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10 Tips to Create a Happier, Healthier Workplace

27 December 2021

With yet another tremendous year coming to an end, it may be the right time to set your new year's resolution. New Year is the perfect time to flip a new page in your work life- it's a new beginning, new adventure, a new chapter in your life story. For most people, New Year resolutions often involve lofty aspirations, better life, fitness goals, relationship goals, travel plans, and many more.

However, the majority of office workers fail to include creating a happier and healthier workplace as part of their New Year resolutions. The importance of a happier and healthier workplace cannot be overlooked. You spend a great deal of time at work; therefore, it's crucial to make your workplace a happy, productive, and healthy environment. Millennial jobs come with a great deal of pressure, sedentary behavior, and unhealthy habits, which can take a toll on your health. It’s enough to invoke misery despite the six-figure salaries.

A happier, healthier workplace will promote a healthy work-life balance, minimize stress in the workplace and enhance productivity. Research shows that happy workers are 13% more productive. However, only 54% of employees are happy at work, and you shouldn’t be among the unhappy lot this coming year. Make 2022 highly productive with these ten intentional New Year’s resolutions that are guaranteed to make your workplace happier and healthier.

Here are a few New Year’s resolutions to get you started:

Develop an upbeat routine to start the day

Develop an upbeat routine to start the day

The way you begin your day affects how the rest of your day will fare. As such, it's essential to start your day on a high note and with a positive mindset. Set the mood for a productive day by waking up early, setting and reviewing particular goals you'll want to achieve that day. You could also start the day by working out, enjoying some java, meditating, or listening to your favorite playlist, and ultimately tackling the day earlier than you’re used to. This routine will set the mood for a productive day.

By developing a positive morning routine to start the day, you'll undoubtedly become happier, healthy, and more productive at work. You'll know exactly what to do at particular times and be better placed to handle the stress that comes with work.

Kana Bamboo Standing Desk

Bring Nature into Your Office

You can create a happier and healthier workspace by integrating nature into your workspace. Adding one or two office plants to your workspace creates a feeling of relaxation and creativity for better work performance.

Scientists at the University of Exeter established that office plants enhanced wellbeing by 47%, increased creativity by 45%, and enhanced productivity by 38%. What's more, office plants improve air quality and enhance humidity in the office space enabling office workers to stay relaxed and comfortable.

There are a variety of indoor plants ideal for your office. They include:

Peace Lily- As the name implies, Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) offers a great ambiance making it a suitable houseplant for the office. The plant features beautiful white flowers and green leaves that will brighten your office. It's great at purifying the air in a room and does well in medium to low light.
Snake Plant- The snake plant is one of the most common office plants, thanks to its visually stunning appearance with low maintenance. It requires very little light and water plus can withstand low temperatures. It's also great at air purification and produces oxygen at night.
Gerbera Daisies- The gerbera daisies produce beautiful, brightly colored flowers that can liven up your office space, lifting your distressed mood. While they require a bit of attention, they are gorgeous and fantastic at purifying the air.

Decorate your Desk

Decorating your office desk as per your liking can make you feel more relaxed and significantly reduce the stress and pressure of work. Several scientific studies have shown that personalizing your office space comes with psychological benefits enabling you to be more comfortable at work while keeping up with stress and distractions.

Therefore, this coming year, personalize your desk and office space by maybe putting a framed picture of your favorite person(s) on the desk or hanging photos of yourself, your family, or friends on your cubicle wall. In essence, personalizing your office environment makes you feel relaxed and comfortable working, making your office life healthier and happier.

Let in More Natural Light to Your Office

Studies have shown that exposure to natural light significantly enhances energy, creativity, and productivity. Researchers at Northwestern University in Chicago established that office workers exposed to natural light during the day had better sleep and quality of life compared to their counterparts with reduced natural light exposure at the office. As a result, employees exposed to natural light are more focused, productive, and generally happy.

While you may not have control over natural lighting in the office, there are several things you can do to increase your exposure to natural light. For instance, you can move your office desk next to a window. You can also head out to have a snack in the nearby café or pick a phone call outside to enjoy the natural light from the sun. If you don’t have the luxury of the above options, you can set up daylight lamps or bulbs that imitate natural sunlight and avert depression and fatigue.

