Health and Wellness in the Workplace: Your Company’s Role

Healthy individuals are more likely to provide high quality work with fewer mistakes than employees whose general health is below par. There are also lower costs associated with them as fewer sick days are used and medical expenses are kept to a minimum. Being healthy does not have to fall solely on the shoulders of the employee, however. Companies can play a substantial role in preventing illnesses and maintaining their staff’s wellbeing by taking these health-related measures, benefiting both the individuals and the brand.

Health Care 

Offering a respectable health care package has long been an important aspect of a company’s benefits when wooing and maintaining employees. However, the health care offered does not have to be limited to that found in the insurance plan. Schedule regular lectures that are open to all personnel, focusing on topics such as nutrition, fitness and broad-spectrum wellness; provide chair massages; create a private Zen space where meditations can be done. Offer free access to mental health counseling as well as other wellness professionals.  

On-Site Fitness 

A new norm has popped up in recent years with on-site fitness facilities showing up on the scene. This allows employees who might forgo a trip to the gym after a long day due to the extra commute to instead get their workout in by merely walking across the office. An on-site gym can also allows for mini-workouts during breaks throughout the day, which help employees relieve stress and re-center.

A study published by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that those who engaged in physical activity at least two and a half hours each week took fewer sick days each month and increased productivity at work. Regular exercise also reduces job burnout and alleviates depression and anxiety. Companies are becoming more aware of the benefits of having physically active employees, which is perhaps why one particular organization that creates energy bars has offered employees two and a half hours’ worth of paid workout time in the on-site gym each week, reaping positive results. Sprinkle in variety by also offering a range of fitness classes that can be taken after work or during a lunch hour.

Standing Stations 

The gym is not the only way to increase movement throughout the day. Provide ergonomically correct standing stations complete with air spring platform boards, allowing employees to reduce health issues related to sitting at long intervals. Standing stations have been shown to result in higher productivity while increasing alertness and focus. Numerous health-related issues are diminished including chronic back and shoulder pain, and weight gain.

Food and Drink 

Make it easy for your employees to choose nutritional options by providing healthy, power-packed foods right there on the company grounds. Offer fresh, organic fruits and vegetables along with hot lunch selections. Keep a snack bar open throughout the day where healthy snacks can be accessed at any time. Stock the fridge with healthy beverages and keep a solid stash of tea on hand. Providing your employees with reusable lunch bags and coolers can also help them make good, conscious healthy choices for their meals at work. 

Flex Time 

Remove the archaic restraints of set hours and instead offer flexibility in the times your employees are expected to work. Chances are that you hired your staff with the inclusion of time management skills in their list of talents. Trust that they will get the job done in the manner that best fits them, whether it is in the form of early morning brainstorming sessions or powering through late into the night. If your employee is able to provide the service and quality you demand in a timely fashion, he or she should not be penalized by having to work long, traditional hours. Allowing flexibility also allows employees to avoid burnout and to take necessary breaks guilt-free to maintain balance and overall health.

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