Organizational Wellness

Jumpstart Productivity With a Healthy Workplace

Oct 3, 2023
Last Updated Oct 3, 2023

Have you ever had a bad experience at a doctor’s office, only to go to a different specialist and have a much more positive experience? Finding a provider that treats you like a million bucks can be life-changing! Two different clinics may technically offer the same service, but how you’re treated, how the staff operates, how sanitary the setting is, and how welcoming the atmosphere is can determine which doctor gets your business. 

For your employees, having a healthy and welcoming workplace is no different! Does the leadership and HR personnel in your company make serious efforts to ensure that employees feel safe, heard, and known? Is the social environment free from toxic policies or managers? How about the physical environment: do your employees have the space they need to operate? Does your office promote healthy living by offering adequate health benefits and wellness programs? 

Employee health is a huge part of how well your teams can function, and a healthy workplace is at the root of your employees’ wellbeing. People spend a lot of their time at work, so company leadership has the important job of ensuring that everyone has the best resources and environment to stay healthy and thrive in the workplace. It’s not just going to benefit employees, either: did you know that 84% of employers reported higher productivity and performance from their employees due to wellness plans?

The more you learn about it, the more you’ll realize how essential a healthy work environment really is—so stay tuned! This article is going to cover everything about healthy workplaces and what your company can do to start improving the employee health experience.

What Is a Healthy Workplace?

A healthy workplace can be defined in a lot of ways according to different organizations, but in general, you can look at a healthy workplace as an environment where all employees collaborate and function according to their safety and wellbeing. The healthier a workplace is, the more productive that workplace enables employees to be.

For some, a healthy workplace has great perks, a convenient location, remote work, competitive wages, or emphasizes the importance of work-life wellness. Your work culture, safety practices, and physical environment are all going to determine whether or not your employees enjoy a healthy work life.

Elements of a Healthy Workplace

One of the best ways to find out what a healthy work environment should look like is a lot simpler than it may seem: go straight to the source and talk to your employees. We’ve also gathered some of the basic needs of a healthy workplace, plus other things you can do to take the employee experience to the next level.

Elements of a healthy workplace

Physical Environment

First, there is the physical workspace your employees use to complete their jobs. In an in-person office, the space should prioritize safety, comfort, and inclusivity. There needs to be room for everyone to appropriately complete their work, plus adequate space for rest or breaks, like a break room. Other comfort measures that can impact someone’s productivity in person are things like temperature, ergonomic equipment in an office setting, and similar benefits.

Now, we know what you’re thinking: what about work-from-home scenarios? There is only so much a company can do for the physical safety of their employees who operate remotely all or most of the time. However, there are practices you can encourage, even from a distance. For many people, the option to work from home is how they create a healthier work environment. Offering a hybrid option where employees can choose to either come into a safe and inviting office or complete their work in the comfort of their home is one of the best options.

Psychosocial Environment

Next is one of the most crucial environmental factors, and it has a lot to do with your work culture. The psychosocial side of a workplace can be a toxic environment where people feel taken advantage of, isolated, underappreciated, or, worst-case scenario, unsafe. A healthy psychosocial work environment is going to encourage people to be themselves, increase productivity and willingness to participate, and strengthen company-wide relationships and connections.

Does your workplace have practices in place that reduce stress for employees? How do your company values, vision, or mission take care of workers? What kind of management style is modeled and encouraged? How is conflict resolved? Do your teams actively work to remove toxic attitudes and expectations? Do all of your employees have the opportunity to share their opinions and needs?

For a strong psychosocial connection with your employees, there needs to be trust and safety so that you can have meaningful conversations, more creative problem-solving, and happier employees. Understanding how your team communicates, creating an emotionally safe space for people to share and ask for help, reducing stress factors where possible, and rewarding/recognizing good work are all a part of a healthy social and emotional environment.

Personal health

Finally, your employees need access to services and resources that help them take care of their individual and personal health, including physical, emotional, and mental health. While you don’t have a say in your employee’s personal health choices, companies should do their best to support employees trying to live a healthier lifestyle, including those that deal with chronic conditions.

A healthy workplace is also going to encourage better health practices company-wide, but you need to put your money where your mouth is if you’re going to promote healthy living. On-site gyms, bike racks, healthy food in the break room, office weight loss challenges, and other health perks in the office are going to show just how much your business cares about the health of its employees.

Creating a Healthy Workplace

Okay, we’ve covered the most important factors to consider when striving for a healthy workplace; now let’s get into actual changes you can make to up the ante and make your workplace healthier than ever.

Give Your Brain a Rest

Encourage mental health breaks for your employees! People can go for walks, spend some time in the sunshine, play a game of ping-pong in the break room, or do any other activity that allows them to mentally step away from work. Breaks help prevent decision fatigue, avoid burnout, and (you guessed it) boost productivity .

Connection, Connection, Connection

Even introverts in your workforce need the opportunity to make meaningful connections at work. Try to find creative ways to involve employees, even in a remote workplace. To foster social connections, do more team-building exercises, use instant messaging systems to keep conversations going, or try using humorous or entertaining activities to help make everyone feel appreciated.

Snacks, Anyone?

Nothing brings people together quite as much as food does. Aside from the social benefit of food in the break room, you can also focus on providing healthy snacks to promote nutrition . Modeling healthy foods at work is a great way to energize employees while promoting a healthy office.

Policies Should Reflect Your Values

Create an environment of psychological safety and trust by, first of all, establishing internal and company-wide values ​​of safety and trust. Second, reinforce those values ​​with policies that actually protect your employees. If you have an unlimited PTO policy because you value work-life wellness, ensure that your employees have opportunities to take time off and that their managers don’t guilt employees for using PTO. Employees will sniff out hypocrisy like it’s nothing!

Fitness First for Your Workforce

Outside of their actual work, employees need the time and resources to exercise and maintain their desired fitness level. Employers can help by offering access to local fitness facilities if their office doesn’t have an on-site gym. This also helps employees find time to work out according to their own schedules.

Never Neglect Safety Protocols

Above all, people need a safe place to work, so make sure you and your employees are educated on safety protocols. A building or other type of workspace needs to be free of hazards or potential injuries, so for some work environments, it’s especially critical to follow and review safety procedures and drills regularly.

Better Benefits, Better Health, Better Results

Benefits are key to promoting healthy habits. Your company can improve its benefits program by including affordable doctor visits and other healthcare services, access to mental health treatment or therapy, and policies that allow employees to put their health first.

Wellhub Helps Create Healthy Work Environments

There are a lot of factors that play into the health of both your workforce and workplace, but a low-input, high-reward option for improving your organization’s health is using Wellhub. To get started with great benefits that build a healthy workplace, talk to a wellbeing specialist today!

Talk to a Wellhub Wellbeing Specialist_US2.png



Wellhub Editorial Team

The Wellhub Editorial Team empowers HR leaders to support worker wellbeing. Our original research, trend analyses, and helpful how-tos provide the tools they need to improve workforce wellness in today's fast-shifting professional landscape.


Our weekly newsletter is your source of education and inspiration to help you create a corporate wellness program that actually matters.

By subscribing you agree Wellhub may use the information to contact you regarding relevant products and services. Questions? See our Privacy Policy.