A healthy workforce is a more productive one.
It’s a common saying, but it’s true.
Many employers wonder if they can afford the trappings of the healthy work environment movement with its well-lit office suites.
But the truth is that unhealthy workers tend to miss out on work to the tune of a loss of $225.8 billion per year ($1,685 per employee) every year in the United States, as reported by the CDC.
Workers who struggle with being overweight or obese and the chronic health problems associated with these problems will miss 450 million more days every year than health employees.
In reality, it’s neglecting employee health that you simply can’t afford.
Healthy workplace style office suites don’t just pay for themselves in the short term – workplace health promotion pays for itself year after year.
10 Healthy Workplace Tips
Here are ten easy-to-implement tips to help improve the workplace health of your employees…
1. Well-Lit Office Suites
The monotony of office life is exacerbated by fluorescent lights flickering ominously from salt-and-pepper ceiling tiles. This kind of dismal work environment has physical and mental health consequences.
Feelings of tiredness and boredom aren’t a trope. A study published in 2014 showed that employees who work in offices lit by natural light were able to:
- Sleep better (an extra 46 more minutes per night)
- Work out more
- Feel happier
All those things reduce health risks for your employees, which in turn leads to greater worker productivity.
How do you transform your physical work environment into a healthy workplace?
Start by looking for office spaces with plenty of windows spread throughout the office – not just in choice rooms.
Every suite has not only plenty of natural light but also a view of the lake. Our lake views also add hints of blue to your office – one of the key ways to make your office healthier and one we’ll discuss in just a moment.
2. Fresh Air
What’s your indoor air quality like in your current space? Do you know?
Indoor air pollution is a critical problem not just for office workers but for everyone because we all spend the better part of our days inside now.
Having clean air is essential, but it’s also not enough.
One of the most common mistakes made in office spaces is the belief that as long as basic standards are met, then everyone will be okay.
At it turns out, that’s not true either. According to researchers, better air leads to better decision-making. Even stale office air doesn’t cut it – you need fresh air.
What does that mean for your efforts to create a healthy workplace?
It means you need to look for ventilation systems designed to promote air quality in addition to climate.
3. A Kitchen
Break rooms are routinely overlooked areas of office suites, but they’re an important part of a healthy workplace.
Your break room is where employees unwind, recharge, collaborate, and nourish themselves.
Give your employees all of this and more by providing a kitchen and a break room. It’s hard to encourage your employees to adopt healthy lifestyles with just a microwave and a shelf.
Adding a kitchen promotes a healthy lifestyle by making it easier for employees to bring their own healthy lunches. We all know that getting proper nutrition is one the most important of all healthy lifestyle practices. So it’s no surprise that kitchens are an essential factor in creating a healthy work environment.
It also gives them a chance to cook their food rather than worrying about going out, eating cold leftovers, or snacking on processed foods.
4. Choose A Space Near A Gym
Employees who not only feel motivated to exercise but who have an opportunity to exercise are more likely to be healthier and more productive.
One way to encourage an active workplace culture is to choose an office near a gym. That way you’re effectively outsourcing part of your healthy workplace needs. By being near a gym, you’ll give staff more time to hit the gym in the morning or over their lunch break without worrying about traffic.
Can’t find the perfect place with a gym in walking distance?
Consider bringing the gym to you by using a conference room for a morning or afternoon pilates or yoga session.
5. Add Plants
Every office suite for lease in our building features a spectacular view of the lake alone with a calming view of the tree line along the shore. Nature is the ultimate healthy work environment, and being in the middle of it is a great way to help employees relax and refocus.
But don’t stop there.
Adding plants into office suites presents two benefits for employees.
First, it brings nature right into your space, which inspires creativity and enhances mental health. Views of nature have been shown to significantly reduce stress in the workplace.
This idea isn’t some sort of hokey New Age practice. In a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, scientists found that participants were better able to perform tasks when they had a view of plants compared to looking at a magazine rack.
Second, adding the right plants can promote better air quality and even employees who suffer from allergies breathe easier.
For example, palms like the Areca Plam, Lady Plam, and Bamboo Plam offers air-purifying and humidifying properties. Cleaner air with the right balance of humidity removes some of the irritants that exacerbate allergies.
