Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Toxic Workplace Environments Need Advanced Human Habitat Approach

Image: Avoid Toxicity! Give Your People More “AH-HA!” Moments
Toxic Workplace Environments, normally attributed to poor leadership, are not helped by the physical and psychological stresses posed by Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Nature Deficit Syndrome (NDS), Seasonal Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs), and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). An Advanced Human Habitat Approach (“AH-HA!”) mitigates such stresses and supports organizations to work at peak potential. Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Nature Deficit Syndrome (NDS), Seasonal Anxiety Disorder (SAD), Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs), Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)… the problems associated with indoor space as-is (non-habitat) are numerous and toxic: physically and psychologically. The Antidote is Advanced Human Habitat (“AHH…”).
Image Credits: MS Office ClipArt: Metaphor of upset stick-person: wrapped up in red tape, http://officeimg.vo.msecnd.net/en-us/images/MH900389220.jpg, Unhappy stick-person: in front of a sad frowning computer, under a raincloud; Happy stick-person: waving a flag on top of a mountain peak, viewing a star through a telescope, with a giant light bulb overhead, scores a bull's eye with a bow and arrow

“You are a product of your environment. So choose the environment that will best develop you toward your objective. Analyze your life in terms of its environment. Are the things around you helping you toward success - or are they holding you back?”

As a member or a leader of an organization (even if your organization is a household), how often do you think about your workplace as a habitat? Countless books and articles have been written about workplace toxicity, but how many of these books on human behaviour and team dynamics have made the connection between a healthy workplace and a healthy work environment?  

Workplace wellness has begun to make a connection between healthy people and peak performance in teams…to a degree. And yet, it is surprising to note that many workplace wellness initiatives focus on activities outside of the workspace itself: gyms, healthy food choices in the cafeteria, smoking cessation programs, weight-loss programs. It’s all good, just one-step removed from where the action is: where most of the problems actually arise.

Doesn’t it make more sense to look to all the ways people are affected—mostly unconsciously—by the workplace environment itself? Sadly, people don’t consider the places they work, rest, play, learn or even heal as a habitat. Consider how the modern approach to human non-habitats adversely affects us:

Human Non-Habitat contributions to Toxic Workplaces, Homes, Schools, and other “living space”:
  • Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) – From respiratory problems to central nervous system symptoms. 
  • Attention Deficit Disorder & Attention Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder (ADD & ADHD) – Stress-inducing deadlines, meetings, computers, cellphones, background noise, jarring scents, audial / visual distractions, and more.
  • Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD) – A broad range of behavioural problems resulting from spending too much time indoors, with little or no exposure to nature.
  • Seasonal Anxiety Disorder (SAD) – Those living in northern climes know “the winter blues” and the “January blah’s.”
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Offices and workplaces are rife with high-levels of airborn contaminants, whose sources include commercial-grade cleaners, toners, and an endless variety of potentially hazardous materials and chemicals.
  • Greenhouse Gasses (GHGs) – The ongoing stress and anxiety caused by Climate Change should not be discounted. Oxygen is a natural relaxant and necessary for peak performance. Then there’s the lingering threat of droughts, catastrophic weather events, and the feelings of guilt and helplessness that go along with “not being able to do anything about it.”

Advanced Human Habitat: Surround Your People with “AHH…” Benefit from their “AH-HA!” Moments

PeapodLife is profoundly aware of the many hidden causes of stress, anxiety and illness in the workplace. Obviously, non-habitats are not conducive to human productivity, but it is completely impractical to move offices outdoors or hold board meetings in a tropical paradise. What’s the answer?

Advanced Human Habitat (AHH) literally provides a breath of fresh air for toxic workplace environments. Whereas contemporary non-habitats (so-called “productive workspace”) treat people more or less as machines, PeapodLife’s AHH is in line with contemporary business experts who agree people are much less rational, much more emotional, far less predictable and much more sensitive than once assumed.

We are beginning to understand just how much unconscious cues and subconscious reactions influence behaviour, group dynamics and decision-making, even in business. As for creativity, while a certain degree of “healthy pressure” can prompt breakthroughs, toxicity is tantamount to creative genocide.

Human beings are not machines. To operate with peak performance, people should have what all other living creatures get from nature: a habitat, complete with living, breathing ecosystem.

Human beings are not animals, either. To function at peak efficiency, people must have all the modern capabilities and conveniences they need to succeed in the socio-economic landscape.  

PeapodLife’s Advanced Human Habitat Approach (AH-HA!) balances the realities of modern life with the basic needs of human nature. Workspaces harmonize technology and ecology; improve health, productivity and overall feelings of wellness, vitality and happiness.

The result? Less toxicity in the workplace; more “AH-HA!” moments for your people and your organization.

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