The Great Return to Office Life.

What do I mean about Healthy & Holistic office Working?

The Return To Work

Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi from Unsplash
  • Natural light in all areas. I once worked in what can best be described as a windowless, airless, old storeroom — my mental health was driven off a cliff as I craved sunlight and any view other than a wall.
  • The layout of the office (Covid aside) how are people sat and if they have their own desk? Ownership of their space instils a sense of responsibility rather than fighting for a hot desk, How are meeting rooms and communal spaces laid out for conducive conversations? Are you using muted colours or emotionally driving ones?
  • Will you allow plants? Pets?! Music?
  • Find out when each employee’s ideal working times are. This will likely be in line with their circadian rhythms as well as their life demands. You want to know when they will be working at their best to encourage that wonderful flow of work. For example — my ideal start time is early in the morning — in summer this can often be around 7am whereas I prefer to be finishing up at 4.30pm or 5. Just in time for a gin!
  • Encourage regular breaks: schedule them in and stick to them, set a timer or assign a ‘break buddy’ so you ensure everyone takes a rest and is not stuck in front of their screen all of the time.
  • Move more — stand up and stretch, do desk yoga, set a movement challenge and raise money for the company’s charity. This is easily linked to your regular break routine and even better if employees can get outside whilst doing so.
  • Make sure when work ends it is a hard stop; no sending emails at stupid o’clock at night, no weekend instant messenger. If it helps — turn off your company work emails for everyone at the same time each day.
  • If hybrid working becomes super popular then make it work for your business and your people by considering staggered working times, a 4 day working week, or a 9 day fortnight.
  • Can you offer more days off: recovery days, mental health days? These must be given without penalty and without judgement.
  • How about monthly vitality days help keep the message going: get physical, improve nutrition, focus on sleep, grow resilience, diminish stress — by finding out what the main concerns and issues are we can create a Year of Wellbeing with monthly topics, activities, specialist support etc.
  • Ask each and every employee what support they need. We often only hear a tiny part of what people are going through — delve deeper to see what the company can do. I once worked at an organisation where they fully supported someone through a shock cancer diagnosis and full treatment. If you are not sure how to do it — get an Occupational Health specialist in or someone like myself in to fully understand what the help and support your people need.
  • Keep wellbeing at the very top of your agenda by reminding your team about the help you have available: EAP, health insurance, career counselling, coaching, gym discounts — if they don’t know about it they won’t use it and will invariably think poorly of their employer.

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Kate is a renowned career strategist, confidence guru & coach on a mission to make everyone’s Mondays feel as good as Fridays. www.kate-bishop.co.uk

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Kate Bishop

Kate Bishop

Kate is a renowned career strategist, confidence guru & coach on a mission to make everyone’s Mondays feel as good as Fridays. www.kate-bishop.co.uk

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