Plants are ideal for creating a healthy workplace because employees who don’t feel miserable will take fewer sick days.
But it’s also great for productivity because it’s much harder to think about the task at hand when you have to simultaneously think about breathing in and out. Who knew potted plants could be part of a workplace health program?
6. Try Standing Desks
Sitting is the new smoking – we know how bad it is for our health, but we continue to do it anyway. Many just accept it as an occupational health hazard.
Fortunately, there’s a healthy workplace solution: the standing desk.
You may have seen standing desks around. They’re often portrayed as the desk used by Type-A, uber fit people, but they’re increasingly common in office suites.
Here are a few things standing desks help with:
- Lower risk of obesity
- Lower risk of cancer
- Longer lifespans
- Improved posture
- Greater creativity
- More productivity
Look for a space that allows you to trial standing desks in at least part of your office. You and your staff will reap the benefits!
7. Use Feng Shui Office Layout
Office suites are a blank canvas. What you choose to do with them will transform them into a highly creative space or a cluttered, run-of-the-mill workplace.
A Feng shui layout can be employed across your whole office from the way furniture is arranged to the colors, decorations, Feng shui plants, and lights used in the office.
For example, when you’re looking at office suites, look for those that have well-placed doors and windows in line with feng shui principles.
Starting with a good structure will better enable you to make the most of the space.
But remember, feng shui is about the big picture and the little details. That means it can also be used at individual desks.
If you notice your team tends to have cluttered desks, consider providing a feng shui lesson to help them take command of their personal workspace.
Not only will a feng shui space help them achieve balance, but it will help them get more done.
8. Install Blue Lights
You’ve already learned about the importance of natural lighting for improving sleep, productivity, and overall health. But there are other ways to use office lighting to achieve your healthy workplace goal.
Blue lights have recently been found to be useful in office spaces.
Humans are sensitive to blue light in part because it’s the color we encounter most outdoors.
Being outdoors helps keep us happy and healthy. When we spend all day indoors, we don’t get the blue light we’re used to even when a room is well lit.
Blue light has several effects on humans, but the main effect is its ability to suppress melatonin in the brain.
How can blue light be used in offices?
Using blue-based backlighting during the day reduces the melatonin produced in employees’ brains, meaning they’ll feel less tired and be better able to pay attention.
Do you use overnight shifts? You might want to try using red lights.
Some research has found red light can improve the moods of third shift workers. At the very least, it doesn’t seem to have the negative impact of white light.
9. Get Out Of The Office
You pay good money for your office space, but it’s also a good idea to physically remove yourself from the same old work environment occasionally.
Choose from a selection of office suites that offer somewhere to retreat to for the occasional meeting.
Whether it’s a coffee shop, restaurant, open courtyard, or Lakeside Mall (which is less than a minute or two walk away), it will encourage employees to get some fresh air, walk around, and give them the change of scenery required to promote mental health and stimulate the creative process.
Looking for property in Macomb County that’s at the center of everything?
Our suites are only steps away from the Lakeside Mall, providing you an oasis in the middle of your business community.
10. Add An Office Water Feature
Water features are often an important part of feng shui, which you just learned about. But they’re so useful for health promotion that they’re worth talking about on their own.
A water feature provides a natural focal point for the office. It’s both peaceful while also being energetic and thus, it’s the perfect symbol of the human mind.
The water feature you add doesn’t need to be a twenty-foot waterfall – all the power to you if you have the space to add one.
It can be as simple as a small, desk-based water feature. Alternatively, you can create a central feature for a community space for employees to visit when they need to relax or recharge. This shared casual space can also promote a workplace culture of exchanging ideas.
A Healthy Work Environment Means Healthier Employees
Protecting your employees’ health is part of protecting your business, and creating a healthy workplace helps you do that.
Fortunately, there are plenty of simple ways to address your worker’s occupational health and safety needs simply by reassessing how you design your office space.
Whether you change up your lighting or start from scratch in a brand new office space, you’ll help your employees sleep and live better, which means you’ll help them work better.
Still looking for the perfect office space to create a healthy work environment? Have questions about the floor plans available in your area?
If you’re looking to rent office space in Sterling Heights or Macomb County, then give us a call and let’s talk about what we can do to help you find the perfect office suite for your business.
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