5 Workplace health tips from Nordcloud
As COVID-19 continues to effect our working environment, lots of businesses have expanded their work from home policies. Many of us are being encouraged to self quarantine, avoid gathering places and to improve hygiene, but even when the pandemic is over, how can we all strive to improve the health of our teams in the coming weeks?
1: Improve work-life balance
Making sure you have sufficient time to wind down after a stressful day or week is not only important to reduce stress for your mental wellbeing, it will also improve your immune system! When you get stressed your body releases a surge of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol. Being stressed often or for long periods of time increases risk for heart complications, weight and sleep issues as well as a reduced efficiency of your immune system.
Encouraging physical activities in and outside of your workplace can improve productivity, reduce sick days, and boost individual development. For example, in our Stockholm office we have a table tennis table which has greatly boosted physical activity amongst our coworkers (when we’re not working from home!).
2: Clean your desk and equipment
As COVID-19 has been spreading worldwide we have all gotten more information about how to improve our hygiene. In case you missed it the basic steps are:
- Clean your hands with soap and water often
- Cough into your arm or a tissue and throw away the tissue immediately
- Avoid touching unclean surfaces (doorknobs, subway gates etc)
- Avoid touching your face
- Work from home if you can
These are all important to remember, but what about our workplace? Do you have a colleague who only cleans his or her coffee cups every Friday? Keeping empty cans on their desk? Seldom cleans their keyboard?
These are all places where germs propagate. With the latest studies suggesting that the Coronavirus can live on hard surfaces such as metal, glass and plastic for as long as nine days, when did you last clean your laptop?
3: Keep some plants and keep them well!
Studies have shown that indoor plants not only boost your mood and productivity. They also help clean the air indoors and reduce stress. By cleaning the air and reducing stress we go back to points one and two, less stress and cleaner air has large health benefits. We keep a couple of plants in the office and have roof windows to increase sunlight.
Having employees responsible for their own small desk plant also gives a couple of minutes of therapeutic stress release for the individual every day, much cheaper than a therapist could be!
4: Encourage healthy eating habits
Here at Nordcloud we have our headquarters and many of our offices in the Nordics. During the colder half of the year, due to reduced sunshine we often get vitamin D deficiencies. Other vitamin deficiencies also make themselves known during this time as the common cold spreads faster and we have decreased immune responses when it does show up. We battle this by keeping fresh fruit and a jar or two of vitamins in our office which is an easy way to boost vitamin levels.
5: Take care of your mental health
We touched upon the subject of mental health in points one and three. The year is now 2020 and the subject of mental health has been destigmatized and brought to light. Mental health is today just as important as physical health yet is not widely understood everywhere. Promoting training and awareness in the subject has a lot of benefits not only for the employees productivity and creativity, improved mental health in the workplace has shown to improve physical health and work culture as well.
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