How to create a healthy workplace

Roughly, people who work an average of 40-45 hours per week, spend about 30% of their lifetime working. Did you know that a typical employee will spend an average of 2 years of their life in work meetings? According to the article “What percent of your life is spent at work” on www.answers.com an average person’s lifespan of 75 years will look like this:

Thus the ordinary worker will spend 11 years of their life working. People regarded as overachievers or in managerial roles and entrepreneurs, who work more than the normal 40 hours a week, will spend nearly 20% or 15 years working. Remember these are calculated as full years of purely doing only work, no breaks, sleep, or meal times etc.

Because of the above, it is important for employers to realize that they have a role to play in the health and growth of every employee. Because more than 30% of an employee’s life is spent at the office it should be a place that enhances health and is a space where the employee can flourish. As employees’ ad to the growth of the business, so should the business ad to the development of the employees to create a win-win situation.

Here are some tips companies can use to create a healthier work environment:

· Laughter is the best medicine

Did you know that the early 1950’s generation laughed more than we do today? Yes, according to a poll done by a company called Ocean Village in the USA, the average laughing time decreased from 18 minutes then to only 6 minutes a day today. On reference.com it states that the average 4-year-old laughs approximately 300 times per day, while a typical 40-year-old only laughs about four times a day.

So why don’t we laugh so often anymore? Generally, it is perceived that the working world and professionalism go hand-in-hand with a straight, earnest attitude and atmosphere. Life becomes more stressful every day. With all the deadlines and schedules there are simply not enough hours in one day to get everything done.

However, to promote laughter in the office is good for business. It endorses a relaxed and productive atmosphere, and it creates comfortable platforms for good communication. We are not saying that you should clown around the entire time in an unproductive way. We are merely suggesting to bring in a sense of humor at the office to stimulate creativity; mental health and help employees keep things in perspective.

· Upskilling on emotional health

Sometimes companies tend to overlook this valuable tool. Upskilling and motivation will boost the emotional health of your employees. Health is not only a physical thing but also a mental and emotional state of being. If you give your employees the tools and skills to help manage their own stresses, time management, conflict, anger issues etc. you will motivate them to build their self-esteem. This will result in them becoming more emotionally intelligent to function well, grow and excel within your organization.

Many companies send their staff on public training courses on certain soft skill subjects to help advance their skills to cope with daily challenges. Other businesses appoint a training partner to come into their workplace and motivate or educate their staff on-site. Either or, The Mindspa Institute offers both skilling opportunities. Visit www.themindspa.co.za for more information.

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