Work Environment Management: Meaning, need for healthy work environment, Measures for providing healthy work

21/10/2020 1 By indiafreenotes

Physical environment and occupational health & safety

A healthy workplace environment also involves the physical environment of the office or workshop and the occupational health & safety of your employees. Reduce the worry of your employees by looking into the safety of the workplace.

Simple things such as ensuring that all electric cables are covered or taped down with a cable tray to prevent employees from tripping over them are one of the issues, which your employees should not be worried about. Nobody wants to sit underneath a cracked ceiling! So, allow your employees to come to a safe workplace environment.

Health and lifestyle practice

Employees will care for the company they are working for if they know that they are being looked after. Employees are the best asset of every organisation, and putting effort into employee wellness can encourage better teamwork, increased productivity and reduce sick leave and workplace accidents.

Supportive workplace environment

Everyone has personal problems and it is only human that some personal emotions get brought into the workplace. Try not to ignore them but instead, find the core of the problem and be a supportive employer by showing concern. Your employee may come in to work depressed due to a passing a loved one or they had a terrible weekend.

As an employee, show compassion and be there for them. You do not need to sit by them the whole day, but by dropping an email, saying your doors are always open for them, shows that you not only care about the progress of the company, but you also care about the well-being of your employee. Remember that a supportive workplace culture is the foundation of a healthy workplace environment.

Ways to Create a Healthy Workplace Environment

A happy (and healthy!) employee is a productive employee. People who enjoy their jobs are more likely to engage thoroughly with their work. As an employee, it is always in your best interest to keep your staff happy; otherwise, resentment could start to impact on the quality of their work or they may even consider leaving.

Here are some ways that you could create a healthy workplace environment:

Promote wellness: You can encourage health and wellness of your employees by having a weekly exercise program such as a yoga session before the start of their work day or an aerobics class after work. This not only encourages a healthy lifestyle among your team but also give them the opportunity to get to know their workmates better.

Engage with different personalities: Every workplace has a combination of characters, and what works to motivate a particular employee, may not necessarily help others. Get to know your employees and find out whether a hands-on approach or more independence will help them.

Fair employee policy: This should apply to all employees regardless of their position or designation in the company. If a supervisor constantly misses deadlines, you should take it as seriously as you would with a junior employee. If your policy changes, ensure everyone knows about it.

Eat healthy: Healthy eating is not about strict dietary restrictions, staying unrealistically thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. It is about feeling great, having more energy, improving your outlook and your mood. Another great way to create a healthy workplace environment is by eating healthy, and no skipping lunch break because employees are busy is not a good excuse. Try catering a healthy lunch meal such as salads or sandwiches. You could also provide a bowl of fruits for snacks.

Team building activities: Team building activities not only bond employees closer but also motivate them, creating a positive workplace environment. These activities help improve internal communication and productivity, boosting morale at the workplace and in helping employees get to know each other better. Read our blog on Team Building Ideas for Great Staff Engagement to get some ideas.

Break time: Another great way to create a healthy workplace environment is by encouraging your employees to take a quick 5-minute break from their desk. Regular breaks will assist to relieve muscle fatigue, eyestrain and to restore the level of concentration. There are a couple of apps that you can permanently install on your employees’ desktop, which reminds them take to a break and stretch.

Clean and comfortable office: Working in a clean and comfortable office can have tremendous effects on the interactions among colleagues. Even if your office does not get the sunlight, try to make an effort to provide a relaxing atmosphere with comfortable furniture, working equipment and add a few work lights to make it brighter.


There is high power distance in India. It is fully acceptable for strong hierarchy to occur in most Indian organisations. They have high need of structuring relationships, with an aim to attach a set of responsibilities and expectations to a certain person in a senior position. Typically, the manager is responsible for taking care of his or her* employees, and in return, her subordinates will be expected to show great loyalty to her without any questions on her authority. 
Keep in mind that India is a big country, carrying the slogan ‘unity in diversity’ for a reason, hence organisational structures can be very different from the north to the south.


Very long decision making processes should be expected when it comes to working with Indians. They are quite comfortable with uncertainty and ambivalence, so delays in decision-making usually take place unless making a decision has become absolutely urgent.

Most of the major decisions are made by senior managers. Employees are sometimes encouraged to take decisions at lower levels. Tasks and assignments should be divided into small and controllable units, so that the management can easily keep track and supervise.

Time Perception

Indian people are flexible when it comes to punctuality. Arriving at a meeting 15 minutes after the official starting time is not rare. It is not that people mean to be rude or feel uninvolved, it is just their working style that being strictly on time is not seen as necessary. This also should be taken into account when setting deadlines for a project, as Indian people may have different perspectives regarding deadlines compared to western people.


It is uncommon to set up an appointment to meet a colleague working in the same organisation, unless that person is on senior management level. People simply stop by and they expect you to be available for a meeting.
Appointments for commercial purposes should not be scheduled too far in the future, since there are high chances that they can be cancelled.

