Five Ways to Keep Your Employees Healthy and Productive

You may not think that you're the reason your employees keep getting sick, but you just may be. If you aren't ensuring that your office is a healthy place to work, you could very well be the one to blame for the persistent use of sick time among your employees. If you run a business, keeping your office healthy is easier than you think. Here are five steps that you can take immediately:

1. Air Filters

Staff desks
According to the EPA, air quality is the number one health problem in our environment. In fact, 6 out of 10 buildings are considered "sick." By installing air filtration systems throughout your office, you can improve the air quality dramatically. There are air purifiers small enough to fit on desks and those large enough to filter your entire building; which you choose is up to you and your bank account.

2. Furniture

When you chose furniture for your office, did you make sure that it was ergonomically correct? If you expect your employees to sit at their desks all day, you need to ensure that they have comfortable furniture to sit in. If you didn't take this into consideration when you furnished your office, don't worry: You don't need to spend thousands of dollars replacing what you've already purchased. You can add ergonomic pillows to chairs, wrist supports to keyboards and adjust the height of your tables and desks.

3. Plants

dentist office plantsAdding plants to your office works in two ways: emotionally and physically. Studies have shown that employees are more productive when surrounded by living things. Additionally, plants absorb pollutants from the air and turn them into harmless substances. If you are looking for easy-to-care-for plants for your work space, consider ivy. These plants are low-maintenance air cleaners, perfectly sized for small spaces. Ferns and lilies are also fantastic choices for natural air purification; speak to your local grower about other options.

4. Lighting

Spending hours upon hours under fluorescent lighting can lead to headaches, eyestrain and fatigue. Replace your light bulbs with those that emit full-spectrum lighting. This type of lighting not only mimics sunlight, but helps to reduce stress, slow the aging process within the retinas reduces glare and reduces fatigue. Replacing light bulbs is relatively inexpensive for the returns you'll realize. Light bulbs can be purchased from any home improvement store.

5. Cleaning

Provide each employee with a tube of sanitizing wipes for their desk. You can also give each employee a bottle of hand sanitizer to keep nearby. You'll be surprised how often your employees will clean their own spaces when they are given the supplies with which to complete the task. Encourage your employees to wipe down their workspaces at least once each day; more if they share space with another employee.

While you can't cure serious diseases and illnesses with these tips, you can help to prevent the common cold from wreaking havoc in your office. By following the advice above, you'll help to ensure that your employees are healthy and productive. After all, the more productive your employees, the bigger your profit.

Writer Eva Martin installed an IQAir Healthpro Plus air purifier for the long days she works indoors. The Whynter portable air conditioner is on the purchase list for this summer.

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