Staying healthy at work can be challenging for many, especially when tasty snacks (I’m talking about you, donuts), hours spent sitting down, and skipped lunches are the norm in your workplace.
These types of unhealthy habits can pose significant problems down the road not only for your employees but also for your business. So what’s a business owner to do about it?
To keep your employees (and business) healthy and thriving in the long run, rejuvenate your workplace with wellness strategies.
Ideas for Employee and Workplace Wellness
Healthy employees promote healthy business. When your employees are feeling good, your business can thrive.
Workplace wellness should be at the top of your priority list for a number of reasons. It can:
- Improve productivity levels
- Increase employee engagement
- Decrease absenteeism
- Reduce stress
- Improve employee retention
So, what’s holding you back from enhancing employee wellness at your workplace? I hope the answer is something along the lines of “nada” or “zilch.” To start getting your team on track to be healthier, happier, and more productive than ever at work, utilize these six ideas for employee wellness.
1. Establish an Employee Wellness Program
A surefire way to promote employee wellness in your workplace is by creating an employee wellness program. Heck, “employee wellness” is in the name.
A wellness program can boost productivity, increase employee engagement, and reduce stress. One study found that 70% of employees would participate in an employee wellness program if their company offered one. You can even use certain activities, like fitness challenges, for team-building activities.
Additionally, a wellness program can benefit both your employees and your business. Wellness programs not only help you retain employees, but also help you reduce certain costs, such as:
- Health costs
- Workers’ compensation and disability claims
- Sick days
Interested in establishing an employee wellness plan for your company? Set a budget, come up with a game plan on what you want to include, and research plans.
If you are on the fence about offering an employee wellness program, think about what your employees would want and what would be best for your business. Chances are, your employees would be on board with and more than willing to participate in the program (wink, wink, 70%).
2. Offer Flexible Work Arrangements
Is your workplace flexible? No, I don’t mean splits and cartwheels flexible. I mean flexible with your work arrangements.
Offering employees flexible work arrangements is a great way to boost employee wellness. Flexibility gives employees a healthier work-life balance. Not to mention, it can help improve productivity and employee morale.
Some flexible work arrangements you can offer employees include:
- Flextime: Let employees choose their start and end times.
- Telecommuting: Allow your team to work from home or anywhere.
- Compressed workweek: Let employees work 40 hours in less than five days (e.g., 10-hour workdays).
- Job sharing: Two employees share and complete the tasks of one full-time job
Maybe you’ve already implemented some of the above arrangements. Or, maybe flexible work is a whole new world for your business. Whatever the case may be, weigh the pros and cons of flexible arrangements for your employees.
3. Encourage Employees to Take Time Off
Approximately half of American workers do not take vacation time (that’s right—50%). The reason? Well, there isn’t just one. But, it does typically boil down to a couple of things: A) employees not having paid vacation or time off benefits or B) folks being too afraid to take off time from work.
Paid time off and vacation time can give your employees a chance to kick back, relax, and destress. It can also give them the opportunity to re-energize and return to the office more productive than when they left.
Your workers shouldn’t be afraid or discouraged to take time away from work. If you offer paid time off or vacation time to employees, encourage them to take advantage of it, even if it’s just for a mental health day or staycation. After all, your employees are worth it, right?
4. Give Employees a Break
Believe it or not, the highest performing workers take effective breaks. Taking breaks throughout the workday—even if they’re only for a couple minutes—can restore energy levels, boost motivation, and increase creativity.
But, you can’t reap the rewards of breaks if your team isn’t actually taking them. To improve employee wellness, encourage employees to take those well-deserved breaks. Whether it’s five minutes every couple of hours or an hour-long lunch, breaks are a necessary component of a successful workday.
5. Say Goodbye to Sitting
You know what they say … sitting is the new smoking. But, is that phrase actually true? According to Mayo Clinic, it absolutely is. Sitting can endanger your employees’ physical health and cause health issues, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Sitting can be especially harmful to workers if they are sitting for more than eight hours a day and not getting any exercise.
So, what can you do to help combat this and keep your employees healthy? For starters, you can:
- Invest in standing desks
- Encourage employees to do desk exercises
- Give employees exercise breaks
If your employees are working from home, consider making arrangements to get them standing desks for when they work remotely. Or, encourage them to find ways to incorporate standing and exercise throughout their remote workday.
6. Keep Your Workplace Nice and Tidy
Part of your job when it comes to employee wellness is ensuring your employees have a healthy workplace to thrive in. That is, if they’re not working remotely.
To help keep your workplace well, keeping things nice and tidy is a must. If your team is coming into the workplace, sanitize desks, touchpoints (e.g., doorknobs), and bathrooms daily.
Consider creating a sanitizing station for your employees to use to help combat the spread of any germs. And, ask employees to stay out of the office and work from home (if possible) if they feel sick to prevent spreading anything to other workers.
When it comes to employee wellness, deep cleaning your office may seem obvious … so obvious that you might forget about it. But, it’s absolutely necessary, especially in the current climate. So, do your part by keeping things clean to help keep your employees as healthy as they can be.
Handsome employee smiling… -DepositPhotos