Keep Your Office Clean and Fresh

Keep Your Office Clean and Fresh

Whether you're working from a corporate office or a home office, it's crucial to keep your space clean and fresh. Besides, maintain a minimalist desk organization by avoiding clutter. Mess and disorganization amplify stress and anxiety, making you less productive. You will feel more relaxed, creative, and productive working in a pleasant, attractive, comfortable office space.

With this in mind, you'll want to start the New Year by clearing off the mess in your office and keeping your desk clutter-free. Take a minute or two every day to organize and clean your office space disposing of things you don't need. This way, you'll become more productive, creative and feel less anxious when working.

Consider Eating Healthy and Staying Hydrated

Consider Eating Healthy and Staying Hydrated

Creating a healthier and happier workplace starts with caring for your body by eating healthy and staying hydrated. Healthy eating is a prerequisite for your well-being, productivity, and overall health. Healthy eating habits keep you in good shape, enabling you to keep your blood sugar level, blood pressure, and weight optimum. Healthy nutritional choices allow you to minimize the risks of lifestyle diseases, including obesity, diabetes, and cancer, which are synonymous with sedentary lifestyles.

Essentially, eating healthy and staying hydrated enables you to be happy and productive at work. With this in mind, in the coming year, ensure that you eat nutritious breakfast, snack, lunch, and dinner without forgetting to drink at least six glasses of water a day. Preferably, seek the services of a licensed nutritionist to develop an ideal meal plan that will keep you healthy and hydrated.

Use Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a technique that involves using plant oils, essential oils, and other natural substances for physical and psychological well-being. Using aromatherapy can significantly help you reduce the mental, emotional and physical stress associated with demanding office life. Natural substances such as plant oils and essential oils have calming properties enabling you to reduce stress and anxiety while working.

There is a broad spectrum of scents you can use to enhance your mood and productivity at work. Popular office relaxing scents to increase focus and productivity include cinnamon, geranium, lavender, rosemary oil, and lemon.

However, when using aromatherapy, you'll want to consider other workers, especially if you're working from a shared office space. The natural scents may be pleasing to you but irritating to your co-workers, causing severe allergic reactions or constant headaches. Aromatherapy is best used in enclosed, private office spaces or home offices.

Repaint your Office With Brighter Colors

For your home office or if your employer gives you control over your office space, you can get creative with the interior décor using bright colors. Recent studies have shown a substantial connection between colors, mood, and productivity. Researchers from the University of Texas established that white, gray, and beige painted offices generate feelings of sadness and depression, especially in women. Men were found to be sad and stressed in orange and purple-painted workplaces.

Several colors can significantly change our moods and enhance productivity. For instance, red has been found to improve focus and performance in tasks requiring attention to detail, yellow is perfect in boosting creativity and optimism, while blue and green are calming, enhancing focus and efficiency. Green is particularly great for prolonged working as it doesn't cause eye fatigue and enables one to remain calm and productive.

Big and Tall Reclining Executive Office Chair with Footrest 290

Get an Ergonomic Office Chair

If you haven’t switched to an ergonomic office chair, your New Year’s resolution should be to get one. The average office worker seats an average of 8 hours per day. With such prolonged sitting time, sitting on an uncomfortable chair can place a great deal of pressure and strain on the body leading to several severe health complications, including diabetes, heart disease, and deep vein thrombosis(DVT).

While most people think that body pains and aches after a long day sitting at their desk is normal, sitting on the wrong chair or having a poorly set up desk is often the main culprit. Ergonomic chairs come in handy to alleviate the effects of prolonged sitting by providing proper sitting support to reduce the stress placed on your body and enhance overall sitting comfort.

Ergonomic chairs are no longer a luxury but a necessity for overall health and well-being in today’s office environment. These chairs offer plenty of benefits, including maintaining proper posture by providing excellent lumbar support, enhancing the level of comfort, reducing muscle stress and promoting blood flow, improving workspace efficiency, and generally promoting health and wellbeing.

By supporting your body (whatever the type), helping you focus, encouraging better posture, and enabling you to concentrate at work, ergonomic chairs foster a greater sense of physical and emotional ease-you'll be happier and healthier using an ergonomic chair at the office. Therefore, they are a must-have this coming year. FlexiSpot offers a wide range of ergonomic chairs based on your specific needs, material preferences, budget, and more. 

Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series

Get Active at Work- Consider Using a Standing Desk

Staying glued to your office chair for more than 8 hours a day makes you susceptible to depression and burnout. Researchers from the University of Leicester established that employees who sit for long hours are at a greater risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease and ultimately dying early compared to employees who are constantly moving.

With this in mind, you'll want to get moving in the course of your workday to alleviate the severe health effects of lengthened sitting and also enhance your mental state. One way of avoiding extended seating, quickly gaining popularity in office spaces, is standing desks, also referred to as sit-stand desks. These desks allow you to intermittently switch between sitting and standing throughout the workday to prevent the effects of prolonged sitting. Standing desks have also been found to boost energy levels and mood, alleviating feelings of stress and fatigue.

A highly recommended standing desk is the Adjustable Standing Desk Pro Series from FlexiSpot. This impressive sit-stand desk guarantees you a happier and healthier workplace. The desk has a highly customizable frame with a dual-motor lifting system that provides fast and stable height adjustments even at the highest setting. The powerful dual motors facilitate a maximum lifting speed of 1.5"/second under the full capacity of 275 lbs. via a simple touch of a button. Besides, it's steady, quiet, quick, and comes with a plethora of high-end features, including a highly customizable frame, advanced control panel, and anti-collision function.

Tips for Management and Employees to Guarantee a More Productive 2022

Create a Positive Work Culture.

Create a Positive Work Culture.

Positive work culture is key to a happy and healthy workplace. Encourage your team to be friendly and supportive of one another, and cultivate a workplace where people feel comfortable being themselves. This type of environment will help reduce stress levels and promote productivity.

Promote Healthy Habits.

Encourage your team to adopt healthy habits by providing wellness programs, healthy snacks, and deskercise breaks. Promote physical activity by setting up a walking club or adding a treadmill desk to your office.

Encourage Open Dialogue About Mental Health Issues.

Rather than being afraid of the topic of mental health, encourage open conversations among both managers and team members so they can learn how to support one another when needed.

Offer Flexible Work Arrangements.

Offer Flexible Work Arrangements.

Offer flexible scheduling and telecommuting options so employees can manage their time effectively and reduce stress levels. Encourage self-care by allowing intermittent breaks throughout the day, such as walks outside, meditation sessions, and healthy snacks at different times of the day. Ensure that managers understand how important it is that they support these programs for them to be effective.

Create ‘Balance’ in Your Workplace Culture.

Create an atmosphere where people feel like they can achieve a balance between professional and personal commitments without judgment from coworkers or supervisors (or themselves!). Invite speakers, host events, or create discussion topics around work-life balance so that people can openly share their thoughts and struggles.

Celebrate your Accomplishments!

Take some time to celebrate your team’s accomplishments together! Whether it’s a happy hour, potluck, or team-building activity, these types of celebrations will help build camaraderie and encourage employees to continue working hard.

Resolve to Take Breaks.

Resolve to Take Breaks.

It can be tempting to power through your workday without taking any breaks, especially if you have a busy schedule. However, taking regular intervals is one of the easiest ways to reduce stress and improve your attitude. Just a five-minute break can be enough to give you the boost that you need!

Resolve to get Involved in Company Activities.

Many offices offer a variety of social events throughout the year, such as holiday parties and summer picnics, but not everyone takes part in these activities. If your office has any coming up this year, make it a point to get involved! Participating in company events will help you become more connected with your co-workers personally—and isn’t that what friends are for?

Resolve to Stay Positive.

No matter what challenges come your way, always try to stay positive. Positivity is contagious, and it can help improve workplace morale. When things get tough, take a step back and remind yourself why you love your job—the people you work with, the challenging tasks you’re given, the company culture. Everything that makes your job unique is worth fighting for!

Closing Words

You spend most of your time at work or working. Don't allow yourself to be unhappy and look miserable during those long working hours. Regardless of how stressful or demanding your work may be, you can still be healthy and happy at work. Creating a happier and healthier workspace doesn't have to be complicated or costly. It all calls for the small changes discussed above. Remember, you can only be productive if you're physically and mentally healthy, happy, and focused on work. As you write down your New Year's resolution, remember to consider making your workplace happier and healthier in the coming year.