For most white-collared people, workplace becomes their second abode. Away from home, time is mostly spent running work-related errands. There is some truth when young professionals proclaim that ‘adulting,’ however clichéd, often blurs the thin line between the work and life balance.
Going above and beyond the call of duty compromises personal time, and inevitably, jeopardizes health—and this reality usually flies under the radar. When work demands much from the workers, the condition of the workplace is critical in employees’ ability to deliver. Amidst all the stress and pressure, a healthy work environment is inarguably a positive reinforcement.
Here are some practical ways—for all levels of the organizational hierarchy—on how to achieve holistic wellness through a healthy work environment.
1. Maintain a clean and comfortable workstation. You need not to look or go too far to effect a healthy work environment. A quick inspection of your workspace determines if you are conducive to such. Instead of piling more paper documents or stocking more office supplies on your desk, you might want to consider bringing in some greens; studies have proven that plants, aside from cleaning the air, reduces employees’ stress.
2. Discourage ‘presenteeism.’ Defined as the act of reporting for work despite being sick, presenteeism only adds fuel to the fire. Poor health condition calls for rest, not additional workload. There is also danger in spreading the illness which may result to more employees feeling under the weather. In fact, studies have revealed that presenteeism is potentially more costly than absenteeism. Remember that sick leave exists for a reason.
3. Promote healthy eating. For anyone whose schedule is filled more with work errands than personal affairs, sticking to a diet plan is a difficult commitment. In this case, we turn to our company’s menu. Food selection is purely subjective, so adding healthy meals to the options in a regular basis can be considered. Serving healthy food during company events can also help.
4. Join intra-company sports events. Not only do these events improve interpersonal relationship amongst employees, company-initiated sports activities also develop both physical and social well-being. These activities break away from the daily routine of the organization, which may lead to a refreshed professional disposition.
5. Participate in wellness programs. Aside from the annual physical exam and the provisions of the medical insurance of the company, there should also be regular discussions and activities on occupational health, wellness, and safety. These programs may come in varied implementation: from as organized as holding a weekly Zumba class, to as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
6. Take it outdoors. Team building sessions are essential in establishing employees’ camaraderie. More than the accommodation, the activities that the team can do in the chosen location are significant. Renting a rest house is almost as casual as seeing your workmates in the office. You might want to go hiking instead, or visit resorts that offer group recreational activities.
7. Mobilize mental health awareness efforts. The World Health Organization has proven that a negative working environment can lead to physical and mental health problems. In an office setting, regardless of position, everyone plays a key role in supporting mental health. There are also several ways to veer away from emotional and mental stress, among which are talking about your feelings, keeping in touch with others, asking for help when needed, and taking a break.
8. Give recognition and affirmation to each other. Giving credit where credit’s due is a manifestation of open communication. A relationship is built on trust when all involved parties are vocal of their thoughts, with no maligned intention driven by insecurity. Recognizing potential boosts employees’ confidence, and reflects on the inclusivity of the organization.
9. Encourage healthy competition. If executed in an orderly fashion, and with the common goal to improve, competitions at work become an advantage more than a risk. Collaborations push employees to perform at the best of their abilities, and often result to a better output. Studies have revealed that a healthy competition increases creativity and productivity.
Featured image by Roc Verdera.
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