10 Ways to Make Your Workspace Healthier
June 5, 2017
The benefits of a healthier workspace are hard to beat: improved productivity, a cleaner, energy-conserving environment, increased comfort and a gentler impact on the world, for starters. Making your workspace healthier doesn’t have to be hard. From proper lighting and clean water to fresh air, non-toxic materials and open setups, here are 10 ways to make your workspace healthier.
- Light it Up.
One of the easiest ways to make your workspace healthier — and safer — is to provide proper lighting. The healthiest modern-day offices let in loads of natural light, often using automated shading systems. When it comes to artificial light, various control systems can mimic the sun’s natural transition to optimize conditions. Advances in sensors, connectivity and the Internet of Things have also made lighting even more responsive and intuitive.
- Shhhh... Speak Up!
Like proper lighting, sound can play a big role in setting a healthy tone for the workplace. Too loud — in a conference room, for example — can be distracting. Too soft and no one’s hearing anything helpful. Automate sound controls wherever possible and assess the workspace for noise that could be dampened.
- Clear the Air.
Office buildings and other workspaces can be full of stagnant, unhealthy air. If operable windows aren’t an option, confirm that HVAC systems are functioning — and filtering — properly. Programmable, automatic HVAC controls are a convenient way to make sure everything is functioning as efficiently as it should be.
- Keep it Clean.
From paint and carpeting to furnishings, cleaning agents and a range of other products, workplaces can be filled with products that release chemicals or volatile organic compounds. Minimize such products in the workspace, and when it comes time to upgrade flooring, wall coverings or furniture, research low VOC options.
- Water Works.
Access to clean water goes without saying, but old pipes, sub-par water systems and other issues can get in the way of truly clean water. If you’re at all suspect, install filters or use a delivery service.
- Go Green.
More research is showing that working in green buildings — those that are certified by organizations like the U.S. Green Building Council (LEED)— can have health and productivity benefits. If full certification is beyond reach, consider adopting some of the measures that the certifying organizations look for, like improved indoor air quality and thermal, visual and acoustic comfort, as a place to start.
- Reduce, Reuse.
Big-picture wise, it almost always makes sense to reduce, reuse and recycle, not to mention sourcing materials from recycled or sustainable resources. Doing so helps cut down on environmental impacts, which in the long run benefits everyone. An easy start: offer employees a competitive way to reduce workplace waste.
- Open It Up.
The trend these days is all about openness: natural light, exposed ceilings and collaborative workspace. Depending on the type of work, open office settings have been shown to foster creativity and increase productivity while in some cases easing stress and promoting camaraderie.
- Get Comfortable.
Nothing like a stiff old office chair, uneven desk or an off-kilter screen to wreak havoc on posture. Proper office furniture is a must when it comes to healthy workspaces, as it is in the common areas of any building or facility. Next steps include building a better working environment, starting with the power points.
- Out-perform. High performance buildings have revolutionized the workplace in recent years. With the right approach, buildings can be taken to another level of performance, one that improves energy conservation, safety, sustainability, comfort and productivity. Find out more about high performance buildings and move forward.