Creating a Healthy, Happy Workplace
A healthy work environment and happy, fulfilled employees are a necessary requirement for any successful business. Taking a few simple steps to promote employee well-being can make a world of difference, both in and out of the office.
Keep People Moving
A healthy dose of activity is incredibly important for overall physical and mental well-being. Consider offering a weekly in-office yoga class or a monthly gym stipend, and encourage frequent breaks from the computer or the use of standing desks. It's a bit of a no-brainer, but employees with healthy exercise habits are more alert and productive than those who lead sedentary lifestyles.
Bring in the Dogs
Having a few well-behaved dogs running around can be a significant mood lifter in the office. The presence of pups can also reduce employee stress and create a more lighthearted environment--how can one not feel joy when Fido is excitedly wagging his tail, oblivious to meetings and deadlines?
Acknowledge and accept that not everyone has the same work habits, schedules, or levels of productivity. Expecting employees to operate on a 9-5 can be unrealistic--some people thrive in the morning while others are most productive post sundown. Allowing employees to choose their own hours can enhance quality of work, as can allowing them to work remotely.
Encourage Creativity & Self-Expression
There will always be mundane work that needs to get done, but making sure that your employees have enough meaningful, exciting projects--work they truly feel passionate about--will encourage creativity. Be sure to allow various forms of self-expression as well, and ease up on the strict dress codes.
Create Inspiring Surroundings
You can't expect employees to produce stellar work in a drab environment. Intuitive, innovative design is key--the proper lighting, furniture, and colors can create an atmosphere that is conducive to productivity and happiness. Plants and flowers can also play a big role, whether as interior decoration or exterior landscaping.
Make Time for After Hours
A key to maintaining positive relationships inside the office is to spend time building them outside of work hours. When employees are able to let their guards down they can get to know each other on a personal level, which will encourage trust and unity across teams. Schedule a monthly drinks night, a weekly lunch outing, or another team bonding activity--karaoke, anyone?