What do you think makes a healthy workplace? Are there things at your workplace that you think are good or bad for your general health?
If you are an employer, what steps do you take to create a healthy workplace for your employees?
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Perhaps companies making available fruit bowls for staff snacks alongside the water coolers they provide...
Or buy own fruit with own cushy salary from said company?
Ban sweets and cakes in office provide freezer in kitchen , better recycling , better cooking facilittyes , standing desks , Better secure cycle parking - why doesn't city hall have bike racks outside it ? More open spaces with light area not dark and cramped
1) Standing desks no good for older/disabled workers
2) Better recycling = good idea, but doesn't affect healthy food choice
3) Ban on sweets & cakes? I love it! I got fired for saying no to manager's cakes & chocolate
4) Need light to eat fruit?
Sorry. My bad. Thought we were only discussing food! Too hot to think...
Thanks for your suggestions in this discussion.
How do mealtimes look at your workplace? Do you bring in your own lunch, make use of the staff canteen or somewhere else?
How do you ensure you're eating healthily at work, if at all?
What things influence the food choices you make at work?
When I did work, our canteen had salad in 3 sizes of cup = good. Canteen choice influences you if you're going to canteen. Not so great if you work for Deliveroo..."Hm. Food to eat? McD's?...Costa?..." At least Costa sell fruit now.
Noise pollution - this damages health. How many London workers have to spend the day with horrendous levels of noise pollution, often from outside the workplace. Buskers, pedicabs with sound systems, heavy traffic, etc. This is largely ignored, but it is serious problem.
There should be better availability of healthy meal deal options at local supermarkets. Currently, none of the salads are available on meal deal which is disappointing. We often have less time to bring lunches from home, so supermarkets should have healthier options available that don't cost a fortune.
You don't have time to bring a lunch from home, but you have time to go to the supermarket?
Free fruit would be a bonus, discounted exercise classes, mental health support/advice would be extremely vital to creating a healthy workplace.
Free everything is a bonus! How about free fruit, veg, milk, gym membership, swimming...?
What about the idea that you get paid a salary and then you use your salary to pay your way, like the rest of us? Or has that idea gone out of fashion now?
I used to work for a large company that included subsidised gym membership as part of its health insurance scheme - brilliant!!
I'm not saying that companies need to pay for everything, but this is a good example of a company giving a lever incentive (more exercise=fewer insurance claims/lower premiums), so its employees have access to a gym. London gyms are crazy expensive, costing £70 upwards!
- natural light
- lunch breaks
- quiet spaces for calls, reading, thinking!
- decent equipment (chairs, monitors etc)
- decent area to eat
- filtered water, good coffee, fruit
Especially lunch breaks. Many bosses expect you to work through your statutory lunch break.
Work in civil service- my dept relies on catering contractors. Chocolate and cakes by till in cafe. The canteen is supposed to display calories but doesn’t. Very expensive and no fresh options. Portions massive and fixed price (around £8) - no option for less. 2 for 3 deals on chocolate. Long hours so no one takes breaks which is the nature of the beast but means no competition (everyone eats from caterers at desk). Gained 2 stone in first year! No (nice) freshly cut fruit etc which would happily pay for. Sandwich fillings from a tin. Junk.
There seems to be a move towards stopping, making it difficult or unpleasant for employees from 'getting together' - especially in public sector jobs - on the basis that they won't complain and/or discuss issues. A staffroom is the basis of a healthy and happy workplace away from clients and workspace. These employees are often the most demoralised staff in jobs which have high turnover. Well-being has to be the most important aspect of anyone's health at work and is ignored by most on the basis that the client has greater needs and is what the service is all about. When will those in authroity understand that without the qualified, experienced and supported staff the service is on a slippery slope to failure not matter how much the chief executive earns!
I am rather surprised that none of the comments so far has referred to the potential effects of the workplace environment on mental as opposed to physical health. Yet workplace bullying has a major impact on mental health (https://www.bullying.co.uk/bullying-at-work/). Several years ago, when I was working for a London Borough, the Director of Education turned to me at the start of a meeting and said "You can ****ing shut up to start with." We can have as many bowls of free fruit as we want, but we will never have healthy workplaces if those at the top feel it is OK to speak to and treat others in this sort of way.
You're right. I was thinking of more tangible examples, but mental health awareness needs to be a top-priority for management.
We are facing an epidemy of stress, anxiety, back pain and depression in London. It's a time bomb that will leave many families affected.
Why is it that no one gets paid overtime here? This type of attitude from companies only makes long hours the norm. And what is the problem with putting family and health first? We need a change of mindset in this country; little tweaks will only go so far.
Wellbeing is connected with nutrition.
If you can't afford healthy and nutrient rich food , soon rather than after, will affect your mood and performance!
Health is wealth.
You are what you eat!
There's is no healthy food catering options on Construction sites.
Health and wellness in the workplace are strongly influenced by both physical and social factors.The important role of factors such as air quality, lighting, and noise has been documented in academic reports such as the 2018 publication by BCO; 'Wellness matters, Health and wellbeing in offices and what to do about it' and is addressed by building certification schemes such as the WELL standard and NABERS. Of course bad air quality outdoors comes indoors and these pollutants combined with internal sources of pollution is an important aspect of exposure to harmful air pollutants that adversely impact peoples health and their productivity.
