Healthy Workplace

Seven Tips for Creating a Healthy Work Environment

4 min read
Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland

A healthy work environment means much more than ensuring you have wholesome snacks in the kitchen (although every little helps!). 

For a workplace to be a truly healthy place for employees, it must also take care of mental and general wellbeing. 

What does a healthy work environment look like?  

A healthy work environment is one where your whole team feels supported, comfortable and safe. It comes from a workplace focused on safety and wellbeing, creating a positive experience for all employees.  

It’s also a place that celebrates innovation and individuality, encourages teamwork and provides employees with the flexibility and autonomy they need to reach their personal goals. Leaders will be transparent about the decisions that are made and recognise their employees who live out the company values each day. 

Why a healthy work environment is important

The security and stability offered by a healthy work environment have some profound benefits. Employees have higher morale, greater levels of job satisfaction and higher engagement levels when they are turning up to a positive workplace. 

A healthy work environment can:

Reduce burnout

Employee burnout can be a huge issue when workplaces fail to focus on their staff’s health and wellbeing. According to a report from the Global Wellness Summit, 70% of workers have experienced burnout in the past year, which suggests that companies have a long way to go. 

Encourage high performance

When employees know their physical and mental wellbeing is looked after at work, it’s much easier for them to concentrate on doing their best work. A healthy work environment is essential if you want to build high-performing teams

Reduce absenteeism 

A healthy workplace can contribute to better employee health and wellbeing, and help reduce the number of sick days. 

If you’re wondering just how big a problem that can be, a recent HSE report found that stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 17.0 million days lost due to work-related ill health in 2021/22. 

Seven ways to build a healthy work environment

Here are a few of our favourite ways to create a healthier working environment for the whole team. 

1. Good communication

Poor communication can be a massive drain on everyone’s time, morale and wellbeing. By ensuring that you have clear and well-established lines of communication from the top and between peers, you can reduce burnout and unnecessary stress, all of which contribute to a healthier and happier working environment. 

2. Giving employees a voice

Another crucial part of creating a healthy workplace is ensuring that communication channels go both ways and that your employees know they can speak up and be heard. 

Make space for everyone’s voice in meetings, over communication tools and in one-to-one meetings – and make the most of the shared information. Showing that suggestions and opinions will be heard and acted on will encourage more sharing and greater feelings of trust and openness.  

3. Showing appreciation 

Letting your employees know their achievements and hard work are appreciated is a powerful way to create a healthier workplace. A rewards and recognition strategy that shines a spotlight on the things that employees are doing well – whether that’s hitting business targets, meeting their career development milestones or simply calling out their particular strength. 

If you’re struggling with ways to express the positive reinforcement you want to share, then check out our suggestions for saying thank you to your colleagues.  

4. Offering support 

You can’t stop stressful situations from arising, issues or illnesses, but you can make sure that you’re there to help. Employees who know they can turn to an empathetic leader for support are more likely to be able to share their problems and look for potential solutions – or ways to relieve pressure before reaching a crisis point. 

5. Recognising and combatting bias

We all have biases, many of them without realising, and even unconscious biases can greatly impact the health and happiness of a workplace. When you’re accidentally creating a situation where only one kind of voice is being heard, you’re eroding your company’s resilience. 

Look for ways to combat your biases, such as giving people a way to anonymously raise points, enrolling managers in D&I training, and creating a robust diversity and inclusion strategy that lets you ensure your workplace is inclusive and equitable. 

6. Setting clear goals

Knowing what is expected can help employees feel happier and more secure. When you set clear goals and objectives, staff don’t have to worry about not getting things right or stressing about trying to reach impossible targets. 

Discussing and establishing goals is also very useful for increasing employee empowerment, which is also great for boosting performance and employee satisfaction. 

7. Promote a healthy work-life balance

It’s one thing to tell people to look after their health, but it’s another to show them how. Embrace flexible working and allow your employees’ needs and working styles to guide their hours. Your employees will thank you for it – after all, Gitnux reports that 72% of employees say a good work-life balance is very important to them.

Once you clarify that you can accommodate (and want to accommodate) different working practices that can improve the day-to-day experience, employees can create a work experience that suits them. And a healthier workplace is sure to follow. 

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Mo is an employee recognition and engagement platform that can help leaders improve collaboration and morale, reduce employee churn and drive change. 

Our platform creates a vibrant culture by developing team habits, encouraging people to celebrate success, recognise results and appreciate colleagues.

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