work! Instead, “hide” unhealthy foods in the kitchenette or break
room by putting them in opaque or translucent containers (versus
healthy food like fruit or nuts in glass containers).
3. Don’t let the papers pile up.
Paper on your desk, especially if it has been sitting there a while, is
likely full of dust and dust mites, which for many people can trig-ger
serious allergies and asthma. Do you really need all that paper
in your workspace? File paperwork and put in place a system for
removing paper or moving paper off-site that you don’t need access
to on a regular basis. Also, put in place a good system for scanning
and digital filing of documents, so that you and your team know
where to find things later. A trusted electronic system can help re-duce
the need for a paper backup.
4. Don’t email after hours.
All this late night chatter increases stress, decreases sleep and
impacts long-term productivity. If you are a client or a boss of
someone, you are impacting the stress and sleep of everyone on
your “cc” list when you send them emails at night. A survey put out
by Good Technology found that some 80 per cent of the 1,000
Americans polled said they spend seven extra hours a week or 30
extra hours a month checking emails and answering phone calls af-ter
hours. Wait until normal business hours to send emails, or if
you must write something, don’t press “send” until the morning, or
Monday morning if you’re working on the weekend.
5. Don’t skimp on vacation time.
A survey for the career website Glassdoor found that U.S. em-ployees
use only 51 per cent of their eligible paid vacation time
and paid time off, according to a recent survey of 2,300 workers
who receive paid vacation. Even more frightening, 61 per cent of
Americans work while they are on vacation, despite complaints
from family members. One-in-four report being contacted by a
colleague about a work-related matter while taking time off, while
one-in-five have been contacted by their boss. Plan your vacations,
take them and enjoy yourself. Give yourself and your teammates
permission to unplug.
6. Don’t go to work when you are sick.
When you come into the workplace sick, you are very like-ly
spreading diseases to colleagues, which reduces organizational
productivity. As tempting as it is for you to “power through” and
minimize sick days, the overall health risk is not worth it. Stay
home when you are sick.
7. Don’t stay indoors all day.
A good portion of our global workforce spends 90 per cent of each
day indoors, which essentially puts workers in a state of “light de-ficiency”
and it negatively impacts our sleep cycle. Get outside,
preferably earlier in the day, and for as long as you can.
8. Don’t put work before your health.
If you aren’t healthy, you can’t get anything done and you won’t be
there for your colleagues, friends and family when they need you.
A global survey of business executives conducted by the World
Economic Forum and the Harvard School of Public Health from
2009 to 2011 identified non-communicable diseases as one of the
leading threats to global economic growth. Make your health a pri-ority,
and start by building time in your calendar to work out, to
relax or do something that gives you energy and sparks your per-sonal
Healthy workers are more productive. The most obvious ben-efits
to the bottom line are the avoidance of health care costs,
but companies that make investments in employee health and
wellbeing are also seeing increases in creativity, engagement, pro-ductivity
and, as a result, business growth. Being our emotional,
physical and mental best is foundational to doing our best work.
It’s time to get our priorities straight, and make worker health
and wellbeing a foundation for good business, not just a “nice
to have.” n
Leigh Stringer is senior workplace expert for EYP Architecture
& Engineering. She is the author of a new book, The Healthy
Workplace: How to Improve the Well-Being of Your Employees
– and Boost Your Company’s Bottom Line.
IF YOU ARE A CLIENT OR
A BOSS OF SOMEONE,
YOU ARE IMPACTING THE
STRESS AND SLEEP OF
EVERYONE ON YOUR “CC”
LIST WHEN YOU SEND
THEM EMAILS AT NIGHT.
health & wellness
38 ❚ APRIL 2017 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL