It has long been established that if people are happy at work, they perform better. Providing working conditions that create a positive working environment and equally encourages staff to have a healthy work life balance reduces the risk of accidents or injury and improves patient experience and safety.
All employers have a responsibility to ensure that staff can work in an environment that keeps them safe and supports good health. Ensuring that basic facilities (such as toilets, washing facilities and somewhere to rest and eat meals) are provided and that working hours and equipment are safe and lawful is a must. Employers can go further and offer facilities and opportunities for staff to keep active; encourage staff to maintain healthy lifestyles and enable a good work life balance – these employers will see staff and patient satisfaction levels rise. These options can vary, depending on the needs of the staff. Examples of conditions that create healthy working environments include:
- Schemes promoting active lifestyles
- “Off duty environments” – spaces where staff can have breaks and relax away from patients
- Flexible working
- Good e-rostering and job planning
Coupling these options with a focus on good nutrition are crucial in improving the health and wellbeing of your staff. Clinical guidance on obesity prevention have cited that “improving the nutritional quality of the food and drinks sold in hospitals makes it easier for staff to make healthy choices, reduce their sugar intake and manage their weight”.