You spend a large portion of your life at work. So, it’s only fair that this part of your life should be enjoyable. Bad office environments have their clichés – buzzy yellow lighting and an angry boss. No one stays long at a workplace like this, and if they do, it isn’t healthy for them. But there’s a bit more to creating a good work environment than just changing some lightbulbs. So, how do you maintain a healthy diverse workplace? Let’s take a look at this:
Why maintain a healthy and diverse workplace environment?
You probably already have an idea of why it’s important to keep your business environment healthy, but let’s have a look at a few of the advantages anyway.
Among the numerous advantages of a healthy workplace, you’ll notice a lower turnover rate, a boost in productivity, and improved staff morale. Why do all of these magical things happen? Well, when a person spends their time in a positive environment at work, this positivity shapes how they feel about wellness in a number of ways. A workplace with good work culture and a healthy, welcoming environment just makes the people who work there feel good. You feel energized and safe when you enter a healthy, diverse work environment, as well as when you leave it. Also, you have more energy when you go home and you have a better mood overall. You aren’t worried about being judged.
What does a diverse and healthy workplace environment look like?
Simply put, a healthy diverse workplace is a workplace where management works together with employees to draw attention to healthy behaviors and actions that keep everyone healthy and safe. In a healthy environment, there are opportunities for open discussions, as well as good professional relationships with one another. Everyone feels comfortable and can complete their work easily. They know they have something unique to contribute and don’t worry about doing so.
Of course, there are several factors that make a work environment healthy. One obvious one right now, for example, is cleanliness – a socially-distanced workspace that is well-sanitized and has air filters and screens. However, there’s still more to a healthy work environment than this.
When a workplace is healthy, employees feel both mentally and physically healthy, while also still excelling at their work projects and feeling fulfilled. Workers are productive, but they feel supported too. It’s not hard to see how all this leads to increased harmony, less illness and workplace stress, decreased absenteeism, and better retention – meaning you’ll soon have the team of your dreams! The increased diversity will lead to unexpected and creative viewpoints.
How can I create a healthy diverse workplace environment?
A healthy workplace environment looks different to everyone. Everyone is an individual, and everyone has different needs. Nonetheless, there is some advice we think applies to everyone.
- To make your workplace more healthy, one good thing you can do is extend your employees some flexibility. Sure, it’s important to meet certain deadlines, and when you’re on the clock, you need to meet a certain amount of productivity. But when you trust your workers to manage their own time, they’ll feel like their boss trusts them and understands them. Let your workers have as many breaks as they need, allow them to relax in the workplace, and they’ll return the favor to you by getting the job done well.
- Another good thing to implement is a no-gossip policy. It can be tempting to talk about how much paper a colleague uses, or how many bathroom breaks another co-worker takes. But honesty and openness are key to a healthy workspace! If you have any problems or concerns, it’s best to vent your feelings in a neutral manner. To prevent gossip, you could set up a suggestion box or have casual weekly team meetings where people can talk about whatever they want. This should improve mental health and build team collaboration.
- One other big thing you can do to improve the physical and mental health of your workplace team is to implement a dedicated wellness program. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to a workplace health program. But, whether you swap recipes through email, go for a team jog, have a workplace yoga session every Friday, or invest in healthy workplace snacks, you can be sure a workplace wellness program will make your team feel valued and ready to take on those workplace challenges.
What else can I do to create a good workplace environment?
You don’t need to invest in ultra-ergonomic electric desks, Alexa mood lighting, or hire a feng shui specialist to make your workspace a pleasant area. Some basic changes can make your office a great place to be.
1. Make things green!
When you bring the outdoors in, there are several advantages. Not only do plants function as a kind of air filter – imperative as we come out of lockdown – but they also have mood-boosting benefits. Some succulents dotted around the place can look nice and are easy to look after! Or, if you ever have an insect problem, a venus flytrap has an undeniable cool factor. Some flowers, even, will boost everyone’s mood with their wonderful scents and colors. And it’s always nice to take a break and tend to plants.
2. Encourage employees to take breaks
Speaking of breaks, research shows that allowing your employees to take a short break is actually far more beneficial for productivity than forcing them to work strictly on through their brain fog. Getting away from the screen for a second actually allows you to deal with a problem better than if you hadn’t. So, allow a mindless wander or two!
3. Keep things organized and accessible
We get it – it’s easy to keep everything stacked up in a towering pile on your desk. It’s fine as long as you can find it, right? But when you keep paperwork properly organized, it’s easier for everyone else to find things too. For your colleagues and employees, this helps them feel valued. And, of course, it’s less frustrating and more productive all around!
You may still need physical copies of some things, but scanning the important documents will allow everyone to view them, even if they are working from home or cannot access that area of the building. Scanning may even allow some documents to be read out if you use OCR.