As an employer, you have a responsibility to keep your employees happy and healthy whilst at work. This is because your employees will spend the majority of their days at work, so it’s important that in the place they’re spending most of their time, they feel at ease, content and have good habits that won’t impact negatively on their health.
Following the return to work after the pandemic, there is even more of a push on how employers can assist their employees with their physical and mental health in the workplace. If you’re looking to better support your employees, here are some tips.
Physical Health Support
For a lot of people, the office is where they indulge in their most unhealthy habits. Whether it’s drinking five cups of tea with sugar in each, or constantly grazing on junk food snacks throughout the day, office workers can be among the unhealthiest. On top of this, sitting down at a desk and being sedentary only exasperates the problem.
To help encourage healthier habits for your employees, why not offer up alternatives such as sweeteners for hot drinks and put a fruit bowl in place of chocolate bars? Try and incorporate more healthy snacks such as granola bars and yoghurts, too.
A big part of being healthy comes from eating proper meals and taking regular breaks, so make sure you’re encouraging your staff to take their lunch breaks (and all of it, not just five or 10 minutes), and ensure they have routine screen breaks also. This will allow them to briefly recharge and refuel whilst easing the strain on their eyes, too.
Once you’ve tackled the eating and break situations, make sure you’re providing ergonomic support for your employees whilst they’re at their desks. Many of your employees might have been working from home during the pandemic and will be used to their own office chairs. It’s important you provide them with equally as supportive chairs in order to promote good posture, reduce backache and improve overall comfort.
Mental Health Support
It’s not just your employee’s physical health that you need to consider, you also need to look closely at how you can support them mentally. The pandemic will likely have taken a toll on your employees, and it’s highly possible that they will take a small while to settle back into the swing of normal working life.
Be prepared for increased rates of anxiety amongst your employees, especially pandemic parents who will be apart from their children for the first time in over a year.
Ways you can support mental health post-pandemic are similar to how you would have done pre-pandemic, save for the need for more leniency and understanding. Things you can do include offering flexible working hours so that employees who are nervous about returning can ease themselves back into it, as well as providing your employees with the work/life balance they’ve likely become accustomed to.
As an employer, you should always promote an approachable environment for your team. This means having an open door policy in terms of mental health and always making the time to listen to your employees when they come to you with concerns. Many employers feel unprepared to deal with mental health in the workplace, so it’s important to invest in training or to have the information of referral services at your fingertips.
By taking the above points on board and providing an environment whereby employees have healthy options, the right physical support, a positive work environment and the option to speak should they feel it necessary is imperative to promoting a healthy and happy workplace where your staff feel supported and content.