Benefits of a Healthy Workplace

Believe it or not, work is good for us. Whether you are paid, or unpaid working is good for our health and wellbeing. Being in work keeps us busy and challenges us to better ourselves, with this comes a sense of self pride and personal achievement when tasks are completed. Work also forces us to socialise, build contacts and support people who need you and visa-versa. Working also provides us with the financial means to explore our interests outside of the workplace.

Being in work also benefits our physical and mental health. Working gives structure to our lives. It forces us to have a consistent diet by reducing snacking and often makes us have a better sleeping pattern. These factors lead to employees having better immune system, recovering from illness faster and being at less risk of long term illness or incapacity.

A healthy workforce also benefits the employer, which is why employers should do as much as possible to make their workplace as healthy and organised as possible. The most obvious benefit of having a healthy workforce for employers is that a healthier workforce means less absences and thus a more efficient overall operation. Healthy workers are also less likely to want to find a new job at another company, after all why would a healthy and happy worker want to move? Employee retention is extremely important in the UK now due to the skills shortage, so employers are doing everything they can to hold on to employees.

There are several other significant benefits of a healthy workforce. By encouraging and promoting a healthy workforce, you can improve productivity, morale and employee engagement. When employees feel that their employers are taking care of them they are more willing to work harder. This results in more efficient employees who work faster and more accurately, which can reduce costs as you will have to pay them less overtime. Workers having to take less overtime also means that they have more time to do the things they want which will mean that they are overall more satisfied with their current position.

So how can you make sure you have a healthy relationship with work?

Sleep deprivation has been shown to cause depression, anxiety, stress and obviously fatigue. A minimum of seven hours of sleep is required to be healthy, this goes for all age ranges. Many people believe that just one hour less a night is not going to affect you. Although you may not be noticeably sleepier during the day even losing one hour of sleep can affect your ability to think properly and respond quickly. It also compromises your cardiovascular health, energy balance and your ability to fight infections. Some of us may try to sleep more at the weekend to make up for lost time during the week. However, this is ineffective as it will not completely make up for the lack of sleep and furthermore may disrupt you sleeping pattern making it harder to get up on Monday morning.

According to behavioural scientist Dan Ariely our most productive hours are in the morning. The two hours after we become fully awake are our most productive hours. This time can be extended however by eating and drinking properly. Breakfast is widely known as “the most important meal of the day” and while that fact may be up to debate it is still vital for peak performance throughout the day. If you are reaching for your cereal of choice for the moment or some bread for toast you may not be making the best choice. Instead you may want to go for some eggs. Eggs keep you fuller for longer, they assist weight loss, are a fantastic source of protein, relatively inexpensive, don’t make your cholesterol worse, help with brain development and memory and protect your eyesight. Hydration is also key in the morning, although a cup of coffee may seem tempting water can be just as effective at jumpstarting your body. If you are not properly hydrated bodily processes do not work as efficiently. Being hydrated can also stave off your hunger as your body may mistake your thirst for hunger and prevent snacking during the day. Staying hydrated also help to prevent you from getting sick by allowing your immune system to function properly.

If you would like to take a further look at some of the points touched on in this article below are the in depth sources :

Productivity throughout the day : https://newrepublic.com/article/120267/behavioral-scientist-your-most-productive-hours-are-morning
Why eggs are a better breakfast : http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/7-reasons-you-should-eat-eggs-for-breakfast.html
Water in the morning : https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/03/14/why-you-should-drink-water-first-thing-every-day/99123938/

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