For many of us, the office is where we spend the greatest number of hours in our day. Our health and wellbeing is recognized as being bound up with both our behavior and our environment. We may be making many well-meaning changes to our diet, lifestyle, and fitness levels. But if our environment ultimately remains unhealthy then we can be fighting a losing battle. Many contemporary employers are now trying to address issues of health and wellbeing in the workplace. But the reality for many working adults is that the office is not a good place to be. Physically and psychologically they can be a cramped and draining place. If we’re spending hours a day trapped inside their walls, it follows that we will soon start to see some negative repercussions. Our posture can suffer, the quality of our sleep can become disrupted, and we never really feel rested or fulfilled. But there are a few changes that you can make or suggest to shape your working environment into a healthy and more positive place.
Cleanliness and Upkeep
Many of us take great pride in the appearance of our homes. We take our ownership and responsibility seriously so we invest time and energy into its upkeep. But what about the office? For many of us, it is simply a means to an end. No-one is really taking responsibility for how attractive or well-maintained it is. Most offices have a lot of unlocked potential to be a vibrant hub of productivity. Even addressing minor issues such as unsightly wiring or blind repairs can enhance the atmosphere of the office. It encourages employees to take pride in their place of work and feel more comfortable about spending time there.
A balanced diet and effective hydration have been proven to affect our ability to concentrate and stay alert. With facts like these, many employers have now aimed to address this in the workplace. Water fountains or vending machines that contain healthier options have often been incorporated. But if your workplace is behind the times then encourage them to take action. Something as simple as adding a station for cool water can instantly help everyone to feel healthier and more awake at work. A healthy social incentive can also be fun, such as “walk to work week” or discounted gym memberships for employees. Discuss what can be arranged and spearhead the campaign!
Working doesn’t have to be dull and dismal, but is dependent on our level of inspiration. While this partly comes from our own mind and creativity, a number of studies have suggested that our environment affects it too. A more fresh and vibrant color palette can be positive if a total refurbishment is possible.
But many employers also get creative with budget and space. An employer in America made a whole wall of the office into a material that could be drawn on and erased. Not only was this novel and eye-catching, it was also handy for group meetings when notes could be added for everyone to see. Think what might inspire you, whether a simple ornament or image on your desk, right up to artwork for the whole office.