We spend the majority of our adult lives at work. It makes sense to include your office in your health and wellness plan. Unhealthy employees are less productive, and that can hurt the bottom line, too. Here are five tips to maintaining a healthy office for yourself and employees.
1. Select Ergonomic Office Furniture
Keeping your old and uncomfortable office equipment may be easier on the office budget at first, but it can be a real problem for business in the long run. Productivity can suffer along with the aches and pains of your employees.
By choosing ergonomic office equipment, you and your colleagues can feel their best even through long hours. Office chairs should have ample lumbar support, and adjustable height so that the knees can be level with the hips. Keyboards and mousepads with built-in wrist supports can make computer work more comfortable and avoid disabilities like carpal tunnel syndrome. If a new keyboard is not in your future, adding your own wrist rests can add an ergonomic touch to your current computer. If you’re on the phone for long periods of time, a lightweight headset can really save a pain in the neck and shoulder. If you can’t make all these changes at once, simply keep them in mind each time you need to purchase new equipment.
2. Bring More Live Plants to Your Office
There are both physical and psychological benefits to bringing more live plants into your office. With a ratio of 1 plant per 3 employees, air quality can be improved within the office. CO2 can cut in half. There’s also a reduction in the dust, bacteria, and mold that could be inhaled by employees. Dust levels in the workplace can be reduced by up to 20%. Artificial toxins inside an office created by plastics, paint, furniture, carpets, and certain cleaning products can be absorbed and significantly reduced by plants.
A number of scientific studies have shown that adding plants to the workplace reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. By reducing carbon dioxide in the air, plants can help us improve productivity, mental focus, and concentration. Businesses with plants have been shown to reduce absenteeism by 50%.
3. Provide Healthy Snacks and Drinks
Employees are also happier, healthier, and more productive when their office provides nutritious snacks and beverages. Even a solitary entrepreneur from home can benefit from healthy snacks. According to a recent article from USA Today, “when it comes to employee perks, few things are as simply satisfying as free food and drinks”. The grocery delivery service Peapod reports that its top ten orders from businesses are all fresh fruit: bananas, strawberries and apples. Granola, yogurt, and other healthy snacks are also popular. Bringing food into the office actually does improve profits. Employees tend to work more hours and communicate more efficiently. The extra perk also helps attract talented people.
4. Encourage Short Fitness and Workout Breaks
It’s no secret that exercise is a healthy way to boost our energy levels…. so why aren’t more people working out in the office? Start using those small snippets of downtime at work to stay fit. Get up for a stretch and get walking around the office or take the stairs. Fitness bands can turn your stretches into bicep curls right in your office chair. For a bigger workout, wear some body weights under your clothing to transform every movement into exercise. Set aside an area for employees to workout or do aerobics together during their lunch breaks. Exercise improves blood flow and oxygen use while reducing weight. This can improve your focus, productivity, and mental concentration.
We hope that these four tips have given you some food for thought whether you work home alone or in a big office building downtown. Improving your health and wellness isn’t just personally beneficial but can have a dramatic effect on productivity and income for the entire business.