Being a good employer means holding a certain amount of authority over your employees and making sure they get the job done, but it also means making sure that they feel happy and content in their work environment. And despite popular belief, sitting in an office for eight hours and staring at a screen can be quite fatiguing and detrimental to one’s health, if they’re not careful about maintaining it.
So what can you do as an employer to make sure that your subordinates are feeling content with their workplace? As it turns out, quite a bit actually.
1. Build a Quiet Space
A lot of offices nowadays are including spaces which employees can use during their breaks to take a short, revitalizing nap, and studies have shown that this is a really good idea. Getting a mere 20 minutes of shuteye apparently does wonders for an employee’s productivity, because it alleviates the fatigue one can get from looking at a bright screen for too long, or sitting in one position for too long.
2. Meal and Rest Breaks
A lot of people don’t know this, but according to the law employers aren’t actually obligated to provide their employees with any kind of lunch break throughout the day – if they wish, they can simply make their employees work through their break, but most people realize that this is a pretty bad idea rather quickly.
The problem is that most people simply can’t hold their focus on a single task for longer periods of time without some kind of break, so introducing breaks not only makes your employees happier, but it can help boost their productivity as well.
3. Flexible Hours
If you can afford to, it’s probably a good idea to stray away from the idea of stable working hours, or at least give your employees the chance to choose whether they want to work at the same time every day. By doing this you allow your workers to catch that 10 AM yoga class that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend, and they can still come into the office later and finish everything they’re supposed to do that day.
4. Promote Efficient Work
One of the best feelings in the world is when you’ve finished all your work early and can leave the office before closing hours, and I’ve found that encouraging your employees in this direction really pays off in the long run. Once you get them to realize that working more efficiently is both in your interest and theirs, you’ll be able to get what you need from them earlier than expected, and they’ll be able to go home earlier than they thought they could – everybody wins!
5. Lead by Example
Finally, employees respect the kind of employer that sticks by the same rules that they have to adhere to while in the office. That means that if there’s a no-smoking policy at the workplace, it applies to you as well – even if you’re in your own office and are smoking next to an open window. It shows honesty, character and makes them feel like you’re not actually their superior, but an integral part of the same team that they can respect.
Theresa Brawner is a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boston, MA, who writes articles for www.diet.st. in her free time. When she isn’t helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes.