How To Promote Wellness In The Workplace
Wellness in the workplace benefits everyone from employers to employees. Healthy, happy employees are likely to have a higher productivity level each day.
They are also less likely to call off and miss time due to illness. Promoting a healthy workplace takes effort by all involved.
1. Creating A Healthy Workspace
In today’s age, it’s no secret that working in an office for many years has a damaging impact on the body and mind.
To exemplify this, behavioral futurist William Higham created a model named Emma as a stark visual representation of the dangers of this lifestyle.
She shows that sitting for long periods of time can result in a hunched back, weak legs, varicose veins, and chronic stress, among many other ailments.
Learning about the dangers of the lifestyle is the first step, but there are preventative measures that employers can introduce to alleviate the risks to their employees.
These measures include practicing proper posture, regular exercise, taking breaks, and stress management, all of which can help to improve blood flow, prevent pain and injury, and beyond.
Further, these tips are important for anyone who works long hours at a computer like freelancers, programmers, graphic designers, and even professional gamers.
2. Encouraging Nutrition
Another way to promote wellness in the workplace is to consider onsite nutritional options for workers.
If a vending machine is the only option, that may limit access to fresh, wholesome food choices that may pack more nutrients for workers.
While some spaces may have limitations to full-blown cafeterias or furnished lunch options, it is possible to encourage delivery services, local restaurant catering, and a refrigerator stocked with healthy drinks, fruits, and veggies. This can also prove to be the ideal option for afternoon snacking.
3. Encourage Healthy Competitions Where Acceptable
Employers need to minimize the risks of leaving anyone out but encouraging employees to engage in healthy lifestyle changes and even strategies for losing weight can be a positive experience.
In these situations, employees can work together to create motivation and mentoring to help them to feel better, trim fat, and boost their overall health.
Be sure to find a way to include all employees into the competition (if there is one) and to allow it to be employee-led rather than employer hosted.
4. Provide Healthy Tools For Employees To Use
While providing a healthy and safe at-work environment is important, it can also be valuable for companies to ensure employee needs are met outside of the office.
This may include providing access to gym facilities, dietary professionals, and wellness coaches. Also, consider the mental well being of employees.
While most health insurance policies today include access to mental health care, it can be beneficial to encourage employees to use those services. This can help to defray concerns over stress and anxiety, especially as it relates to the workplace.
5. Keep Germs At Bay
Perhaps one of the most important wellness strategies for the workplace is to ensure sick employees stay home. Don’t punish or look down on employees who call off for the day because they are ill.
While you may be able to facilitate an opportunity for them to work from home on these long stays at home if they feel up to it, the key is not allowing those germs in the office.
This simply creates a high risk for other employees to become ill as well. Your best route is to ensure that employees know when to stay home such as when they have a fever or are coughing. Encourage doctor visits when needed, too.
6. Take Time out to Play
Physical health takes a back seat in the office, where people are glued to their desks seven hours or so every day. Moreso, not all office workers have the energy or luxury to exercise after the shift. The long-term effects of a sedentary lifestyle have been discussed in this article.
So take it upon yourself to schedule outdoor activities for the team. You can go hiking, camping, swimming, or any event that requires them to move and stretch. Make the occasion extra memorable with awards and prizes for the winners and willing participants.
Creating strategies for keeping employees at work health is critical. It helps to ensure your office space is always working at its best.
It also helps to ensure employees feel that you, as the company owner or human resource manager, respect their needs.
You want your employees to always feel valued like this. They are more likely to remain with your company when they do. Workplace wellness programs allow that to happen.