5 Ways Facilities Managers Can Help Foster A Healthy & Happy Workplace

by James McDonald on December 29, 2014

With kids, work and other family and community obligations, life can quickly get very hectic. You might find yourself running ragged from dawn until dusk, trying to keep up with it all. In the meantime, your health is being compromised as ‘life’ increasingly gets in the way. The time needed to exercise, eat right, and even mentally rejuvenate can become scarce, or even non-existent.

Such is true for many professionals, including busy facilities managers. The office can often be a source of stress and workload burdens, especially when so much time is spent in these environments each week. Boosting health, happiness and morale in the office is typically up to the facilities manager, yet this job is becoming increasingly more challenging with the constant evolution of the work environment. While managing an office was less complicated decades ago, these days the task is much more challenging.

workplace-happiness-health-profitable-businessFortunately, there are simple ways to help improve the well-being and happiness levels of employees, all while staying motivated at work.

Here are 5 ways to help foster a workplace that encourages health and happiness.

1.  Promote Good Health

Not only is poor health damaging to employees, it can also hurt a business’ bottom line. Companies pay a heavy cost as a result of stress-related illnesses, including hypertension, gastrointestinal issues, and even substance abuse. With chronic stress giving way to negative effects like fatigue, weight gain, and a weaker immune system, employers and managers need to look to ways to help reduce these stress levels and boost the overall health of their employees.

To help improve the health of employees and encourage lifestyle changes, start with having a kitchen in the office that’s equipped with a fridge and microwave. This gives employees the opportunity to prepare healthier meals rather than depending on take-out everyday. Encourage frequent breaks throughout the day to get some fresh air and get a small amount of exercise to keep the body limber and the mind clear. Start a health-related competition, where employees are offered support and motivation is fostered to help accomplish goals.

2.  Encourage Social Interaction

One of the keys to happiness and health is socialization and interaction with others. Interacting with peers can help elevate the mood, even for those who tend to be more introverted. Facilities managers should look for ways to encourage these social relations. Workstations should be arranged so that employees can see and speak with each other, which helps foster communication. Cubicles with high walls tend to have a negative influence on employee’s level of happiness in the office, since they increase isolation.

Socialization does not have to be limited to office hours. Encourage outside socialization such as volunteer programs and community service to give employees an opportunity to develop relationships outside of the office, while promoting the company in a positive light at the same time.

3.  Sweeten Up the Atmosphere

Sometimes the smallest changes can have the biggest impact on the ambiance and aura in a space, including the office. Factors such as lighting, decor and even paint colors can play a key role in the satisfaction level of employees.

People are much more inclined to enjoy their stay in an environment that boasts pleasant lighting, stylish decor and aesthetically pleasing paint colors compared to a place that’s equipped with harsh lighting, outdated decor and colors that are offensive to the eye. Interior designers make a good living based on this fact alone.

4.  Rethink Office Furniture

The type of furniture in the workplace needs to be well thought-out. Rethinking office furniture in and of itself is important for FMs to consider. Employees depend on mobile technology, so having furniture that facilitates this mobility is helpful. As employees are no longer tied to their desks, having furniture that is lightweight, portable and easily reconfigured can help meet employees’ needs.

facilities_management_software_can_help_streamlineOutfitting a space in the workplace that’s dedicated to some downtime can help improve employee wellness. These areas can be equipped with comfortable furniture, such as recliners and lounge chairs where employees can take a much-needed break to help recharge.

5.  Revamp Office Space

A huge challenge for facilities managers is the optimal way to use space that will not only meet the demands of an evolving workforce, but is comfortable for employees. With more and more employees being increasingly mobile and telecommuting, creating a more flexible workspace is necessary to accommodate everyone. Creating multi-functional arrangements will be needed for those who are in and out of the office. An open space needs to be strategically planned to help create a variety of environments, from private work spaces to larger, more open work spaces for interaction and brainstorming.

To make things much simpler for the facilities manager, there are tools available, such as iOffice’s facilities management software. This FM software offers an effective and affordable array of applications that can be tailored to meet any company’s workplace needs. Visit iOfficecorp.com to find out how this tool can help you manage the modern workplace effectively.


James McDonald

James McDonald is a sports enthusiast, brother in Christ and once swam in a tank with the infamous TV sharks.

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