With so many technology companies springing up every year, there has never been a better time to be involved in the industry.
But, it’s not all a bed of roses. In fact, there are some common health concerns with working for a technology startup which can cause big problems.
New business owners have to be aware of these issues as they can have a serious impact on productivity. And, as we all know, when you’re running a startup, you are in an incredibly time-sensitive position.
Without high levels of productivity, it will be difficult to get your business anywhere close to ready for launch before you run out of money.
We’re going to identify some of the most common issues that affect workers and bosses in the tech startup industry – and what you can do about them.
These are all genuine threats to the productivity of you and your team, so it’s vital to keep on the lookout. Also, bear in mind that when people are under pressure to deliver, it’s rare that they will disclose the fact they are struggling.
Regardless, it’s up to you as the person in charge to ensure your employees are fit, healthy, and enjoy a safe working environment.
Stress is a common complaint from people working in the tech startup environment. There is a lot of pressure from all directions to get a product or service to market, and it can take its toll.
Late nights, impossible targets, high workloads: they all contribute to a more stressful environment. And, if left unchecked, stress can lead to an array of complications, such as high blood pressure, heart problems, and stroke.
Stress also has a big impact on a person’s ability to deliver. Productivity can slip, and even if a worker spends a long time on a task, there is an element of presentiment to consider.
People under stress are also more likely to make mistakes, and the quality of their work can diminish and become erratic. Try and provide your staff an open door policy in which they feel comfortable talking with you about how they are doing.
Keep an eye out for people that are showing signs of stress and ensure they can get some time out when feasible.
People working in technology startups tend to work longer hours, to compensate for small teams and to get a product to market fast.
The result is late nights, early mornings, and a build up of sleep deprivation. Lack of sleep can take an enormous toll on the mind, and it has been linked with mental health problems.
Make sure your employees – and you – understand the benefits of sleeping properly. It’s a simple fact that good night’s sleep leads to higher productivity and better performance. It’s in your benefit to encourage rest outside of work.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that when people are tired, they tend to have more accidents at work.
And, that a sound health and safety policy is one of the best ways to combat the number of injuries that occur in the workplace.
Almost a quarter of all small businesses in the UK do not invest in health and safety services. It is vital that you don’t count yourself amongst their numbers.
#3 Mental Health
Lack of sleep and a stressful working environment can also cause mental health issues.
Don’t underestimate how this can affect your business. Depression, anxiety and other psychological problems can increase sick days. There’s the issue of presenteeism, too.
And, of course, they can lead to severe problems for your employees. It might be worth assessing the severity of your working conditions by using the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale to ward off any future problems.
Bear in mind that only over a half of all businesses have policies on occupational illness.
There has been a dramatic improvement in recent years, but the simple fact remains that mental health at work is still a nettle few employers want to grasp.
Working long hours can lead to poor diet choices, too. When you are eating on the hop, it’s easier to reach out for fast food and unhealthy snacks. So, it’s worth investing in healthier eating programs for your employees.
Think about providing fruit bowls for snacks, and use better ingredients if you have an employee restaurant. When you look at trends in successful businesses, universities, and hospitals, they are all investing in healthy eating programs.
It’s a growing trend and one that technology companies should embrace.
It’s not just the body that nutritious food helps, either. It’s also the mind. Junk food and sugary snacks might give short-term rewards, but they also cause crashes after an hour or so.
The result is a lackadaisical workforce that just isn’t productive. Healthier food options with the right balance of nutrition helps people stay sharp for longer – it’s as simple as that.
#5 Lack of Exercise
With everyone working so hard – often hunched in front of a computer – technology employees face big issues from lack of exercise.
It is vital that you allow staff to have regular breaks from their desks, and encourage exercise as much as possible. Again, it will help keep employee illness down to a bare minimum, meaning fewer sick days.
Lack of exercise can lead to weight gain, musculoskeletal issues, and even things like depression and heart problems.
Exercise also helps people think clearer. Lunchtime fitness sessions can be a great way of boosting performance and avoiding the typical lull in productivity that occurs in the late afternoon.
Healthy body, healthy mind. It’s a simple enough premise to follow, right?
Being involved with a technology startup can be an exciting time. However, it is vital that you take the health and well-being of your employees into consideration.
Productivity will slip, and your chances of achieving your goals will reduce. There are a number of reasons why the vast majority of startups fail before they even launch – most of which are down to lack of money.
Speed is essential, and you need everyone working at their best to make it through this tough period. Only a fit and healthy team will help you get there, so don’t underestimate the value of investing in a sensible health and safety plan.
So what are you doing to be more productive with your start up and also do it in a way that doesn’t hurt your health? I know for me it’s been tough to balance the two and it always seems like their is some sort of adjustments that need to be made from time to time.
So take a moment and share what you are doing and leave a comment.