Employees spend a large portion of their lives at work each day. Providing a healthy and sustainable work environment helps to promote productivity and create a culture of employees that value the health of their surroundings. Make sure you are contributing to the health of yourself and the environment by taking care to make environmentally responsible decisions. Whether you’re an employer or an employee, you can work to implement these sustainable best practices into your workplace.
Provide access to healthy food options in your cafeteria and vending machines. Healthy food includes items that are healthy for you and for the people who produce it. Also, encourage employees to utilize reusable dishware, and reduce the amount of plastics and foam containers used in your eateries.
Practice good electronics stewardship by considering the entire life cycle of the products you choose. Look for EPEAT registered and Energy Star rated products. Promote practices that reduce energy use in electronics, such as automatic shutoffs or sleep modes. Turn off rarely used electronics and power down computers and printers at night. Dispose of electronics in a responsible manner.
Hosting virtual meetings is an excellent way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from travel and to reduce costs. Encourage employees to teleconference, utilize conference calls, or host a live web meeting whenever possible to reduce the need to travel from meeting to meeting. If you are hosting a conference, make sure to encourage attendees to stretch during breaks and provide them with healthy food choices.
Whenever possible, buy products that will last, that are made from recycled materials, and that are energy efficient. Also, choose products that do not release toxic materials into the atmosphere. Choose green cleaning products, low VOC paints and surfaces and third party certified furnishings to maintain a healthy indoor environmental quality. Whenever possible, look for products that have environmental benefits and are nontoxic to human health.
Providing worksite wellness programs can improve employee satisfaction, reduce stress, decrease absenteeism, and increase productivity. Consider implementing these or similar initiatives for wellness at your workplace.
- Establish programs for exercise during the workday
- Implement a no-smoking policy and provide resources for tobacco cessation
- Allow flexible work schedules and telecommuting
- Encourage personnel to take the stairs
- Select worksites close to public transportation, walking trails, fitness facilities, and other amenities
- Workplace Health Promotion
- Motivation Via Worksite Wellness Programs
- Workplace Health Program Development Checklist
- Healthier Worksite Initiative
- A Comprehensive Worksite Wellness Program in Austin, Texas: Partnership Between Steps to a Healthier Austin and Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- StairWELL to Better Health Toolkit
- Tobacco Cessation Resources