There are a lot of businesses that put the bottom line first. That’s understandable. However, there are those few that put it so far ahead of considering the people within the business that it’s distressing. Not only does it make it a terrible environment for however many employees are there. It also creates a bad reputation for everyone else who runs a business. Perhaps you consider yourself an entirely different kind of business owner. Perhaps you’re focused just as much on the employees and the impact you make on the world. Fighting to become a more conscientious business owner is a great undertaking. It’s good for morale inside the business. It’s good for your brand and public profile. It also makes you more able to leave a positive impact on the world.
Make a health conscious workplace
The office doesn’t always have a lot of opportunities for people to contribute to their health and well-being. But you can make it easier for people in your office to stay health conscious and even get a bit more fitness. For one, encourage that your employees take on roles that get them away from their desk. Being stuck sitting down all day has a lot of negative effects on health, after all. You can also help them with their diet by providing healthy alternatives. There are a lot of catering companies who specialise in just that. Similarly, if you have vending machines, try filling them with rice snacks and dried fruit instead of chocolate and crisps.
Make it accessible
If you really want to be more conscientious, you should be pro-active and more than willing to make the office more accessible. There are already certain provisions that you’re required to make by law. These include the installation of disabled friendly bathrooms. Don’t let that stop you from going any further, however. You can use public access platform lifts and furniture on different levels. These can make it easier to mobility impaired people to visit and work at your office. An accessible office can provide a good workplace for your disabled employees. It can also break barriers that might otherwise be limiting their productivity of the roles they could potentially take on. If you don’t know what changes you could make next, try consulting those members of your workforce in a friendly and open manner.
Watch for slips, trips and falls
You also need to look closely at how safe you keep your employees. Most employers will already be concerned about this because of the potential suits. But there’s the very life of your staff to consider. Slips, trips and falls are, after all, the second highest cause of accidental death. They’re caused by things being left where they shouldn’t. By leaving floors slippery or otherwise messy. Plan ahead and create housekeeping duties. These can be part of the roles that get your staff out of their chairs. Create a sense of office responsibility toward having floors and steps clear of obstructions. After all, it’s their health, they will want to protect it.
Another legal requirement that you should take fully seriously is having regular fire drills. All too often, when it comes to the event of a fire, people panic. They forget what they learned months ago. That’s why you need to take the time to do the drills properly. Have maps on the walls that outline the evacuation routes. Learn them to heart yourself. Make sure everyone has a good look at them well before a drill begins. Perhaps as part of the ongoing induction or a group briefing. Form a committee of team leaders who have the responsibility over a certain group in the staff. When you’re conducting the drill, you need to be calm but authoritative.
Fix the lighting
Beyond accidents and disasters in the workplace, there are a few particularly common causes of illness or pain. One of them is due to the substandard lighting that can be found in many offices. Of course, poor lighting can lead to the accidents mentioned above. But they can also lead to problems in everyday life. Poor lighting mixed with long computer usage are the two main components of eye strain. Eye strain can lead to nausea, pain and migraine. No-one wants their staff to be suffering quite that much for the sake of their work. Fluorescent lights are also bad for productivity. The environment has a huge effect on how productive we are. Filling it with lights that give a low dull hum and a low dull light will not be good for the office morale.
Another of those all too common aches and pains affecting workers comes from how they spend their day sitting. Giving them plenty of time out of their chairs and away from their desks is one way to lighten the load on them. Your choice of furniture also makes a big change. Learn how to position things ergonomically. This means chairs and tables that give plenty of room for feet to plant firmly on the floor. Chairs that support the back instead of having employees support themselves or slouch. Positioning the computer and even the keyboard levels also play a huge effect. The kind of strain that office spaces create can not only make them uncomfortable. They can cause lifelong pain.
One of the biggest causes of concern in the workplace is stress. Stress isn’t just unpleasant and bad for getting work done. It can be fatal. It has links to heart disease and blood pressure, not to mention the overall danger of mental health problems. Tackle stress by taking more time to actually interact with your employees. Give them time on other tasks if their current jobs are stressing them out. Show support and a commitment to their development and well-being. Try to be more flexible with them as well. For example, if they can do their work as a remote worker, consider offering them the opportunity. Remote workers aren’t as drastically different a step as you might imagine.