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Post By: Celeste McLaughlin, Ergonomics Manager
Produced by: Solutions Northwest, Inc. (Ergonomics Experts serving Washington, Oregon, and Arcata, California)

Ergonomics Blog: 3 Smart Ways to Promote a Healthy Work-Life Balance

“66 percent of full-time employees to say they don’t strongly believe they have a work-life balance.” SmallBizTrends

In today’s workplace, dependence on technology and social media make it difficult to separate work from personal life. In fact, a 2018 report by SmallBizTrends reveals that of 38 countries, America comes in at 30th place for workers with a positive work-life-balance. 

Americans work long hours each day, take work home, come in on weekends, and devote little time to leisure and personal care. Though it’s become the norm, this lifestyle makes for burnt out, unhappy, demotivated employees.

At Solutions Northwest Inc, we are all about a healthy and happy workplace. Read on for three smart ways you can promote work-life balance in your workplace. 

1. Explore company health initiatives.

Everyone knows how important exercise and being healthy is, but does your workplace promote health initiatives?

Work places should help encourage healthy lifestyles by promoting and offering health initiatives. Whether it’s discounted gym memberships, a healthcare spending account, in-office yoga once a week, or sponsored sports teams – discover if your office provides these initiatives or do your best to get these programs started if you’re an administrator or manager.

One simple health tip is to stop bringing boxes of donuts or candies to the break room. Instead, consider bringing yogurts, chopped fruits, chopped veggies, and other healthy foods to snack on. If you must bring sweets to the office, consider making it a 1-day a week event instead of an everyday thing.

2. Make the most of your breaks.

Make sure that you or your co-workers make the most of breaktime. Instead of scrolling through Facebook at your desk, take a brisk walk around the building. Walking on break or even walking during a meeting can work wonders for brainstorming.

Breaks don’t need to be complicated, find simple ways to take breaks from work. Looking away from the monitor for a few moments is good for eyestrain, a short stretch can help combat office injury, and taking your lunchbreak out in the sun can benefit your health.

Don’t feel guilty taking breaks, breaks will help you do a better job in the long run. If you’re a supervisor or managing employees, be sure to let them take their breaks, so you have a rested, focused, and productive staff.

3. Invest in office safety.

Safe workers are happy workers. As studies from the University of Warwick have shown, “happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, while unhappy workers proved 10% less productive.”

Employees will appreciate the effort that a company invests into ensuring that they have a healthy, safe, and productive workplace. Consider performing or requesting an ergonomic assessment to discover the best way make your workplace safer for your employees.

As a bonus, an ergonomic and safe work place will lead to a more productive workplace. “Businesses report an average increase of 25% in productivity and a 67% reduction in errors after an ergonomic assessment” according to WSDLI.

Additionally, the added safety pays for itself, so don’t be afraid to invest in better equipment and better workstations. According to the Washington State Department of Labor and Industry, “on average an ergonomics assessment will pay for itself in about 8.4 months.”

In conclusion

Put these ideas into practice today to promote a positive work-life balance. Remember, the best programs won’t do any good if your employees don’t know about them, so make sure to regularly communicate with your staff or co-workers about these options. If you’re an employee, speak to your human resources or management/admin about how to make your workplace a more balanced and healthier workplace. When assessing your office workstation, something as simple as an ergonomic mouse could help with balance as well.

To keep up with the newest trends in office safety,  we recommend contacting SolutionsNW.com, a leader in the ergonomics and work safety field, for more information.

Subscribe to our blog for more ergonomics tips from Solutions Northwest Inc., ergonomics consultants located in Washington State, Arcata, Oregon, Seattle, Olympia, Tacoma, and Portland.

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