Make sit/stand desks mandatory as part of the health and safety standards.
Have calorie and macros (protein/carbs/fat) information displayed in every restaurant, canteen, buffet, etc.
Cooking facilities at work would be great too.
No complaints here! Work for an amazing company that provides us with fresh fruit, low sugar/high fibre breakfast cereals, almond milk, fridge for our packed lunches (90% of the staff brings home cooked meals), secure bike parking and cycle to work scheme and subsidised gym membership. Really happy as all this really helps staff to adopt an healthier life style.
Nice work if you can get it.
When I was a servive engineer I tried to be at places with subsidised canteens at lunch time. Some had very good healthy food.
We have a small office where all bring in their own lunch due to varying dietary requirements. There are shopos close by with lunchtime snacks available. More and more of these place are providing healthier and healther options. All happy with this.
I work in a healthy workspace when I work from home. However whenI need to travel on the Metropolitan line into central London the journey is invariably packed and uncomfortable, the streets dirty and full of polluted air, but the offices are relatively clean and healthy with ergonomic seating, opportunities to stand and walk around.
A 'healthy workplace' isn't all about sustenance regarding food or drink. It's also about a state of mind or a perception of the whole workplace environment and workaday ambiance that can, in organisation and design facilitate comfort, peace of mind, cooperation, tolerance, inclusiveness, and encouragement to work to the optimum. For example hospitals shouldn’t be conglomerate, enclosing machines with operatives working in the hospital environment scrabbling about within ‘sharp cornered encumbrances’. Hospitals should be airy and open, and with interior spaces able to be, as well, modularly manipulated to enable personable space for specific need to be ‘moved’ without overdue exertion much like altering a stage set. Wards should have picture (French) windows opening on to garden views out on which patients might wander and sit during recuperation. One could say more re schools, factories, offices where ‘healthy workplace’ could ‘remodel’ the places we are expected to operate in comfortably, effectively, etc.
Big bill for the taxpayer there.
I'd like to see NHS start by doing what it's supposed to do, without me needing to phone the hospital and badger them every step of the way. Get referral letter - book appointment - get doctor's report - SEND IT TO ME! (I'm still waiting...)
A healthy workspace will only come if employers value their staff and staff value being employed; both groups need to work together to create a healthy enviroment and that team will be more productive and resiliant, make a profit and be sustainable.
Fortunately we know alot about what makes a healthy workplace. We actually perform the measurements that will test this by comparing levels of air pollutants within workplaces with internationally agreed targets.
The things that you should look at when examining air quality include CO2, CO, O3, PM2.5, PM10, Temp, RH, TVOC and Formaldehyde. It is also a good idea to look at noise pollution and lighting levels at the work place, which is what we do for our private/public sector clients.
(UK Manager & Senior Consultant for CETEC - http://www.cetec.com.au/services )
Of course staff canteens can provide a selection of healthy food inc vegetarian and vegan but there has to be a limit, there will always be folk who want what they dont have and the employer shouldn't be resonsible for catering for every single need and whim. Whatever happened to people making their own packed lunch ? They can make exactly what they want to eat. Short time to prepare, no need to waste time going out to the shop or queueing in the canteen, no (plastic) packaging and quite a big saving over the year. Its nice to have a choice but give people too much choice and it will never be enough.
Yes, there seem to be many folk on here ready to blame their boss for the state of their health.
I think canteens should be offering a healthy menu. But no, not catering to every whim. If you want to nit pick, take your daily walk and buy your own food.
What makes a healthy workplace in my opinion is a workplace that is free of bullying and intimidation. Where people can leave the building and go outside and have some good fresh air. A place to sit/stand and have a good home made lunch
Healthy workplace is one that has a no blame culture. Is one where managers are unable to bully their staff or shout at staff. Is one where CEO is involved and does not spend the day dreaming of when can get back to Thailand. Is one where staff can talk about the good and bad that is happening in the office/irganisatior. Is one where people feel heard and involved. Is one where people work together. Food plays a small part in a healthy workplace.
So many people complaining about their work canteen, or local supermarkets, but what is wrong with bringing your own lunch? It doesn't take time (I generally make mine in under 5 mins before i go to bed, as does my partner). Easy, cheap, healthy as you want it to be. I really don't understand why everyone is so reliant on buying their lunch out. Do you go to the supermarket at weekends? Stock up on the stuff you need; who needs to spend their lunchtimes queuing at shops or canteens every da
"Oh, I don't have time to place a slice of cheese between two pieces of bread, but I can spend all day searching for my tofu and quinoa at the mile-wide superstore." Funny, isn't it?
If you're too lazy to make a sandwich, bring a bag of nuts, a bag of fruit and a bag of carrots. Wash the fruit/veg at work.
Healthy workplaces are about more than food and drink/cooking etc. It also includes, as others have said, places where people are not afraid to challenge and express opinions, where they feel they have a voice.
My workplace is excellent; although i bring my own food in (saving masses of cash), there is a good canteen, with hot meals, salads, sandwiches and snacks (including fruit for those who eat it). We have a gym (small but free) and showers/changing facilities. the offices are a pleasant temperature and there is plenty of light. Lucky me!
There is always plenty of cake and biscuits; these are brought in by staff and the world would be a sadder, duller place without it! all things in moderation (and some of us can't eat fruit so don't be so quick to judge!)