7 Office Health and Safety Tips to Improve Workplace Wellness
On average, we spend about 90,000 hours at the office over our lifetime. Unfortunately, some working conditions can lead to stress and poor overall health of your employees. Statistics indicate that 83% of US workers will suffer from work-related stress. It is, therefore, essential that an employer provides a comfortable and safe work environment for employees.
When employees are happy, productivity will go up, and it will have a positive impact on the bottom line. So, what health and safety tips can an employer implement for a better work environment?
Have a Health and Safety Management System In Place
Having a health and safety management system in place is one of the critical steps you need to take at the workplace. You must get the input of your staff members when coming up with the plan. Identify hazards, come up with solutions, test them, and then implement.
Give Your Employees the Right Resources
You must equip your employees appropriately, depending on the kind of work they do. If, for example, they sit in front of their computers for extended periods, they will need comfortable seats and tables. Ergonomic chairs will provide the right support for the back and neck. It will significantly reduce the amount of money you will spend dealing with health problems arising from back problems. If they work outside of the office in different settings such as the factory or field, you must give them the right safety gear.
Cultivate a Positive Work Environment
Due to human nature, it is not possible to totally avoid conflict in the workplace. You must, however, ensure that you have a conflict resolution policy in place to prevent hostility and stress. The management should have an open-door system that encourages employees to express themselves when they need to. Employees will also benefit from conflict resolution and communication training.
Encourage a Healthy Life-Work Balance
There is a misconception that the person who stays longest in the office is the hardest worker. More often than not, employers take this as a sign of commitment and the qualities of a good employee. Yet, the truth is that human beings are not machines, and they must, therefore, have a healthy life-work balance. Encourage your employees to work within office hours unless totally unavoidable. Allow them to cultivate relationships with their partners, families, and friends.
Encourage your employees to go on leave, so that they can get the much needed R&R. You will see more value when an employee takes the time to rejuvenate the body and mind away from their workplace.
Make the Work Environment Pleasant
No one wants to go to a dreary office every day. Not only is it extremely stressful, but you will have to deal with so many absentee cases. It is, therefore, essential that you create a pleasant work environment. Your decor should be cheerful and clutter-free. Have a rest area for your employees to relax during the day. Provide some food and drinks, or at least, an equipped kitchen where workers can warm or keep their food. Involve your staff in some of the decision-making processes, and allow for flexibility in the working hours.
You must also be cognizant of all the warning symptoms of mental conditions such as stress, depression, among others. Organize for wellness days where you invite the experts to talk to your employees about the importance of taking care of their health and safety.
Implement Employee Programs
Implement employee programs such as social responsibility activities and host family fun days. You should also encourage exercise by, for example, paying for gym memberships. Have friendly team-based competitions among staff members as a fantastic way to improve employee morale. The employees should know that you value them so much more than their ability to help you turn a profit.
Conduct Regular Safety Checks
Having a health and safety management system in place is just the first step. You must, thereafter, conduct regular checks to ensure that everything is as it should be. Continue to train your employees on safety measures within the work environment. Reward those who follow the rules, clearly label the different areas to avoid any injuries, and keep the workplace clean, among other measures.
It is essential that employees work in an environment that encourages their well-being in all aspects, whether mental health or physical health. As an employer, you benefit from more productive workers and not have to worry about sick-offs absenteeism, or costly medical expenses.