Having an office-based role may not exactly be a life-threatening job, but did you know that there are several health issues that do commonly occur within an office workspace? As an employer, it’s your responsibility to minimise the possibility of these health risks and it can be done through office design, thorough care and thought-out processes within the business.
Office-based roles don’t see your typical injuries, expect no broken legs or bad backs from heavy lifting. unless in a super rare situation. Instead, office related health injuries tend to be either more mental health related or to do with posture. This still makes them vulnerable despite sitting down and looking at a computer screen all day which in itself can take its toll on the user.
Here’s some office-related health issues and how you as an employer can help to combat them to create a better working environment.
Eye Strain & Headaches
We live in a world where we are constantly glued to our phone screens on a daily basis and for office workers, this screen time can be doubled when working on a computer screen for the best part of your 8-hour shift. With this, comes a lot of headaches and eye-strain due to the constant stream of concentration and may lead to dizziness and nausea. But there are things that can be done to reduce symptoms of headaches. We would recommend allowing your employee to schedule regular breaks away from their screen to let their eyes relax. Increasing font size and screen brightness to reduce squinting and using anti-glare shields so that the screens are easier on the user’s eyes.
It’s fairly common that when we are sitting at a desk, our posture may not exactly be at it’s best. We may be slanting in our chairs, bending our necks to look at our screen or hunching our backs to focus more. All of which although may not seem much at the time, can lead to prolonged back and neck issues. This can be avoided by utilising ergonomic office furniture in your office design and fit out. These are specially designed pieces of equipment that assist in your employee’s posture, ensuring that the right body parts are supported whilst they are busy working away.
Not all health problems are visible and stress is one that occurs regularly within office based businesses and is one of the biggest causes of absences. Whether this is caused by work related issues like deadlines and work tasks or external issues, it can be difficult to handle as an employer. The best thing is to keep an open line of communication between yourself and your employees and ensure that they feel that they can approach you when things may seem tough. Having processes in place for this is extremely important as employee wellbeing can have a huge impact on your business.
Sleep deprivation is common in office workers and this is often caused by the above issue, stress. Whether your employees have big projects to prepare for, or they are nervous for their up and coming appraisal, worry and stress can cause severe lack of sleep. Sometimes a busy work environment can have the opposite effect of uplifting a tired mood and can indeed add to the stress. In regards to office design, having separate pods and/or rooms where individuals can go to get work done quietly can help make employees feel calmer and more relaxed when they do feel tired.
Office related health issues are an ongoing battle for most businesses, so don’t be surprised if they pop up from time to time. Interested in hearing how your office design and fit out can help with any of these issues? Give us a call on 020 7856 0460 and we’d be more than happy to discuss any up and coming project with you.