According to a recent report the future for office workers looks pretty bleak. By 2040 the sedentary and technology-focused nature of the office will have physically changed the way workers look. Hunched backs, protruding stomachs, sore eyes, various veins are just some of the aliments predicted to impact workers.
According to William Higham, the author of the Work Colleague Of The Future report. “Unless we make radical changes to our working lives, such as moving more, addressing our posture at our desks, taking regular walking breaks or considering improving our work station set up, our offices are going to make us very sick.”
Stats such as these predict a very worrying future. However, we still have time to change things for the better and some simple steps towards improving employee wellbeing can counteract the impact the office has on our bodies and minds.
We humans are designed to run and hunt not sat hunched over a desk for hours on end. It’s no surprise that back pain is the leading cause of long-term sick in the UK and leads to millions of lost workdays a year. There are several things that you can do to help your employees with their posture whilst at work. Firstly, ensure that all members of staff have a workstation assessment carried out, which checks a number of items such as computer screen position and chair height.
You can highlight the pitfalls of bad posture and give tips on how to reduce the slouch at work – such as taking regular breaks or undertaking simple exercises such as rolling the shoulders back and together. We run a posture awareness workshop that is packed full of advice.
The use of technology has exploded over the past 20 years and it’s touched every aspect of our lives, both at work and home. While being able to do your work outside of the office is great and has increased the flexibility around working hours and locations. It also means workers can struggle to switch off and are work can impact on home life. It’s always good to take a break from technology. Whether that’s something as simple as making sure you step away from your desk every hour, to leaving your laptop at work over the weekend. For both physical and mental health it’s good to have a break. For those that feel more help is needed, we offer a digital detox workshop.
Sport or being active in any shape or form as well as being good for you physically, has a positive mental impact too. Being active releases endorphins in the brain which give you that feel-good feeling, it’s why you feel that sense of satisfaction after a gym class or going out for a run. From a workplace point of view, it is also a good way for your employees to take themselves away from their normal day-to-day activity, time to relax (if that is possible while exercising!!), to not think about the day job, a chance to do something just for them. These are all things that are good for people’s general wellbeing. We offer a range of classes including Pilates and yoga
Unfortunately, stress has become a part of the modern world and something that a large proportion of us will experience at some point during our lives. Despite its commonness, it is still something of a taboo, something that many people don’t talk about. This lack of communication is helping to fuel its spread unless people talk about the causes and the impact it has, on both a personal and professional level, it will continue to grow. Raising awareness of stress, its triggers and how employees and line managers can cope will all help towards reducing its impact.
Looking after the wellbeing of employees is more than just offering free fruit and the odd yoga session. It is a continued, rather than sporadic, focus on their physical and mental wellbeing. It should be a combination of things from adapting company policy to fit with the modern world, ie more flexible working patterns, assessing the use of technology, ability to work from home to running workshops or offering yoga classes, desk-based massages etc.
Hopefully, with more of a focus on the impact our modern world is having on workers, we can prevent this predicted future from happening. If you need any help with any wellbeing activities please do get in touch.