Five ways to create a happy workplace
The average UK worker spends more than 82,000 hours working over their lifetime and will spend just 4% more time with friends and family than they do with colleagues.
This means the environment we work in has a huge impact on our overall health and wellbeing.
The success of any business is down to its workers – after all, they build the relationships with clients and suppliers, drive productivity, and ultimately create profit. Therefore it pays to create a working environment that inspires and makes people want to come to work. While some companies go to wild lengths to improve their workplace, such as building an office slide or introducing nap pods, there are some simple ways that employers can use to create a great place without busting HR budgets.
1. Check the height of chairs, desks and computer screens
Office employees spend much of their day sitting at their computers and misaligned equipment can cause poor posture, leading to back, neck and shoulder problems. Musculoskeletal disorders, which include joint pain and back, neck and shoulder issues, accounted for 8.9 million working days lost in 2016/17. And, experiencing back pain is enough to make anyone miserable! To reduce these problems in your office, conduct an equipment audit to identify potential issues and show staff that their health and wellbeing is a priority.
2. Get moving
Exercise plays a key part in our health and happiness and is particularly important for people who have less active jobs. Traditionally employee benefits packages included discounted gym memberships, however, there are other ways that everyone can become more active during the day at no cost and little effort.
Establish a lunchtime walking group to get people moving together. Public Health England advises a brisk, continuous 10-minute walk counts as exercise and can boost energy and clear heads, not to mention have longer-term benefits such as reducing the risk of developing serious illnesses such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and dementia.
3. Create zen
Help your workers cut through the everyday stresses and high tension that can accompany a busy working environment by encouraging them to take time to care for themselves.
Massages are a great way for people to take time out and leave thoughts of deadlines, difficult client meetings and even family problems at the door. Many people find massages great for practising mindfulness and help to give them clarity when trying to balance a number of areas in their life.
Enlisting a corporate massage service enables workers to take advantage of the benefits that massage therapy offers, without the added time pressure of getting to a spa or health centre to indulge.
4. Go green
Bring the outside in and introduce greenery into your office space. It has been proven that adding a few houseplants increases worker productivity by 15% and helps people feel more comfortable.
5. Provide space
The average Brit only takes 27 minutes for their lunch break, meaning that they may not be at their most productive. Eating lunch at our desks means that we do not completely switch off from work and many employees often use the time to respond to quick emails, read through documents or even hold internal meeting. Encourage workers to take a proper break by providing a break out area to enjoy their lunch in.
Breaks allow our brains to recuperate, helping us to concentrate and rebuild our energy levels. Offering an area for employees to rest away from screens, without having to go off-site is a great way to ensure employees do take a break. It also encourages colleagues to connect on a more personal level, which is a great way to promote team working.
Implement these small changes and you will quickly notice an improvement in your staff’s wellbeing and reap the benefits of a happy working environment.
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