Time to Stand Up Office workers!

This week it's time to talk about how we can make improvements to your office fitout and everyone's health in a very simple way.

These days thankfully, we're meeting owners and managers who are wanting to achieve a healthy workplace.
It mostly comes up in our initial discussions about their office renovation or new office fitout.

Their motivation is to promote good physical, mental, social and economic practices for all their  staff.
They are looking for a commercial office space which offers a stimulating and secure working environment.
Because a healthy workplace is good for business.
There's heaps of evidence to show that when companies make healthy changes, productivity rises and staff are happier.

Sitting down for most of the day at work doesn't expend much energy and when coupled with a trip to get there in a bus, train or car, followed by relaxing in the evening on the couch in front of TV, then we're heading for trouble in the health department.
It's simple to do a mental check about your workplace.

Here's some questions to help establish if your office fitout is up to scratch:

Is your office fitout all about standard height workstations, desks and chairs?
Are there many opportunities to get off the chair and take a walk either within your building or outside in the fresh air?
Do staff have an opportunity to source or prepare healthy food nearby or on the premises?
Are there any exercise sessions offered before, during or after the working day?
Are there any visual cues around the office to remind people to look after their health?

If you're answering negatively to most of these, then we have some answers:

It's time to get workers moving..........
Think about creating a space in your fitout for people to get off their chairs, where stand up working activities can take place.
How about a stand up short meeting area or laptop benches set aside for mobile working?
Elevate the work top to incorporate standing height.
Higher benches and workstations are much better for circulation and posture.
They take up no more space than a standard desk but help to get workers up and moving.

Create "pathways" within the office space so that workers can walk around with ease whilst not disturbing others.
A circulation space can turn into a walking track by a simple change to the floor.
It's easily incorporated into a fitout by mixing either the types of flooring or the colour or pattern of flooring.

Kitchen facilities in your office fitout should these days, allow for people to prepare their lunch themselves.
Forget the tiny sink with a handkerchief sized bench and a microwave on a shelf.
The modern commercial office should provide at least a decent sized kitchen with a full sized fridge, a cooktop, microwave, and plenty of bench space.
In order to be healthy, workers need to be able to bring their own ingredients to make a meal. Get rid of all vending machines and the jelly bean jar!

Provide a general space which can either be reserved for or converted to an exercise space.
Mobile partitions or furnishings can help to do that.
Think of yoga, pilates, dance or various other classes that can be held there.
Simple equipment like floor mats can be stored in cabinets to be brought out for the sessions.

Graphics on feature walls, motivational images or text can be used to advantage to promote a healthy workplace.
It's called "environmental branding".
Some images or text can even be changeable like the "10 week challenge" with  staff team members' progress highlighted.
Engage the staff in activities which foster good, healthy competition.

So, it's time to put health at the top of your workplace fitout list.
We're all reluctant to change our behaviour, but when directed in the right way in a stimulating environment, it's a much, much easier road.

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