you would not have to worry about replacing or repairing them each year, so you are saving money by investing in ergonomic equipment. 

This will make the workers feel more energized, adapt to a healthier work style and play a part in their mental health and wellbeing too.

Conclusion

Workplaces play an important role in making or breaking the personality of a person. That is the place we learn new things from every day. That is the place where we even go every day. The kinds of environment we get at our workplaces create a major impact in our daily life, including determining the status of our health and mental wellbeing.

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About Author: This article is written by a marketing team member at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of proven HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee communications & engagement, and rewards & recognition. Our user-friendly software increases employee productivity, delivers time and cost savings, and minimizes compliance risk.