Guest blog by occupational health business partner at Elite Executives, Samantha Murray.
Business owners and managers are increasingly under pressure to create a happy, productive and supportive environment for their team to work in.
To celebrate World Wellbeing Week (24-30 June), occupational health business partner at Elite Executives, Samantha Murray, shares her tips on how organisations can implement some simple changes to improve the office atmosphere…
Although the recognition of mental health as a workplace issue has increased in recent years, many people are still left in the dark when it comes to wellbeing. This could be due to colleagues not differentiating their symptoms with day-to-day stress, or not feeling confident enough to speak out due to the stigma.
Simply educating your staff and speaking openly about it, can alter the culture of the business to be one that encourages people to be honest and able to talk about what they’re experiencing.
- Eating habits
It’s true when they say ‘you are what you eat’. A recent article published by the NHS suggests that consuming more fruit and vegetables improves wellbeing. It’s impossible to control what your colleagues eat, but providing a full fruit bowl on a weekly basis can quickly encourage people to think about healthier food choices.
- Office environment
If your office is dull and dark, this will also be how your team will feel when coming to work. It can sometimes feel impossible to brighten up your space without undertaking an extensive refurbishment, but some simple changes can create a completely new atmosphere.
For example, if you have the area, introduce a ‘quiet zone’ for people to use if they need to concentrate, or want a moment to reflect. Plants are also an effective, and cost-sensitive way to improve the indoor air quality and create a fresher space to work in. In addition, modifying the lighting throughout the office can not only produce a brighter environment, but also benefit those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
- Flexible working
Introducing a new way for staff to complete their daily tasks isn’t a straight-forward task – and for some firms it may prove difficult – but this can help towards a work/life balance, to help improving wellbeing.
It can also aid with productivity and efficiencies in a business, as your team can also operate from different locations, on a remote basis, at hours which best suit them.
Launching a peer scheme where colleagues can work together to improve their own mental health, is an effective way to encourage collaboration and reflection. Regularly offering reward – not simply materialistic, but verbal recognition that is authentic and honest – to your team, will further boost morale and make a person feel valued.