by Scott Colman
We all know that a healthy workforce is more likely to be a productive and effective one. However many office managers and employers still have trouble embedding wellness into their workplace or coworking environment.
Workplace wellness is more important than ever. We shouldn’t underestimate the ripple effect of small, sustainable changes in regard to incorporating wellness into work. The key is supporting your coworkers while they learn to integrate these positive changes, and creating incentives within your workplace to continue this trend.
We’ve compiled five top tips to help you get started with integrating wellness into your workplace.
- Get some space in your life
The modern office should promote motivation, mobility and knowledge sharing. To achieve this it is recommended to use dynamic space planning when organising the layout of your workplace. By this we mean o-reating different ‘spaces’ for different tasks, e.g. an area of undisturbed concentration for individual tasks as well as distinct areas for interaction.
These don’t have to be physically separated by walls, but partially screening can aid the feeling of openness and collaboration. Analysing the best possible use of the space for work environments is one of the most significant factors when we are working with a client on a project. Workplaces must work for employees, not the other way around. In an age of flexible working, this additional space can often be achieved by maximising desk density, helping to reduce overheads and reducing reliance on people being constantly desk-based.
- A holistic approach to health
A common mistake is to consider coworkers health too narrowly. Wellness should be considered as a multitude of aspects, not just physical fitness. As part of any collaborative work environment it’s important to check in with coworkers regularly to insure their workload is manageable and not overly stressing. This is increasingly important in the ‘always on’ workplace, where there are so many distractions, both face to face and across multiple devices.
- Bowl of youth
We can’t guarantee you’ll be granted eternal youth by snacking from it, but regular consumption of fresh fruit and veg does increase the chances of living a prosperous and long life.
Introducing well-stocked fruit and snack bowls into communal office spaces is a great way to encourage healthy habits. You’d be bananas not to.
- The mandatory ‘living plant’ policy
Okay we’ll be honest, that title was just to catch your attention. Whilst it might make for some fantastic ‘office banter’, we are in no way endorsing the removal of workers who can’t keep a desk plant alive!
Encourage workers to keep and tend to a small office plant around their workspace can have a dramatic impact on day to day positivity and wellness.
Indoor plants aren’t just for aesthetics; they are great for re-oxygenating your workplace, increasing productivity by decreasing stress and can even work as clever little noise absorbers. A small selection of plants strategically placed around a workspace can reduce noise levels by 5 decibels.
- Get Up, Stand Up
Firstly, let’s leave bicycle meetings to the confines of Silicon Valley.
With that out of the way, positive habits that encourage movement such as walking meetings or going to talk to colleagues on other floors should be a vital priority for your wellness initiative.
Have you heard of the new workplace wellbeing buzz-phrase: sitting is the new smoking? People with sitting jobs have twice the risk of developing cardiovascular disease compared to people with standing jobs. 45% of women and 37% of men spend less than 30 minutes per day on their feet at work.
If you have the choice available to you, opt for a sit-stand desk. Aiming for just an hour a day on your feet will have a dramatic effect on your energy levels and long-term health.
Wellness is fundamental to productivity, and there are plenty of fun ways to bring wellness into the workplace. From bananas to bonsais, we’re big advocates of any initiatives, however small, that improve workplace wellbeing. If you have any additional wellness ideas that have worked for you, we’d love to hear them! Send us a tweet @BlueJelly_ or leave a comment below.