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5 Ways to Make the Office Safer and Healthier for Employees

22 November 2022

Many of us spend most of the time at work, so it shouldn't surprise you that your workplace can significantly impact your health and wellbeing. Are you someone with a desk job? Does your job allow you to make healthy lifestyle choices in terms of diet and physical activity? Do you feel that you are overworked or stressed? Is your productivity negatively impacted, or do you experience a lack of motivation?

When you are experiencing problems with your physical or mental health due to your work environment or requirements, you as an individual may need to take some action. However, there are some measures that need to be taken at an organizational level. Because only when the organization takes measures to make the office safer and healthier for employees, there is a significant increase in the revenue and businesses' competitive edge.

Moreover, it also aids in reducing costs associated with missed work days, sick leaves, and medical costs.

Traditional work environments tend to take a toll on your physical and mental health. And the risk has multiplied amidst the pandemic. The COVID-19 disease, which was extremely contagious and required employees to stay at home for extended periods, has caused a huge loss to businesses. Research suggests that missed employee workdays contribute to as much as $7 billion loss for businesses each year.

However, as businesses and organizations reopen and emphasize more on practicing a healthy lifestyle for enhanced employee wellbeing, it is possible to achieve healthy office living. In what follows, we look at five ways to make the office safer and healthier for employees, not just following the pandemic but for years to come. Check out these five artful ways to make your office safer and healthier for employees.

1. Bring in the Outdoors

Most of you would already know that plants have an exceptional quality of purifying the air. When there are plants around, they could help produce cleaner air by removing harmful compounds in the air so the surrounding air can be healthier to breathe. In the early 1980's NASA started studying plants in space stations and found out that several different plants were able to remove harmful and toxic compounds from the air in the space station. So if houseplants can improve the air quality inside the space station, why can't they be a part of your workspace.

Several different types of indoor plants have been shown to purify the air in different ways. Some of the easy-to-maintain and powerful air-purifying plants include

  • Spider plant,
  • Devil's ivy,
  • Peace lily, and
  • Chinese evergreen.

These plants will not only improve the air quality but will also add some color and vibrance to your workspace, which can also contribute to boosting the creativity and productivity of the employees.

2. Investing in the Right Office Furniture

Perhaps the most significant way to make the office safer and healthier for employees is to invest in the right office furniture. Ergonomic office furniture can facilitate the employees as they spend long hours sitting at their workstations. Investing in ergonomic office furniture ensures that the employees maintain a correct posture that can significantly reduce their risk of posture-related health concerns, including neck pain and back ache. While back pain may not seem like a serious health concern, it is one of the most common posture-related health concerns that contribute to a loss to businesses of $225.8 billion annually.

Moreover, prolonged sitting may lead to several other health concerns, including reduced blood circulation, congestive heart diseases, obesity, and Type II diabetes. Therefore, businesses must take every possible measure to invest in the right office furniture.

Some office equipment businesses need to take care of and invest heavily in include the following.

Ergonomic Office Chair

Investing in ergonomic office chairs makes a viable choice for businesses as they support posture so employees can work conveniently and comfortably. Moreover, ergonomic office chairs also help with back pain and neck pain, contributing positively to employee productivity. Furthermore, ergonomic office chairs facilitate in improving blood circulation and aid in relieving hip pressure which eventually contributes to enhanced worker productivity.

Height Adjustable Standing Desk/Standing Desk Converters

Another area of investment to make your office safer and healthier for employees is the investment in height-adjustable standing desks. This ergonomic office equipment provides comfortable working space to the employees and enhances their work environment as it allows employees to switch between standing and sitting and vice versa with ease and convenience.

By investing in height adjustable standing desks, you can facilitate your employees and help them maintain a better posture and create a much more comfortable working environment.

However, if you are unable to switch from conventional workstations to height adjustable standing desks at an organizational level, you can invest in a less pricey alternative to standing desks which is a standing desk converter.

A standing desk converter allows you to get the benefits of a height-adjustable standing desk without actually investing in one. It simply adds to your existing workstation while allowing you the convenience to alternate between standing and sitting and vice versa to maintain posture and work comfortably throughout the day.

You may find several different standing desk converters on the market, but one of the most reliable ones comes from Flexispot; the AlcoveRiser Standing Desk Converters M7B – 28. The standing desk converter offers ease and convenience and allows you to adjust the desk height that perfectly suits your needs. Find out more about the AlcoveRiser Standing Desk Converters M7B – 28 here.

Ergonomically-Designed Office Accessories

Apart from the desks and ergonomic office chairs, organizations also need to invest in the most appropriate ergonomic office accessories like monitor mounts, appropriate lighting and storage accessories. Flexispot offers several ergonomically designed office accessories that can facilitate employees and make your organization a safer and healthier place to work for your employees.

3. Improve the Air Quality

While adding plants to your office space is one of the ways to enhance the air quality of your workspace, you may also need to take some serious measures to enhance the indoor air quality. After all, according to statistics, around 800,000 people die annually due to poor air quality in their workplaces. Some of the most common indoor air pollutants include smoke particles and dandruff, which can contribute to airborne illnesses.

Therefore, it is important to heavily invest in equipment and accessories that ensure that your office building has sufficient and effective ventilation. It is important that your organization invests in high-efficiency air filters and germicidal ultraviolet lights. Moreover, it is also important that your organization follows the CDC recommendation about high-efficiency air purification systems with effective filters that can capture particles up to the size of .01 – .03 micron. Furthermore, it is also important that you place these highly effective filters throughout the workspace to ensure the best quality air filtration throughout the organization.

4. Enhance Access to Natural Light

According to research, exposure to natural light at the workplace can significantly reduce the risk of health concerns, including eye strain, headaches, and blurred vision. Moreover, exposure to natural light at the workplace also reduces the risk of mental health concerns, including anxiety and depression.

If you are looking forward to making your office safer and more healthy for employees, you must take measures to enhance access to natural light. If your organization doesn't have enough windows or areas that provide access to natural light, you can also try incorporating lighting at different locations to get healthier lighting and similar health benefits.

5. Choose the Right Materials

As we look at the ways to make the office safer and healthier for employees, let's not forget that different materials have different capacities for attracting and absorbing viruses and germs. Therefore, organizations must choose the right materials for commonly used surfaces that are non-porous as non-porous materials such as quartz and steel are easier to clean. Moreover, they are also more noticeable when dirty. A few other materials, such as silver and copper, also possess natural properties that can aid in destroying microorganisms.

If your organization is investing in new and safer office fixtures following the pandemic, make sure you take into account the choice of material to make your office space safer and healthier for employees.

Final Words

With work dynamics constantly evolving, it is important to make the office safer and healthier for employees, especially in a post-pandemic world. While it is significant to focus on your work, it is equally important to focus on employees' health and well-being as they are the greatest resource that any business possesses.