Dress Code

The Indian dress-code is relatively casual. Male employees will wear trousers and collared shirts to work. A jacket and a tie can be added when needed or for the more senior managers. Often female workers wear a colourful salwar kameez. Also, on the management level female managers mostly wear sarees.

Some Benefits of a Safe and Healthy Work Environment:

  • It goes without saying that the safer the work environment, the more productive it is. Productive employees are an asset to all companies. For instance, productive employees can produce more output in less time, reducing operational costs for a company.
  • Workplace safety promotes the wellness of employees and employers alike. Better safety equates to better health. Healthier employees do tasks more efficiently and they are happier in general.
  • There are very few accidents in a safe working environment. This results in less downtime for safety investigations and reduces costs for worker’s compensation. This also reduces the time needed for employees to heal from injuries.
  • Damage to industrial equipment creates costs for replacement and repair. Avoiding workplace injuries and damage to industrial equipment will incur fewer expenses and increase profit.
  • If employers are concerned about the safety of their employees, the employees are more confident and comfortable in general. Also, absenteeism rates drop and employees are more focused on doing their tasks.

Ways to Create a Safe Working Environment

Being Aware and Identifying workplace Hazards

This is the first step to create a safe working environment. Employers need to identify workplace hazards and safety issues first. Then they must take measures to address them accordingly.

Workplace safety hazards can include mechanical issues, dangerous chemicals, hazardous electrical equipment, etc.

Mechanical problems can occur at any time while operating machinery in the workplace. Also, working with heavy equipment is very risky and can cause accidents.

If employees need to work with chemicals they have to be very cautious. Dangerous chemicals can burn or poison employees. Inhaling or ingesting them can even cause death.

Also, working with electronic equipment can have risks as well. Faulty electrical equipment can electrocute employees causing serious problems.

Employees should be aware of the types of equipment and know the hazards in their workplace. This enables them to stay clear of such hazards and unfortunate situations. Also, employers should train employees in the proper operation of machinery and equipment.

Implementing Workplace Safety Programs

The first step in building a safety program is to get all employees to commit to workplace safety. One way to do this is to include workplace safety in the company’s mission statement. It should be the duty of every employee to carry out the safety policies.

Employers should investigate all accidents in the workplace. They should encourage employees to follow all safety procedures.

Moreover, the hazards of not following them should be clearly stated in writing. This reduces the chances of mistakes.

Providing Proper Safety Training to Employees

Training is an important part of every company’s safety program to protect employees from accidents. Research shows that new employees have a higher risk of workplace accidents. It is the lack of knowledge of workplace hazards and proper work techniques that cause this greater risk.

Employers should provide employees with the necessary training to reduce workplace accidents. Employees should operate all equipment and machinery properly and safely.

For instance, the operation of heavy machinery should be properly taught to employees. Only trained or certified employees should operate such types of equipment. This is why it is important to provide safety training to employees by experts.

Using Protective Safety Equipment

The usage of equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause workplace injuries is very important. Not doing so can cause injury or even death.

Employees may have to work with chemicals, machines, electronics and other potential work hazards. Employers must provide such employees with personal protective equipment (P.P.E).

P.P.E should be safely designed, constructed and fit comfortably. Examples of P.P.E are gloves, protective eyewear, clothing, earplugs, hard hats, etc.

Reporting Unsafe Working Conditions

Employees must inform any kind of safety hazard or work risks to the management. Employers are legally obligated to ensure safe working environments for their employees. It is their duty to end workplace safety hazards and promote safety in the workplace.

Practicing Correct Posture

Bad posture is one of the main reasons for back pain. It is imperative to practice good and correct posture to reduce the risk of getting hurt.

For example, if you have to sit for long hours, use specially designed chairs. Also, always sit upright.

Reducing Workplace Stress

Workplace stress can cause many health problems like anxiety, depression, etc.

Job insecurity, workplace bullying, high workload, etc. cause workplace stress.

Learn how to combat workplace stress and avoid its negative effects. Workplace stress can have drastic effects on workplace productivity and employee health.

Promoting Regular Breaks

Employers should encourage employees to take regular breaks. Taking regular breaks will prevent tiredness and fatigue. This will further prevent injuries or illnesses. Breaks help employees stay fresh and focused.

Staying Sober and Alert

One of the major reasons for workplace fatalities is substance abuse. Substance abuse causes around 40% of all industrial workplace fatalities.

Individuals under the influence of alcohol or drugs are less alert. Their decision-making ability, coordination, concentration, and motor control gets compromised. This creates risks for workplace injury and fatalities.

Easy Access to Exits in Case of Emergencies

If there is an emergency, it is important to have easy access to emergency exits. Easy access to emergency exits will reduce injuries and casualties.

Also, it is important to have quick ways to shut down equipment in case of emergencies.

Using Mechanical Aids

An industrial job may need employees to work with heavy equipment. There are many injury risks involved in trying to lift and move heavy objects. Employees can use a conveyor belt, forklift or wheelbarrow instead of lifting manually.