Professional Wellness: How to Create a Healthy Work Environment for Employees
Creating a healthy work environment has become a priority for many companies, and for good reason. A healthy work environment can make all the difference when it comes to employee satisfaction and company image.
What is a healthy work environment?
There are many ways to define a healthy work environment. The American Psychological Association (APA) says “A healthy workplace fosters employee health and well-being and enhances organizational performance.”
In general, a healthy work environment goes beyond just the physical safety of employees. The APA recommends the following to foster a healthy and productive workplace: “employee involvement, growth and development opportunities, health and safety initiatives, work-life balance and flexibility, employee recognition, and effective two-way communication in an organization.”
Benefits of a healthy work environment
Employees and employers both benefit from a healthy work environment. Employees are more productive, motivated, excited, and engaged when they are comfortable in their workplace. In turn, companies may also experience lower turnover rates, less absences, increased staff morale, and an overall better company image compared to those with less desirable working conditions.
How to create a healthy work environment
There are many ways organizations can create a healthy work environment. Improving office aesthetics, focusing on mental and physical health, and providing ways to develop professionally are all options companies have for supporting their employees.
Improving the office aesthetic
- Add live plants
- Though it may seem insignificant, the addition of plants can make a huge difference in an office setting. Studies show that adding greenery to a workplace could increase productivity by nearly 15 percent.
- Pro tip: Here are some good options for indoor plants.
- Incorporate colors
- Cut the clutter
Focusing on mental and physical health
- Use standing desks
- It’s no secret that sitting all day long is detrimental to everyone’s health. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Too much sitting overall and prolonged periods of sitting also seem to increase the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer.” One of the best ways to look out for an employee’s physical health is to provide a standing desk and encourage movement throughout the work day.
- Recognition and rewards
- Be understanding
- Encourage wellness
- Companies that encourage overall wellness tend to have more productivity and fewer long-term health care costs. Examples of this include encouraging exercise, offering healthy snacks in the office, and providing incentivized discounts on health care plans.
- Earn trust from employees
Professional development opportunities
- Employees want to learn
- Focus on education
- Education is key when it comes to a healthy work environment. Whether it is offering classes on topics relevant to the company, providing high-quality training materials, or paying for degrees/certifications, focusing on furthering education can improve employee satisfaction and performance.
Healthy work environments mean successful businesses
Workplaces with a toxic environment are more likely to have employees that are drained, unmotivated, and have low morale. This can lead to high turnover rates and companies losing money. Focusing on creating a healthy work environment is beneficial for both employers and employees by improving company image, higher employee engagement, lower rates of turnover, and more.