Katie Jacobs, May 30, 2014
Most employees spend the vast majority of their time in the workplace – but the wrong kind of environment could be damaging their health.
Sitting still in the office for long periods of time has even been dubbed the “new smoking” (in Harvard Business Review) in terms of its negative effects on the body.
Monica Parker, head of workplace consultancy at workplace design company Morgan Lovell, says thinking about office environment is crucial for business success. “People spend more waking hours at work than anywhere else,” she says. “They might focus on their health outside the office, but it’s more important that we look at those eight to 12 hours in work. It’s critical not just for the individual, but the business.”
Here are Parker’s tips for keeping employees healthy in the workplace:#
Don’t just park behind the desk all day. Encourage movement. Even things like removing personal printers to force people to walk to a shared one will help.
Introduce places for staff to have meetings standing up. Remove chairs or install higher tables.
Encourage stair use as much as possible.
Set aside a quiet room for reflection. Make sure people know it’s a tech-free zone and that employees don’t feel as if they are skiving if they use it.