After months of working from home, businesses are welcoming teams back. If you are an employer, you have a duty to protect your employees and prioritize health and wellbeing. In this guide, we’ll discuss some steps you can take to create a healthier, safer, happier workplace.
Health and safety
Health and safety regulations are designed to lower the risk of injuries and accidents and protect employees and customers. If you run a business, you are legally obliged to follow guidelines and ensure that workplaces are fully compliant. Carry out regular risk assessments, ensure that incidents are reported, address concerns and complaints promptly and encourage your employees to adopt measures to reduce the risk of work-related injuries. Use signs to alert teams to hazards, communicate with your employees to ensure that they are aware of dangers, for example, damaged flooring or faulty machinery, and provide training.
Stress is one of the most common causes of work-related illness and employee absence. There are myriad possible causes of stress, but in the workplace, time management can be a contributing factor. If employees feel like they are working overtime all the time, they don’t have time to complete tasks, or there is no opportunity to take a break during the day, this can impact productivity and morale. Be realistic when setting targets, don’t expect too much from your team and encourage them to manage their schedules. Try to be flexible, share workloads fairly and communicate with your team. Working long hours can hamper productivity, especially if employees feel stressed or overwhelmed.
Air quality and ventilation are firmly on the agenda at the moment, with business owners looking for effective ways to run offices and workplaces safely and reduce Covid-19 risks. If you have a small office space, you never open the windows, or you have questions like ‘what is a HEPA filter?’ now is the time to take steps to enhance air quality and improve ventilation. Open your windows, look into using filters to purify the air and encourage your team to get out and enjoy the fresh air during the day. Taking regular breaks, being outside and breathing in pure, clean air can help to reduce the risk of illness and infection and boost wellbeing.
Promoting health and wellbeing
Every employer can do their bit to promote health and encourage employees to make positive lifestyle choices. Measures such as providing healthy foods in office canteens and vending machines, offering discounts for sports and leisure facilities, and running initiatives to increase activity levels and improve mental wellbeing can all help. Liaise with your employees to identify potential additions to employee benefits packages and communicate with them to address common work-related health concerns.
The average employee spends around 36 hours per week at work. Health should be a priority for everyone, but it can be difficult to put your health first if your workplace harbors risks. As an employer, try to be proactive in protecting your team and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of injuries and physical and mental health problems.