Dec 01 2012
Health and safety laws and guidelines lay down many requirements for the workplace, and few are as important as the comfort of the working environment. Staff at office-based businesses typically spend between a third and a half of each working day in the office, which makes it a very important location regarding their health and well-being. It is long accepted that comfortable workers are happy workers – and most importantly from the enterprise’s point of view, they are productive workers. Healthy workers are also less prone to sickness and absenteeism, further boosting their contributions to the business. For this reason alone, if you want to succeed in business, it really pays to create a really good office with the perfect atmosphere. Here are five of the healthy office essentials:
* Ergonomic furniture. When choosing how to furnish an office, avoid simply going for the cheapest option unseen. Cheap and cheesy office furniture not only has a short working life, thus making it a false economy, but chairs that encourage poor posture bring with them a host of health problems that will keep your staff away from their desks. This can be avoided by investing in ergonomically correct chairs, with adjustable seats and arms, plus a head rest. Workers should not have to strain to reach the keyboard with their arms or the floor with their feet.
* Lighting. The more natural light that your office sees, the happier the workforce and the more productivity – according to many occupational health studies. Even artificial lighting doesn’t have to be sickly, thanks to replacing old fluorescent tubes with full-spectrum upgrades. These help reduce eye strain, stress and boost the mood.
* Heating. A chilly office is a miserable office. If you have air conditioning, set it to a sensible level in hot weather and when temperatures drop outside, keep the office cosy with a decent heating system. If installing an entire system is prohibitively expensive, then heater hire is the perfect solution, offering flexibility and the need to only pay heating bills when the weather demands it!
* Air quality. Poor air quality lies at the heart of much “sick building syndrome”, with dusty or “dead” air making offices stuffy and the staff prone to infection and respiratory complaints. Room ionizers are very cost effective at keeping air fresher, especially when used with decent ventilation.
* Breakout areas. Regular breaks are an investment in your staff’s future productivity. Even a workaholic requires two breaks a day to maintain peak performance, and a change of scenery helps a lot, whether it’s a recreation area indoors or, where the building permits it, a veranda or patio with some greenery and fresh outdoor air.