Here are a few easy tips (courtesy of Boundless) for making sure you’re creating a healthy environment for employees in the office.
1. Embrace the Power of Plants: Researchers aren’t entirely sure why, but indoor plants help reduce stress, so you should definitely consider adding some greenery to your space. Unless you’ve got a green thumb, be sure to choose plants that are fairly resilient. We’ve had plenty of employees inadvertently kill bonsais, orchids, and the like, and the frustration can negate the benefits these plants bring.
2. Seek Natural Light: Natural light is also key. Ideal for protecting vision and keeping employees productive, it keeps the body’s regulatory processes running smoothly. If you don’t have windows, consider a skylight or holding regular brainstorms on a walk outside to get some crucial Vitamin D.
3. Get Stand-Up Desks: Research has shown that sitting in front of a computer all day can have negative effects on your short AND long-term health, so companies everywhere are catching on to the appeal of stand-up desks. Standing up while working can also help prevent slouching and alleviate back problems. Don’t be fooled by stand-up setups that cost hundreds of dollars—we whip up adjustable desks for just under $70 with easy-to-assemble IKEA parts.
4. Offer Healthy Snacks: The ever-present stress that office life brings can sap resources quickly, so be sure to have snacks on hand to help the team keep their energy levels in check. Remember: it’s important to keep decaf options on hand for those who shun caffeine. We’ve seen a surprising amount of employees make the decaf switch over the last few months, and most report sleeping far better afterward. Then again, most of these decaf converts fall off the wagon every other week.
5. Everything in Moderation: It’s also key not to be draconian with your health focus-beer and wine may be on hand help those who want to unwind toward the end of the day, and birthdays often see a major spike in workers’ sugar intake.
6. Repeat After Us: “Embrace the Nap”: Rested employees are far more productive and make better decisions than their sleep-deprived counterparts, so resist scoffing at the idea of “sleeping on the job.” Many companies are catching on to the benefits of napping and provide a couch for catching forty winks.
7. Promote Frequent Breaks: Everyone’s work style is different. With that said, we encourage all of our employees to take regular breaks to help them decompress and handle the endless stream of tasks that roll in. Stepping away from a difficult problem or project for a moment can bring some much needed clarity.
8. Find and Encourage Bike Storage: Many offices are filled with active employees: from rock climbing on the weekends, training for half and full marathons—and many bike to work everyday. It’s essential to offer bike storage for those who commute via bike, and we’ve set aside a separate closet to accommodate our growing team’s rides. Biking to the office has a number of environmental and health benefits, so it’s great to encourage this practice whenever possible.
9. Foster Healthy Competition and Activities: It’s great to give employees space to introduce their fellow teammates to their passions. whether it’s ping-pong, yoga, or something else.
10. Allow Pets in the Office: Dogs in the workplace have been shown to significantly reduce stress, so consider allowing your employees to bring their own pets, if your landlord will consider it and you’ve got the space. Keep employees’ allergies in mind here too—make sure the team is comfortable sharing their workspace with a new four-legged colleague.
This article originally appeared on Lifehacker