Creating a healthy and positive workplace environment

31 August 2015

A fifth of UK workplaces are detrimental to employees’ health, according to a recent report, with a large number of workers claiming their jobs have a negative effect on their stress and productivity levels.

In all, unproductive staff members cost UK businesses £250 million every year. But, by helping to increase workplace satisfaction and reduce anxiety, employers could see profits surge.

One way of enhancing staff wellbeing involves bettering the workplace environment. By making the office eco-friendly and engaging employees in sustainability measures, workers’ health could improve.

Whether employers choose to go green or simply introduce one or two environmentally friendly measures, there are a range of options to consider.

Eco-friendly lighting systems and natural light

Studies show natural light in the daytime can cultivate better sleep patterns. As a result, having an office well-lit with natural light could improve alertness and productivity in workers. 

For business owners looking to become sustainable, inhabiting an eco-friendly workplace with an abundance of natural light could be the first step. However, with financial constraints often making an office move impractical, there are lighting systems that can help to replicate real daylight.

Such systems can also reduce the amount of electricity used by the company and lower monthly energy bills. 

positive and healthy workplace

Air quality

Whether they take a walk or eat their lunch outside, regular fresh air can be beneficial to workers. However, with 50% of illnesses caused by poor quality indoor air, employers could help to reduce illness and encourage employee satisfaction by improving the air quality within their workplace. 

There are numerous ways to do this, from regular cleaning with non-toxic products to introducing ventilation and installing air purification equipment.

Layout improvements

When moving into a new office, or rearranging the furniture of an existing one, taking layout into consideration can have a positive effect on workers. 

An open-plan space can be ideal to promote collaboration, but it can also be beneficial to create quiet areas that cater for those who need some time to work alone. 

Clutter can have a damaging effect on employees’ output and their ability to do their jobs. By removing obstacles and unnecessary objects from the office, it should be much easier for businesses to create a stress-free environment where workers can complete tasks effectively. 

happy and engaged employees

Engaging employees

With two-thirds of UK employees caring about energy saving, companies that implement sustainability strategies and encourage green behaviour are more likely to nurture productivity, promote workplace satisfaction, retain staff, and attract new talent. 

From the very first day a new member joins the team, leaders should emphasise the importance of energy saving behaviour and inspire them to implement such strategies into their working. 

Since sustainability is an ongoing process that cannot be completed, achievable targets should be set. In order to keep everyone on-board and enthusiastic, employers can regularly update workers on progress and encourage them to make their own suggestions on ways to progress the eco-friendly strategy. This will help them to feel like valued team members who are actively contributing to both the success of the company and the environment. 

By making the workplace more environmentally friendly, not only can businesses improve workers’ health and happiness, there’s also the potential to boost turnover due to increased productivity and stronger brand awareness. 

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