10 Steps to a Healthier Office
We’re often championing a healthier, more creative and more fulfilling working environment, both in our own offices and in the content that we share with our readers. From reducing stress, to redesigning your workspace or tidying your desk – there are lots of small alterations, large scale redesigns, or changes to your mental outlook you can make to ensure your workday is that little bit more exciting and healthy.
In this piece, we’re focusing specifically on creating a healthier work environment, here are 10 things you can do, change or incorporate into your worklife/workspace to have a positive effect on yourself and fellow employees:
1 – Get some Plants
Adding a few plants to your office works on two levels; on the one hands, plants add a bit of colour and can look very appealing when you get into work every day. On the other hand, they have been known to offer numerous other benefits such as improved health and an increase in productivity due to their stress busting and noise reducing qualities.
2 -Spice up your office
A bland workspace makes for an unmotivated team. Dull walls, uninspiring decor and a very bland colour scheme don’t do much in terms of spurring on creativity and adding a sense of enthusiasm to your staff. Make use of colour, paintings, pictures, stylish furniture, quirky additions or even throw in a few lunch-time activities for staff such as table football or a TV in the breakout room.
We’ve written about this before – read more on this here
3 – Exercise
Being more active at work and at home is a great way to stay in shape and be a little healthier. It can be quite hard to get your exercise fix whilst in the office, due to restrictions from space, co-workers looking at you funny and not wanting to come back from your lunch in an exhausted, sweaty, state.
Here are some office-appropriate exercise techniques to help you on your way to a healthier office:
Take a walking lunch
Commute via bike, or walk if possible
Consider walking meetings, if they’re only light catch-ups
Take the stairs instead of using an elevator
Look into a standing desk!
Even the slightest bit of exercise will do you a world of good, including a healthier heart, improved brain function, burning calories and helping to decrease stress and chances of depression.
4 – Ergonomic chairs and furniture
Ergonomic chairs and furniture can help to prevent discomfort at work, including back problems and strain on the body, as well as help staff to get on with their work in a comfortable state.
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 employers are required to assess risks, including those that arise from seating at work, and to have arrangements in place to protect employees’ health and safety. Essentially, this means it is a legal requirement that the seating at work be of a suitable standard so as not to put the user at risk of any injury.
One of the best ways to combat potential back ache or other injuries is to let your manager know if you are not comfy at your desk, and arrange to have suitable seating or guidance on how to sit properly at your desk sorted.
5 – EMF protection
EMF, or Electromagnetic Fields, sound like they’re straight out of a sci-fi movie, but they’re real, and potentially dangerous if layer up over many years in a electronics heavy environment.
Electromagnetic Fields are present in the earth, and in our human body and are an important part of regulating our bodies and keeping us healthy. Artificial EMF’s, which are present in most human technologies like cell phones and computers can build up on top of each other, and have been shown to disrupt the bodies natural energetic field.
There are products available to clear the amount of EMF’s present in your office – looking into them could help to make you feel a little more chipper at work.
6 – Regular breaks and social interaction
Regular breaks and a little bit of social interaction can really make a difference throughout the workday. Something as small as getting up to get a glass of water will get the blood flowing through your legs, give your eyes a screen break and allow you to chat to your co-workers in person, instead.
Social interaction, in your breaks, will make your workday pass that little bit quicker, make your communication a little more effective within the workplace and allow you to take a little screenbreak.
7 – Work less hours
Whilst this is a bit of a controversial one, working less hours can sometimes be more productive, healthy and beneficial to yourself and the company you work for/own than doing the standard 9-5 that is so common. Try looking into flexi time, shorter days, or mixing up your working week from time to time.
8 – Stand up desks
Standing desks are the latest craze in the office world. Some say it is a bit of a fad that will surely blow over, although other sources strongly shout the benefits of a standing desk, claiming major health benefits and even an increased attentiveness in the workplace.
We’ve touched upon this in much more detail over on another post. Read more about the benefits and downsides to a standing desk, here!
9 – Stress
Stress can be a major drain on your mental health and your work output. Whilst it isn’t always easy to simply abolish stress, it is important to pick up on the right signals, embrace it when necessary, and learn how to combat it to the best of your ability.
Some ways you can combat stress include:
Have some time to yourself
Explore your stress triggers
Exercise (See above!)
Be well rested
Get a life
Office plants (See above!)
We’ve gone into detail about all the above points, and more, on our blog. Read the post here!
10 – Open a few windows
With the least amount of effort required, opening a few windows to get some fresh air into your office, and to clear out any stuffy smells, can be really effective. Like breathing in a fresh lease of life into your workspace.