Design and Construction, Human Resources, Maintenance and Operations, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Implementing Wellness Initiatives in the Workplace: Strategies for Facilities Managers

Creating a workplace atmosphere that promotes health and wellness is good for employees. It can also boost productivity and improve the staff’s mental health.

As a facilities manager, you can implement changes that support wellness initiatives through ergonomic design choices and environmentally friendly changes. It also means caring for your own health while you develop a better work environment.

Let’s explore ways to improve the workplace to benefit all team members.

Ergonomic Design Improves the Work Environment

Improving any work environment requires the principles of ergonomic design. It allows you to design a workspace where employees can interact more easily with their colleagues and their environment. Ergonomically designed workspaces are easier to navigate, allowing each person to accomplish their goals, thereby boosting productivity.

Even more importantly, ergonomic design can contribute to employee health. The key factors in designing workplaces that promote mental well-being include:

  • Well-organized spaces optimized for work. Create quiet areas as well as areas for discussion and collaboration.
  • Color schemes and items that are uplifting or calming. Use aesthetically pleasing design elements, such as certain paints and plants that are easy to maintain.
  • Spaces that are both comfortable and practical. Incorporates furnishings, open areas, and downtime spaces.

It’s critical to get staff input before making changes to discover what you have overlooked. In the meantime, you can deliver cost-effective results quickly, like upgrading office furniture. Adjustable chairs and desks give the staff more flexibility, reducing the strain caused by sitting all day.

Before implementing changes, facilities managers must take environmental factors into account.

Environmental Impact on Employee Health and Wellness

Environmental factors can contribute to better wellness in the workplace. For example, lighting can affect how employees feel. Fluorescent light is harsh and, for some, can cause headaches. Attempt to add more natural lighting. You can adjust the lighting to be warmer by changing the type of bulbs used. However, if you cannot control overhead lighting, you can add warm floor lighting and lamps.

Temperature and ventilation settings are also critical. The better the air quality, the better the work environment. This strategy also helps protect employees from respiratory issues and diseases. If your office air is stagnant, adding an air filter is beneficial.

Or, you may have a more serious problem, like mold. Many buildings succumb to mold, a fungus that grows and thrives in damp or humid spaces. Signs of mold include stuffy air, musty odors, water damage, and bubbling or peeling paint. Mold can cause headaches, rashes, respiratory issues, and trigger allergies or asthma. Dehumidifiers can play a key role, especially in mold prevention.

Depending on the size of your space, you can use a refrigerant or desiccant dehumidifier unit and have it up and running quickly. Another potential option is to install a whole-home dehumidifier in your HVAC system. If you suspect mold in your office, hire a professional to test, remediate, and recommend the best system to keep all employees safe.

Finally, cleaning contributes to a positive and productive workplace experience. Keeping workspaces and workstations clean reduces dust, allergens, and other pollutants and reduces the spread of germs and harmful bacteria. It not reduces the risk of illness and absenteeism, but also improves employee outlook. When people come into a clean work environment, they feel valued. Clean spaces also reduce anxiety.

Before disinfecting the office, consider using non-toxic, environmentally friendly cleaning products. Many products contain volatile organic compounds and other harmful ingredients, which can harm the respiratory tract or create other health issues. Non-toxic and environmentally sound products help the staff and the maintenance crew stay safe while supporting a healthy planet.

There are many factors to consider in implementing wellness that may be overwhelming. The one key element you cannot do without is self-care.

Better Wellness for Employees Starts with You

Implementing workspace changes to support employee health and wellness is critical. However, facilities managers forget that these changes apply to them as well. Proper self-care helps you avoid this dilemma.

How can you stay well in the workplace when you’re still improving the environment? One way is to maintain healthy eating and drinking habits. When time does not always allow for nutritious meals, stock up on nutritious, dry snacks like protein bars, raisins, or nuts. Stay well-hydrated by keeping a water bottle on hand to avoid frequent trips to the water cooler. Consider reducing caffeine intake, which can dehydrate you.

Take breaks from sitting at your desk or looking at your screen for long periods. Stand up and stretch. When possible, walk outdoors. Reduce the damage of screen time by looking away at least every 20 minutes to refocus your eyes.

Finally, try to get enough sleep every night. There are several signs that you are not getting your best sleep, including:

  • Dry mouth or sore throat
  • Sore teeth or jaw
  • Acne and other breakouts
  • Mood swings and anxiety
  • Food cravings
  • Poor memory or concentration

One of the best ways to get enough sleep is to create a bedtime routine. For at least half an hour before bed, only do relaxing activities. That includes not watching anything that gets your blood pumping. Make sure your bedroom is dark and quiet and that the temperature is not too hot. Creating an ideal environment helps you relax and reduces distractions that can wake you. A little self-care goes a long way toward improving your work performance.


Integrating ergonomic design and environmental practices helps facilities managers create a workplace that supports health and wellness. To do their best at implementing these changes, they must also care for their health. It empowers them to have a dynamic role in boosting the satisfaction and productivity of every staff member.

Miles Oliver is an independent writer with a background in business and a passion for tech, news, and simply helping people live happy and fulfilled lives. He has lived and traveled all over the United States and continues to expand his awareness and experiences. When he is not writing, he is most likely mountain biking or kicking back with a cup of tea.

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