Successful businesses know that happy and healthy employees are integral to a thriving operation. When your team isn’t engaged or satisfied, productivity levels drop, absenteeism increases, and employee turnover is higher. All of this leads to your business suffering and a workforce that lacks motivation and doesn’t feel valued.
Investing in your employees’ well-being helps your company as well as each member of your workforce. And the good news is, this doesn’t need to involve limitless time and resources. Small workplace changes, combined with a genuinely caring approach to the well-being of your employees, can provide a massive boost to team morale and improve productivity across your workforce.
The starting point? Assess your office environment using the list below. Where there are gaps, implement changes and watch your workplace thrive.
This technique won’t cost you a dollar to implement but can instantly make a huge difference to your workplace. Just like in the home, a messy, unclean environment is at best distracting and at worst somewhere people are actively unhappy to spend time.
By taking some time to clear out unnecessary clutter, such as broken or out-of-date equipment, old furniture, and files no longer needed, you’ll see the space starting to look transformed.
Give employees time away from their usual tasks to do the same with their individual workstations, and resolve any small issues with the general space as part of the process. This could be as simple as changing a broken lightbulb or ensuring there is adequate storage to avoid another clutter buildup.
Having enough exposure to natural light is essential in getting adequate energy and rest. Lack of natural light affects everyone, and the impact of working full days without the benefits of the sun means that the body creates too much melatonin — the hormone that makes us sleepy. This translates as tired employees who are low on energy and often low in mood as well.
In many working environments, this can be resolved fairly simply. Old blinds that are blocking light could be removed, or desks rearranged closer to windows. In some cases, bigger steps may be needed to incorporate more natural light, such as removing a partition wall or adding skylights, but the benefits of doing so will far outweigh the cost or inconvenience.
Poor posture and muscular pain in the back and neck are common for people working in an office environment and not sitting correctly. These issues can affect productivity and increase time away from work, as well as leading to long-term muscle and posture problems for your employees.
The good news is, investing in ergonomic chairs for your office can make a huge difference. Ergonomic chairs help support the spine while sitting at a desk and reduce the associated side effects of posture problems, including a sore or stiff neck, back pain, and hip discomfort.
When you consider the money employee absenteeism costs your company, the purchase of ergonomic chairs is a minor hit for much bigger, long-term benefits.
Plenty of Plants
There are multiple upsides to bringing plants into the working environment, which is why some of the world’s biggest companies, including Amazon, ensure their offices are enhanced with a haven of indoor greenery.
An international study found employees who work in greenery-filled offices are more productive, focused, and satisfied with their work lives. Indoor plants are believed to help reduce stress, as well as offer employees stimulation from being close to nature. Plants are living things, so it stands to reason that being around nature that is beautiful, thriving and, alive can only positively impact people while they work.
Space to Relax
All jobs can be intense at times, and every employee, no matter how dedicated, sometimes feels tired and low on energy. When your employees work all day (or night), they need to take concentration breaks and have periods of respite from focusing at their desk, however busy they may be.
If you have an existing break room, it might be as simple as sprucing it up a little to make it a more relaxing, welcoming environment. You could consider adding some comfortable seating, placing colorful accessories, and providing complimentary hot drinks.
If your workplace is currently without a space dedicated to staff, try to make creating one a priority. Employees aren’t just workers; they are human, and both need and deserve a place to eat lunch or simply take a break from their shift. It’s far better for an employee to take breaks so that they can re-energize and re-focus than remain at their desk all day but not be productive.
The benefits of giving your working environment a well-being update are near limitless. Employees who feel cared for, appreciated, and listened to will engage more, perform better and feel happier both in and out of their workplace environment.