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When you’re in a managerial position at a company, you hold the power to make a positive impact on the employees who report to you. If you’d like to curate an environment that lends itself to profitability and productivity, you have to take care of your employees. In the same way that a car gets oil changes, routine check-ups and repairs when it’s down, I know that people need regular maintenance if they’re going to be as efficient as possible. Treat your employees well by encouraging health first. You can set the tone in the following ways.
1. Offer Standing Desks
There are studies that suggest that sitting is considered the new “smoking” in that it causes a significant amount of damage to one’s personal health. When a person leads a sedentary lifestyle, this can lead to weight gain. When weight collects around the midsection, there’s a direct correlation to chronic and fatal diseases. In order to decrease the sitting time, provide workers with standing desks. Instead of sitting for eight hours, they’ll have the option to stand to get work done instead.
2. Improve the Air Quality
Even though you can’t see it, you will feel the impact of the air when it’s not clean. Polluted air can become a host for allergies, sickness and lung issues. In order to avoid this, work on improving the air quality in the office. Make sure the vents are changed routinely to allow clean air to flow efficiently. Invest in commercial air filtration systems to promote clean air in the building. From a natural perspective, nurture a few indoor plants that can help purify the air. Open the windows for fifteen minutes each day. This can help fresh, new air circulate throughout the building.
3. Enforce a Clean, Sanitary Environment
Keep hand sanitizing stations throughout the building. Always keep bathrooms fully stocked with hand soap. If it’s possible to install more no-touch appliances and features throughout the office, this can decrease the amount of germs people come into contact with. Make sure there’s a cleaning professional who can clean and sanitize all surfaces on a daily basis. If an employee is sick, create a rule that requires them to work from home until they’re better. Viruses and colds can spread quickly. It’s better for an employee to isolate themselves until they fully recover.
4. Create a Physical Health Challenge
For some employees, it’ll take a challenge or an incentive in order for them to prioritize their health. Whether it’s a prize or a major bonus at work, consider implementing a physical health challenge. Make sure that you level the playing field so that it’s fair for everyone involved. Whether you’re challenging everyone to tackle 10,000 steps a day for six months or lose 5% of their body fat within a specific timeframe, find ways to challenge the office employees to become healthier. Be sure to keep their numbers private because this can be a really sensitive topic. Instead, focus on percentages in order to keep specifics discreet. It won’t matter if a person is 120 pounds or 300 pounds when you’re focused on percentages because it’s still a personal journey.
5. Provide Comfortable Working Accommodations
One of the main reasons why people get massages and suffer from back issues and pain is because they’re practicing poor posture. They also sit in uncomfortable chairs for hours. Emphasize the importance of proper posture and alignment in an office chair. Provide supportive office chairs that are comfortable as well. It might be helpful to develop a match program where the employee can pick out a chair for their office or cubicle. The company can match the expense up to a certain amount. This one shift can make a major difference in how an employee feels when they’re sitting down. The same rule applies to computers and eyesight. Maintain a company match program that covers blue-light blocking eyewear. When an employee stares at a computer for a long time, this can negatively impact their eyesight. If you offer health and vision benefits, these details can go under the company plans as well.
Oftentimes, managers and company owners will work their employees to the point of burnout. The dollar isn’t worth the health of an employee. It’s best to remember that your employees are people first. When you’re able to support them from that standpoint, you’ll create a safe, holistic and healthy environment for productive, happy workers.