The office might have disappeared from people’s mindsets during the pandemic, but the world is mending and people are coming back. Some never closed down but went to a skeleton staff. But workers are expecting a different workplace after COVID. There is a much higher standard when it comes to what a healthy workplace is. Here are some tips on ensuring that when your people come back, they have a healthier workplace.
Give A Bit Of Space
The cubicle hell style of the workplace was already being phased out. With people needing a bit more space nowadays, employees are unwilling to be tightly packed against each other again. They had gotten used to the freedom of working from home.
Your workers need to have at least four feet of distance from each other. That is much smaller than social distancing rules, but it should be safe enough. Four feet should give people enough room to maneuver while also allowing them to interact with others easily.
Keep The Air Fresh
Clean air is surprisingly hard to come by. Air pollution and other things make breathing in a bit risky. Since wearing a mask all the time would be a problem in the office, the focus would be to ensure increased air quality. Several measures can be taken. One of the more obvious ones is to ban all smoking in the office. Next, ensure proper air filtration and ventilation so that air can circulate and ensure it stays fresh.
Adding a few plants would also help since they are natural air filters. To ensure everything is working, you can call professionals to do occasional indoor air quality testing and monitoring. They can identify problems and give suggestions on what to do. Your employees would be able to breathe a lot more easily with these efforts.
Light Things Up
Another thing that will help with employee health is proper lighting. Natural light can provide vitamin D, which a body needs for its immune system, while good lighting also helps prevent eye strain. With this in mind, you should consider adding more natural windows if possible. Skylights would also be a good addition since it adds more natural light.
However, don’t focus on being too bright. Minimize glare and aim to have appropriate brightness in specific areas where work is being done. For example, ambient lighting shouldn’t be that bright since it is mainly for walking around the place. Task lighting is better to see the work they are doing.
Give Them Good Food
Office workers like to snack and drink to keep their energy up. This usually comes in the form of sweet treats from the vending machine, along with soft drinks and coffee. Eating all that regularly can be dangerous for your worker’s health.
You should be giving them some healthy options for eating at the office. Get rid of the vending machine and provide free healthy office snacks. They can be quite delicious if chosen right. For example, nuts and dried fruit can be quite tasty.
Fresh fruits in the snack room can also be a big help. Besides food, you should also encourage drinking more water. Proper hydration cleanses the body of toxins, and having a water cooler within easy reach makes it a lot easier. If your employees need a drink with some flavor, offer tea and hot water since they are much more relaxing than coffee.
Don’t Forget The Mental Side Of Things
While a lot of the focus on keeping healthy is about the physical body, you should also consider the mental condition of your employees. Stress and anxiety can cause health problems if left untreated. A good way to help is by opening lines of communication with your staff. Sometimes, all they need is someone to listen to them. A mental health response plan can also be a good thing for them.
Employees who suffer from depression and other mental conditions would be able to request help from the company so that they would be able to do their job despite their condition. Offering flexible working conditions like flextime and generous vacation days can be a big help.
Investing in a healthier workplace can benefit your business in the future. Healthier employees can mean fewer sick days, which results in improved productivity. Improved health also means that your people are focused on their jobs. They don’t have headaches or other health issues that they have to face. Overall, it is an investment that will pay off in a big way.