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Ways To Create A Supportive Workspace For Team Well-Being And Success

John Graham CEO, Lumaflex.

The business world is fast-paced, and every keystroke and meeting contributes to the daily grind. It’s a reality that we devote a significant chunk of our day—eight hours or more—sitting at our desks.

In fact, a study in the medical journal JAMA reveals that one in four U.S. adults sits for more than eight hours daily. This extensive desk time has given rise to the prevalent issue of workplace-related pain. I believe that as leaders, it is our responsibility to ensure the well-being of our teams and find ways to mitigate this issue.

We have all experienced discomfort following lengthy Zoom meetings or the pain in our hands from clicking the mouse repeatedly. These issues, rooted in the sedentary nature of desk jobs, give rise to problems like back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, casting a shadow on employee productivity, satisfaction and overall well-being. As leaders, how can we foster a workplace prioritizing our teams’ well-being? Here are insights that might be helpful to you.

Ergonomic Workspace Design

Designing the workspace plays a crucial role in preventing physical discomfort. Investing in ergonomic furniture and equipment can provide employees with a comfortable and supportive environment. This proactive approach not only minimizes the risk of back pain and musculoskeletal problems but also demonstrates a commitment to creating a workspace that prioritizes the team’s physical health.

Biophilic Design

Incorporating natural elements into the workplace environment, also known as biophilic design, does more than enhance the aesthetics. Including greenery, exposure to natural light and indoor plants can create a calming atmosphere that positively impacts moods and reduces stress. This design approach acknowledges the profound connection between the environment and well-being, creating a healthier and more inspiring workspace.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)

Employee assistance programs (EAPs) are confidential and invaluable resources for addressing personal or work-related challenges. By offering counseling services and mental health support, EAPs can create a safety net for employees facing difficulties. Knowing that support is available helps foster a culture that prioritizes mental health and seeks to remove stigmas around seeking help. I believe that EAPs are critical in promoting employee well-being and creating a more supportive workplace environment.

Mindfulness And Relaxation Spaces

Creating designated areas within the workplace for mindfulness and relaxation can offer employees a sanctuary to recharge. These areas may include a quiet room, comfortable seating with calming decor or access to meditation apps. By providing these spaces, employees can take a break from the demands of the workday and find moments of respite, which can contribute to their mental well-being and increase their productivity.

Better Lighting And Access To Red Light Therapy

Consider the ways that better lighting can affect employees in an office space. Specifically, you can consider offering access to red light therapy as part of your wellness program. (Full disclosure: This is a product my company sells.) This non-invasive treatment, backed by promising research, has effectively promoted muscle recovery and reduced inflammation. Providing this option can add a novel dimension to your well-being initiatives, giving employees a cutting-edge tool for physical healing.

Team Building Activities

Building a solid team is essential for creating a positive and supportive work environment. Team-building activities such as outdoor adventures, workshops or volunteering together can strengthen the bonds among team members and promote a sense of camaraderie that extends beyond daily work tasks. A closely connected team is more resilient and better equipped to navigate challenges that arise in the workplace.

Beyond these methods, various strategies can be adopted to underscore your teams’ well-being. Flexible seating arrangements, providing art and creativity spaces and other approaches can contribute to a workplace where employees thrive.

By implementing these strategies, organizations promote a professional environment that prioritizes holistic health and underscores their commitment to creating a supportive and nurturing space for employees. This transformation shapes a workplace where well-being is not just a consideration but a fundamental aspect of the organizational ethos—driving success and fulfillment.

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