Gone are the days when coming to the office with a cold simply warranted a few skeptical glances—these days, staying healthy is on everyone’s minds. You’ve always cared about the well-being of the people who work in your office, but now it’s more important than ever to put their health and safety at the top of your priority list.
Read on to learn four useful strategies to keep your office healthy.
#1: Work Remotely as Needed
One of the most effective ways to prevent any colds or flus from circulating the office is by encouraging everyone to stay home when they need to. Make it a company policy to work from home (or take the day off) if you’re feeling even a little under the weather. Pushing through illness to meet a tight deadline or to attend a big meeting is never worth putting others at risk.
The good news is, most people are already equipped to work from home. Although they might not enjoy going back to Zoom meetings and sticking to the confines of their home office, it’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to staying healthy.
#2: Stock Up on Safety Essentials
Last spring, you would have had a hard time finding the tools you need to keep your office healthy. Thankfully, everything from toilet paper to cleaning products is back on the shelves. Stock your office with germ-fighting essentials like:
- Bulk hand sanitizer (you’ll be surprised at how quickly your office will go through this)
- Disinfecting wipes
- Disposable masks
- Antibacterial soap (don’t forget to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds!)
- Plastic partitions to section off workspaces
Making these items readily available to everyone in the office is only half the battle. You also need to actively encourage (or even require) your employees to use them. Distributing “desk kits” that contain all the essentials will help keep everyone germ-free.
#3: Mental Health Matters
Now that you know how to keep your office safe and sanitary, the next step is to focus on the mental aspects of health and wellness. Working in an office can be stressful, and stress is linked to most negative health issues. To keep your employees functioning at their best, take a look at the following ideas:
- Provide coverage for mental health services – If you can, provide your employees with health insurance that covers mental health services. Many mental healthcare providers are now offering their services virtually, meaning getting help is more accessible than ever. It’s also important to make your employees feel comfortable blocking off an hour every week to attend their appointments.
- Set realistic expectations – We know establishing a healthy work-life balance is tricky, but it’s up to you to set the precedent. If you expect your employees to stay at the office until 10:00 p.m. every night, you can also expect them to feel overwhelmed, stressed out, and off their game.
- Consult an EAP – It’s estimated that one in five Americans lives with a mental illness. A great way to connect your employees to the mental health services they need is by working with an employee assistance provider—or EAP. These are professionals who work with companies to offer assistance with mental health issues in a judgement-free, objective capacity.
#4 Diet and Exercise Make a Difference
We’re not saying you should abandon “Bagel Fridays” or your weekly office happy hour (which are both great for mental health!), but we are saying you should encourage your employees to eat right and exercise. It doesn’t take much to make your office more health conscious. Take a look at how it’s done:
- Swap out sugary soda for flavored seltzer water (grapefruit LaCroix is always a hit)
- Install standing desks
- Include fruits and vegetables at catered lunches
- Encourage friendly competition with fitness challenges
- Stock the pantry with healthy granola bars and other snacks
A Healthy Office is a Happy Office
Fostering a healthy work environment is one of the best things you can do to show your employees you care. Not only is it good for everyone’s mental and physical well-being, but it will also help your teams become more productive and collaborative. So stay safe, stay healthy, and keep working as hard as you do!