Healthy employees are vital to a happy, productive workplace. With working Brits each spending an average of almost 1800 hours a year working, it is vital their employer supports their health in the workplace. One way to do this is to implement a wellness program.
Read on for some ideas on how you can improve the health of your workplace.
Gyms and Fitness Centres
Many workplaces have an onsite gym, which is free to use for employees. This encourages regular exercise, which can have benefits in the workplace such as improved mental wellbeing and increased energy levels. It can also provide an easy way for colleagues to get to know each other outside of working, improving the rapport and productivity of your team.
Of course, not every workplace has the means or space to build a gym onsite. Instead, you could provide vouchers for a local gym or fitness classes.
Mental Health Support
It’s important to look after your team’s mental wellbeing as much as their physical wellbeing. One way to do this could be to offer therapy sessions, or even have an onsite therapist that employees can talk to about any problems they’re facing. Doing this will help your team feel supported and cared about.
This was a program adopted by Starbucks this year. Back in April, they began offering their US employees and family members 20 free mental health sessions with a therapist each year.
Quit Smoking Initiative
Everyone knows the consequences of smoking, from increased cancer risk to more immediate issues such as worsened colds and flus, and more time off work. In fact, employees who smoke are estimated to cost UK businesses £7.5 billion a year. However, research shows that most smokers want help to stop, and 34% of smokers are more likely to stop smoking if a colleague also quits.
Therefore, workplaces need to take responsibility to offer help to employees who smoke. An initiative to quit smoking could involve regular meetings, abolishing smoking areas, and rewards for employees as they reach milestones.
Encourage Healthy Eating by Providing Healthy Snacks
Healthy eating is key to healthy employees. Eating healthy is one of the most effective ways to improve your overall health, and even has knock on benefits for your mental wellbeing. An easy way to improve your employee’s diet is by providing them with healthy snacks, whether they are in the office or working from home.
At Snackcess, we believe that healthy snacks are the key to improving employee wellbeing, engagement and productivity. By sending out boxes of healthy snacks, we hope to make our workforce healthier, one snack at a time.
Request a free sample today to start creating the perfect employee wellness program.
Google has installed sleep pods in their office, to encourage employees to nap if they’re tired. This can help improve employee productivity, as just a 20-minute nap can improve energy levels, and therefore increase alertness and mood.
You don’t need to invest in the fancy sleep pods Google use to implement this, but simply providing a quiet room would be enough to help employees recharge.
Yoga can improve posture and flexibility, as well as reducing musculoskeletal complaints which are common in office jobs. Further to this, reduced stress and improved focus are just two ways that yoga can improve productivity. Yoga classes can also serve as a way for employees to meet and socialise outside of work. As a result, offering yoga classes can benefit all aspects of your team’s lives and improve overall wellness.
One way to improve the wellness of your team could be to introduce challenges and competitions. These challenges could be related to anything to do with health, with a common one being a challenge to see who can get the most steps over the period of a month. This encourages employees to move more, helping them reap the rewards of regular exercise, and hopefully help them to instil habits that they will continue long after the challenge has ended.
Cycle to Work Initiative
Cycling is not only good for the environment, but excellent for our cardiovascular health. You could start a scheme to encourage employees to ditch the car and cycle to work for so many days a week. You could do this by making it a wellness challenge, such as to see who has cycled the furthest over a period of time. Alternatively, you could provide a bike share or hire service, or offer vouchers for employees to purchase or fix their own bikes.
Messages are a perfect way to relieve your team’s stress, as well as pain and tension from being sat at a desk all day. You could bring in a masseuse regularly, and allow your team to book in for 15 minute slots. Zeel provide a lot of interesting information about massages at work, and if you’re located in the US you can book a massage event with them.
Encourage Better Sleep
It is estimated that sleep deprivation costs the UK 200,000 lost workdays and £40 billion a year. Therefore, it is so important to encourage employees to sleep well. Whilst napping can be a great solution, this isn’t possible in every workplace, so instead you could help employees improve their sleep at night. This could be by providing a workshop on good sleep hygiene, allowing more flexible start times, or you could even make it another wellness challenge.
Mediation can be a great way to relieve stress in the workplace. You could offer guided mediation during breaks, which would help employees improve concentration and relax throughout the day. Alternatively, you could offer your employees discounted memberships for apps such as Headspace, or even create your own meditation guide for them to try at home.
It’s really important to encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day, from both a health and productivity standpoint. At busy periods, employees may feel like they don’t have time to take a break, or feel guilty for doing so. To help with this, you could schedule whole office breaks. For 15 minutes, encourage your employees to step away from their desk, move around and chat to colleagues.
Flexible Time Off, Including Mental Health Days
After all their hard work, your team both need and deserve time off to recharge and relax. Allow employees to be flexible with their paid leave- many workplaces are now offering employees a day off for their birthday too.
You should also respect that mental health days are needed sometimes too- it is just as important to take time off for mental wellbeing concerns as it is to take time off for physical ailments.
Start a Book Swap or Book Club
Education and personal development are key aspects of wellness at work. You could begin a book club where everyone reads the same book every week, to include a social aspect to the program. An alternative would be to set up a book swap library, where everyone brings in a favourite book and other employees are free to borrow and read them.
Create a Wellness Board
This can be a literal board in your office, or it can be virtual. The idea is that everyone is the office can put up wellness tips, such as recipes, vouchers, and general advice or articles they’ve read. By creating a collaborative hub, you can make improving the wellness of your employees a team effort that everyone can contribute to.