As an employer or manager, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your employees are looked after at work. It’s not just for their benefit – healthy and happy employees are more productive and more loyal. By taking steps to care for your employees’ physical and mental wellbeing, you are creating a nurturing and caring working environment that will allow them to be at their best.
Life outside of work can sometimes be stressful and difficult, and you need to remember that your employees will have things to sort out during their normal nine-to-five working hours. Kids, problems with plumbing, dentist’s and doctor’s appointments and more can come up and play havoc with your employees’ schedules. If you force your employees to work their nine-to-five hours no matter what, then you will end up with stressed employees who will not be working at their best.
Thanks to the internet and smartphones, remote working is now a great option for businesses. If an employee needs to pick up the kids from school a couple of days a week, then let them do it and finish the work they need to do at home. If an employee’s shower goes awry, then let them work from home while the plumber fixes it. Showing that you understand that they can’t always do the nine to five will reduce their stress levels and allow them to work to their full potential.
Office temperature and air quality
There is a battle taking place across the offices of America, between men and women, over the air conditioning. Women generally feel the cold more than men and so want the temperature higher than men do. As a manager, it is your job to make sure that your workers are happy in their conditions, so try to work out a compromise between your employees – perhaps women can have the temperature higher but men just wear fewer layers?
Air quality is another important thing to think about. Stuffy offices create tired and unmotivated workers. A study found that workers were more productive when their air quality was improved. Open windows when it’s not too cold and make sure that your ventilation system works well when it‘s cold outside. Another good option is to get some indoor plants for your office – they will take in carbon dioxide and output oxygen to improve the air quality.
No employer wants their employees to get sick because sick workers either can’t work or will not be able to work as well. That’s why medical check-ups are such an important thing to offer as an employer. It will put their minds at ease when they get the all-clear and also help catch things early, making them less serious.
There are several ways to get your employees checked for various conditions. They can go to clinics or use online services to get a lipid panel or lipid profile test to check the blood for cholesterol levels. Blood tells us so much about the body’s condition and these tests are a great way of looking after the health of your employees.
American workers are becoming more overweight and unhealthy. 40% of Americans are classed as obese – this is an epidemic. Looking after your workers also includes doing your best to keep them active during their time at work. You could provide discounted gym membership, introduce an exercise hour at work, or even bring in walking meetings. Exercise is essential to staying healthy, and it also provides a bit of a buzz for productivity.
Be open about mental health
The global economy loses an estimated $1tn every single year from depression and anxiety-related problems. As a manager, you have to think about your employees’ mental and emotional wellbeing, as well as their physical health. If you have an open and accepting attitude to mental health issues, then you will create a more understanding atmosphere for employees who suffer from any conditions like that. Make it clear to employees that they can come to you and tell you that they are suffering from a mental health condition.
Another factor contributing towards the obesity epidemic is our diets. It’s important that, while your employees are in the office, you provide healthy snacks to eat, such as fruit and nuts. You can’t control what they eat all of the time, but you can encourage healthy eating while they are at work.