Wellbeing or wellness is a hot topic in 2018. What is wellbeing? Its definition goes beyond that of traditional health to include physical, social and mental being. It’s all about choices and activities to achieve physical vitality, mental alertness, social satisfaction and personal fulfilment. It doesn’t require a mastermind to strategise about improving health and wellbeing at work and thus increase employee productivity. Here are four proven ways to promote wellness at work.
1. The Right Environment
Staff need to work in a healthy environment where their basic physiological needs are met. The right temperature, the right furniture and user-friendly technology all enable the employee to perform at optimal level. Flexible climate control in the office allows staff to control room temperatures. Sit-stand desks and ergonomic chairs, as discussed in a previous blog post, promote healthy posture and general wellbeing. Seamless technology e.g. great soundproofing eliminates employee stress and improves productivity. The Office Manager should also make sure that wi-fi coverage is comprehensive.
Air quality and ventilation and the right lighting are also elements of a healthy workspace. Once the employee can focus on his / her work without worry workplace wellbeing is created.
2. Physical Perks
The model employee’s level of physical fitness should also be a concern of the Office Manager and Directors. Poor physical health leads to absenteeism and low productivity. A few innovative schemes should be introduced to promote physical wellbeing. Having an onsite gym is one of those revolutionary ideas which has transformed the life of employees all over the UK. The company can introduce treadmills in the office for example or any exercise equipment that it will cater for the needs of those wishing to de-stress or just keep fit and healthy. Inability to provide gym facilities should not deter any forward-thinking company: staff can be encouraged to become members of nearby gyms and be offered staff discounts.
Cycle schemes can be introduced for those wishing to cycle to work. They can have discounted bikes or loans to buy bikes. Changing room and shower room facilities should be available for those who cycle. Bike racks should be made accessible to each and every cyclist.
For those who are inveterate fans of fresh air and vitamin D a plan to allow them to work outside is recommended. This can be in the garden or on the rooftop.
The availability of free fresh fruit in the office and the presence of water coolers or juice bars are loved by staff and promote the concept of a healthy diet. An onsite cafe with healthy meals options can also be a welcome addition to the office setting.
3. Promoting Mental Wellbeing
A happy and productive employee is also someone whose mental wellbeing has been taken care of. No company wants a stressed member of staff. Workspace design is key in promoting wellness. Collaboration areas in the office contribute to a feeling of general wellbeing among workers as they work together. An even more groundbreaking concept is that of building sleep rooms in the office, where staff can have a nap (siesta) and feel refreshed in between cycles of intensive concentration at work. Meditation rooms or contemplation zones with meditation or chillout music can also help relieve stress and can improve the employee’s mental efficiency and offer him / her time to find his / her inner self and to think creatively. Masseuses can even be hired to coax employees to achieve a more relaxed body and mind. Plants and artwork in the office also humanise the workspace and calms down staff.
The element of play in the office can also promote relaxation and creativity. Slides for fun, play areas (darts, snooker tables) are important workplace wellbeing initiatives.
An employee assistance scheme to provide counselling services to staff is also essential to ensure mental wellbeing. Other incentives to reassure employees are dental plans and pension and other employee benefit schemes.
4. The Office Look and Feel
The office culture and a sense of community can be heightened by the use of employee picture walls, staff videos, company statistics on the walls or branding techniques with colour, artwork, murals, logos, furniture and furnishings. The office becomes a home from home and staff feels valued and a sense of belonging, contributing to the sense of employee wellbeing. Happiness prevails.
If you want more ideas on how to promote wellbeing in your office please contact us at:
Waghorne Workplace Design Tel: 01903 787240 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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