Well-BEING in the Workplace: Get Your Daily Dose

3 March 2015

Here are 10 ways a company can integrate not only wellness but well-being into the workplace for its employees:

  1. ACCESS TO NATURAL LIGHT | People are happier and more productive when they have view of the outdoors from their workspace. If employees don't sit near or next to a window, encourage them to get up from their desk and soak in some sun throughout the day. A recent study found that office workers who had more exposure to natural light had longer sleep duration, better sleep quality, more physical activity and better quality of life compared to workers with less light exposure in the workplace.
  2. ENCOURAGE MOVEMENT | The human body is designed to move so it is important for employees to get up and move away from their desk throughout the day. Ideally, employees should take frequent breaks in which they stand up and move throughout the office space. By strategically placing amenity and support spaces like pantries, restrooms, copy/print rooms and conference rooms, employees will be encouraged to walk around the office. If nothing else, employees should shift their position and change their posture every 20 minutes (try standing). Even just stretching for a minute can make a difference and provide a little energy boost.
  3. OFFER CHOICE | Design your workplace with a variety of spaces for employees to work in so that depending on the type of work they are doing and who they are (extrovert vs introvert, young vs old, entry level vs senior level), they always have spaces to work in that support their needs and type of work they are doing. Additionally, the office should be intentionally designed to encourage social interaction in areas like pantries, collaborative spaces and team meeting spaces as these spaces becoming more accessible and inviting and therefore used by employees throughout the day.
  4. PROVIDE OWNERSHIP AND SECURITY | Provide employees with a variety of spaces to work in but make sure to allocate a space for them to call home (even if just for the day) that allows them to store and lock up their belongings. People feel most comfortable in spaces that feel secure in as well as in places where people know where they are and how to find them.
  5. INFUSE COLOR | Color in the workplace can both stimulate and energize the senses. Reds and oranges help to keep an office's energy levels up, encourage collaboration, interaction and creativity. Conversely, greens and blues help to maintain a calm and balanced atmosphere for focused, heads-down tasks without distractions.
  6. PERSONALIZE THE WORK SPACE | Allow employees to personalize how they work by offering them various workspace types, furnishings and accessories to choose from. Employees further enjoy expressing their personality and connection to their life outside of work by accessorizing their workspace with photos, flowers or anything else that puts a smile on their face.
  7. FOSTER A SENSE OF PLACE & COMMUNITY | People like to have a connection with the company or organization that they spend the majority of their day at. Companies should design their workspace to express and tell the company's brand, story and message which will help their employees connect, engage and share with others.
  8. HYDRATE WITH WATER | Office environments tend to have dry air pumping with AC during the summer and heat during the winter so it's important for employees to hydrate throughout the day. Water is essential during the work day as it helps to fight fatigue and aid in digestion and circulation while sitting inside all day.
  9. SUPPLY HEALTHY SNACKS | Keep your pantries (or vending machines) stocked with healthy snacks so that employees have food on hand to keep fueled throughout the day. Small meals throughout the day help maintain energy levels and will ensure that coworkers don't get "hangry" with each other.
  10. ENSURE HEALTHY & CLEAN ENVIRONMENT | Companies need to ensure their employees that the office environment is healthy and clean – no toxins, no germs and no allergens. People feel safe and comfortable when they know they are not exposed to anything that will harm them.

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