9 Tips for a Healthy Workplace

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Maintaining a healthy workplace is vital in the quest to grow a thriving business. While much of your time as a business owner might be spent sitting in a back office looking over your bookkeeping software, there are many things you can do to actively promote a happy and healthy workplace.

Here are 9 tips to help you maintain a healthy atmosphere in your work space:

  1. Get Active - To foster a healthy work environment, a great place to start is with the physical well-being of everyone on your team. Going for team walks or runs, or playing  team sports during lunch breaks is not only good for the body, but group activities also boost morale between co-workers, encourage teamwork, and can bring your entire crew closer together.
  2. Take Breaks - Challenge your employees (and yourself) to stand up, walk around the workspace and stretch often during work hours. Breaks are necessary to refresh the mind and foster creativity. While it may seem counterintuitive, allowing regular breaks will maintain an environment of innovation and focus at your small business.
  3. Promote Good Hygiene - Post signs in the work area and in bathrooms reminding employees to mind their hygiene, and have hand sanitizer readily available. Cleanliness on everyone's part can keep employees healthy during cold and flu seasons, which will keep your business operating as effectively as possible. No one does their best work while under the weather.
  4. Promote Healthy Eating - As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Make sure your staff is well fed in the morning (and throughout the day) by keeping a snack cupboard with things like oatmeal and fruit. These tactics doesn’t have to be a high cost to be effective and nourishment will make everyone more productive and focused throughout the day.
  5. Make Safety a Priority - A healthy workplace also means a safe workplace. Always follow the government’s health and safety regulations, and make sure your employees are educated on them as well.
  6. Support Mental Health - Mental health has become a prominent topic over the last decade, and the stigma around it is finally dissipating. Employers have a responsibility to foster an environment that allows those who need help to get it. Dedicate a team member to human relations and task them with researching support mental health support networks in your area. Have them write and provide a health and safety handbook to employees that includes resources like hotlines and websites they can visit to seek professional counseling or advice. A good list to reference is Partners for Mental Health’s complete list of crisis centres that span across the country.
  7. Educate in CPR/First Aid - Health is sometimes a matter of life and death. Train at least one team member in First Aid. He or she will take change until an ambulance arrives if and when an incident occurs.
  8. Manage Stress - Recognize the signs of significant stress and adapt workloads accordingly. Encourage open dialogue amongst staff members and consider rewarding your employees with perks when the going gets tough, like letting them work from home on Fridays.
  9. Rest - Sleep reflects team performance. Just like you, your employees need time to unplug, relax and sleep soundly. Don't expect employees to respond to emails past dinnertime or on weekends unless an arrangement is made in advance.

Photo Copyright: Khakimullin Aleksandr