You may look forward to waking up and going to work everyday. Or you may not.
What can’t be ignored is that when employees are healthy, business thrives. When an employer invests in the general wellness of the business and all who are involved, energy is increased, productivity improves, job stability is created and the positivity created spreads to everyone it touches. When we are happy at work — a place at which we may spend up to 60 or more hours of our week — we are happy everywhere else.
The following list is by no means a final list of ways to improve your workplace. It is simply a good place to start.
1. Establish a Health and Wellness Committee
Start to get those who are most interested involved. When someone is passionate or interested in a project, it will not only be fun for them, but it will show everyone else the positive aspects of the ideas. Plan to meet a minimum of one hour per month. Ideally, this should be a paid work hour. Sacrificing one hour of the 160+ hours worked in the month to do something that truly interests a few employees will pay back immensely. Spend this hour brainstorming ideas and ways to bring healthy ideas to the office. Create challenges, bring in speakers, simply make it fun!
2. Get Up and Move
Movement gets your blood and creativity flowing. Opt for a “walk & talk” meeting or if it’s nice out, simply move the conversation outside. Maybe instead of sending an email to someone three cubicles down from you, walk over to them for some face to face time and a quick leg stretch.
3. Implement Micro Breaks
Micro breaks are very short breaks taken as often as once per hour. They can range anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes. It can be as easy as getting up and walking to the water cooler and back, or getting everyone in the office to stand up at the top of every hour to perform twenty jumping jacks. Taking a short break, or moving your body, will allow you to refocus and increase productivity in the office. It also prevents stiffness and soreness from sitting for prolonged periods of time. And everyone feel better!
4. Start a 30 Day Challenge
Many people thrive on competition. Bringing a little bit of that competitive spirit may be just what employees need to kick start their health goals. Anything from a fitness challenge (one mile a day for a month) to a nutrition challenge (five servings of vegetables every day) to a BINGO challenge (complete tasks to cover a square until your card is complete). Be creative. Get prizes or money involved. Everyone can contribute $10 to be part of the challenge and the top two or three winners get a cash prize. Now there’s a little motivation!
5. Offer Discounts on Preventative Services
Gym memberships, massage, acupuncture and chiropractic are all great services geared to getting us healthier and feeling better. A workplace that promotes these types of preventative services shows that they truly care about their employees’ health. Many gyms offer corporate discounts if you ask. It’s likely that many massage therapists, acupuncturists and chiropractors would be willing to give your company a discount if you referred your employees there for regular care. Indeed, some of them may even be willing to come to you! Imagine: a local chiropractor is open for adjustments at your place of work from 4-6pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and any employee can take advantage of this service. Whether the company pays a flat fee or the employee pays a discounted rate, it may prove to be a great incentive to get employees working harder throughout the day.