There is nothing worse than waking up every morning and dreading the thought of going to work, and honestly, we cannot believe that there are still businesses out there that refuse to place any emphasis on fostering a healthy work environment. Countless studies have been conducted over the years regarding the impact that the work environment can have on those who occupy it, and most – if not all – have found that spending your days in a healthy, positive work environment can do wonders not only for the individual worker's health, but also their productivity.
As a business, investing the time and energy required in to creating a healthy work environment will undoubtedly pay dividends, but it can be difficult to know how best to go about it. Obviously, how far you can go will depend on the size of the company, as most businesses will probably not be able to justify the expense of maintaining a Zen garden for their employees to spend their lunch times in. Still, there are some very simple and easy things that every business can do in order to create the healthy, productive work environment that we would all love to spend our days working in.
- Be aware of the dangers associated with each role, and encourage others to be aware of them also. For instance, those who work on computers all day will be running the risk of developing an RSI. The symptoms associated with many RSI's are very similar, but all of them are considerably easier to treat during their early stage.
- After our families, the people we work with are the people we spend most of our time with. This is why many companies will organise a social event once a month, or departments will go for a drink after work on a Friday, in order to build camaraderie, blow off steam and spend a little bit of time together in a more informal setting.
- People work to live, not live to work, and sometimes they need to be given a bit of slack. Being flexible with others will make them flexible with you, and should you ever need somebody to work a little later than usual, they are more likely to give you a hand if you have been good to them in the past.
- Money is the main motivation behind why people work, and though nobody ever got out of bed for a little praise and recognition, there is nothing wrong with giving some time to time. People respond well to a little bit of positive reinforcement, and knowing the quality of their work is being recognised by the right people will encourage them to maintain it and focus on improving it.
- It is easy for work environments to become stale and lifeless, which is why even if it is just something small like an action figurine or a family photo, it is a good idea to allow individuals to slightly personalise their workstations. By allowing even the slightest amount of customisation, you also cement in the persons mind that the space is 'theirs' and that their job is secure; thereby reducing anxiety and improving the general mood.