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Our top tips on creating a healthy working environment

By Rob Muddiman, Healthcare Manager at TPP Not for Profit

Our salary surveys indicate that many employees look at other benefits other than salary when moving roles. Everyone wants their staff to be engaged and happy and every organisation can promote a healthy working environment, regardless of financial benefits. Not only does it keep staff healthy, it can improve productivity, morale and reduce absenteeism. Here we give our top tips on creating a healthy working environment for your staff. 

It may be beneficial if you are a large organisation, to conduct a staff survey to find out personal motivations of staff before implementing a plan.

Encourage staff to move

We all know the benefits of exercise and physical activity; it can help increase attention, speed and decrease stress and anxiety. 

To encourage staff to get active offer opportunities, such as a cycle scheme, encouraging them to go for walks and have lunch away from their desk.

Offering flexible working hours can enable staff to exercise before and after work. It is important to have Team Managers on board when implementing, in order to encourage others to get moving and lead by example.

Support healthy eating

A well-balanced diet helps us to stay healthy and perform well at work.  We are all more likely to change our habits if we are aware of the benefits. Conduct a questionnaire on what staff want and tailor a plan around this.

If you offer food or drink in the office, such as through vending machines or a canteen, ensure there are healthy options available at all times, such as water or fruit delivered to the office for people to eat as a healthy alternative.

Promote well-being

Employees want a positive working environment, which promotes their wellbeing and reduces stress. This could include their workload; ensuring they are able to manage the amount of work they have, having a clearly defined role, that they know what they are responsible for and ensuring good relationships between them and their managers.

Natural light, appropriate temperatures and good ventilation all help create a good working environment.

Create a clean workspace

Generally people work better when less cluttered, ensure staff have the work space they need, with monitors at the correct height and a supportive comfortable chair. Employees should be able to adjust their own chairs, monitor (brightness/font size). This should be checked when you carry out workstation assessments.

Encourage hot desking, can promote de-cluttering of workspaces and bring people together that may not normally work with one another. This can encourage new ideas; ways of working and help people feel more positive.

Quit smoking

For many, smoking is part of routine and habit, such as a smoking break mid-morning. Find out who smokes and who wants to stop through a questionnaire.

Holding an event in the office can get people on board and the support from one another can help people to quit. More information can be found on the British Heart Foundation website to help implement a successful campaign.

​You could consider a wellbeing day for your organisation, inviting a company in to undertake lifestyle questionnaires with your staff and give advice on nutrition, physical exercise and general wellbeing advice.

Further information and advice for managers on creating a healthy work environment can be found on the following websites:

British Heart Foundation
National Institute for Health & Care Excellence