If your business doesn’t currently invest in workplace wellness, you may be wondering why you should. Workplace wellness has been linked to greater productivity, fewer employees calling out sick, and an overall increase in employee workplace satisfaction. If you’re not sure where to start, here are 6 ways you can improve wellness at your workplace.
Provide Standing Desks
Not everyone is interested in or physically capable of working at a standing desk. But it might be beneficial to provide the option for those who are. Studies have shown that a standing desk can benefit one’s health by:
- Easing/reducing shoulder and back pain
- Aiding blood sugar levels
- Burning calories
- Increasing productivity
If providing standing desks to your employees isn’t feasible due to the cost, consider simply offering a variety of seating options. Exercise balls and ergonomic chairs are both great alternatives to traditional office chairs but are more affordable than standing desks.
Have Healthy Cafeteria Options/Meals
If your company has a cafeteria or regularly caters food for meetings, see this as another opportunity to improve workplace wellness! Instead of grabbing pizza or burgers, maybe spring for healthy options such as salads, protein bars, smoothies, and fresh fruit. It may seem like a small step, but considering most of your workforce will eat at least 5 meals at work every single week, it’s a worthwhile change to make.
Offer Counseling Resources
Mental health is an often overlooked yet critical component of workplace wellness. It doesn’t take long before family and life stressors start to affect office life! Anger issues and interpersonal conflict may be signs that your employees are struggling emotionally and mentally. Make yourself available to talk, but also offer your employees counseling resources, perhaps at a discount at the expense of the company. Providing access to counseling for those who need it is especially important for organizations such as hospitals, law enforcement organizations, and other emotionally demanding jobs.
Provide After-Work Stress Relief
Medline Plus defines stress as “your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.”
While you should certainly encourage members of your team to implement personal stress relief strategies, some of your employees may need the encouragement and accountability that community provides. This is where work-instigated stress relief comes in. Company-sponsored stress relief could include:
- Paying for a yoga instructor to host a class after work a couple times a week
- Hosting weekly after-work hangouts at a coffee shop or restaurant
- Having yearly retreats for the team
- Installing a basketball net on-site, so that team members can play a quick game after work
According to the University of Southern California, “Rewards, incentives and benefits — such as gym, spa or yoga memberships — are great techniques to increase motivation as well as health and wellness in the workplace. Amenities such as an on-site gym give employees the opportunity to exercise more frequently and together, creating a stronger team environment.”
Offer a Wellness Bonus
Speaking of benefits, one of the best ways to inspire your employees to take responsibility of their own health is to offer a wellness bonus for those who do prioritize health. Set the parameters and let employees know how much extra $$ they will make if they meet those requirements. When it comes to motivating your employees to eat healthy, stay fit, and take care of themselves, a financial incentive is guaranteed to be an effective motivation and reinforcement.
Be on the Lookout for Signs of Poor Health
Are your employees anxious, slothful, or depressed? Are the calls for being out sick getting more frequent? Burnout, stress, and an unhealthy lifestyle can wreak havoc on your company. Don’t ignore or brush off the signs! If your employees are forgetful, clock in late often, seem tired or sleepy on the job, or are unproductive, create and implement a workplace wellness plan as soon as possible.