Everyone knows the pressure in January to live up to resolutions, start going to the gym, and use the motivation of the new year to begin instilling better habits into their lives. Workplace wellness is just as important as our habits outside of our jobs. After all, we spend most of our waking lives at work. We sit in our cars to commute, sit all day at our desks, work long hours, and sit at home at night. We sleep less, grab quick food options, and are so tired by the end of the day that getting to the gym feels impossible.
Benefits of Workplace Wellness
In order to be at our best mentally and physically every day, we must look after our wellness every day. Companies with healthy employees enjoy better employee engagement, culture, recruitment, and success overall, so consider wellness options in your workplace an investment in your future as a company. Here are just a few options you can apply:
At work, time has quickly become the most valuable resource most people have. How your workforce spends their time directly affects your bottom line.
- Are they sitting in traffic on their way in, and arriving upset and stressed (and already less productive)?
- Are they distracted by conversations around their cubicle, or constantly drowning them out with music? (That could be bad for your ears, and your mental health)
- Are they wasting most of their time in their standard 8 hour day waiting for other people to approve or ok next steps, or sitting in meetings that could have been messages?
- Do they sit in traffic on the way home, too?
A flexible office might work in your favor, and save you money while making your employees happier.
In a flexible office, employees come and go as they please, inside or outside of normal work hours. If employees don’t need to be onsite for meetings or other collaborative work, they can opt to work from home (or remotely) instead. This way, they can focus more, get interrupted less, expose themselves to less sound pollution, and find better work/life balance due to the extra hour or two (or more) they aren’t spending getting to and from the office. This empowers employees to manage their own time and duties, and helps foster a sense of trust and mutual respect between management and employees.
In turn, your company will save money on expenses for space, power, and a myriad of other resources. You will also attract better candidates who want the flexibility to work where they are most comfortable.
There is overwhelming scientific proof that a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us in many, many ways. Specifically, sitting for long periods of time, eating junk food, and limiting physical activity can frustrate all kinds of conditions, from back pain to your chance of having a stroke.
Conversely, study after study shows us that doing small things like standing up, sitting better, focused stress relief, and walking can significantly reduce our chances of getting sick later in life. They can also reduce our risks for depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions that can arise in high-stress situations. Investing in ergonomic solutions now can save companies expenses down the road in workman’s compensation, insurance, and turnover.
Standing desks, ergonomic chairs, floor mats, and better monitors are all examples of products that cater to workplace health. Find out what solutions your employees are interested in, and work on an action plan to implement changes in the next year.
Wellness programs are plans that companies put together to help encourage better health, and in turn, foster a more productive work environment.
The scope of your company’s wellness program may vary widely from others in your industry, but the hallmarks of a GOOD program are:
- Clear Goals – meet with your employees to figure out what they might like to see from the program, and goals that they would like to meet as a team together. This could be anything, from stress management to encouraging more movement from employees every day.
- Dedicated team – a few focused and capable people can make all the difference in the world between a mediocre project and a comprehensive one.
- Communication – from both managers and employees, on what is working, what is not, and where to adjust. Thorough data collection and feedback are essential to prove success.
So, why bother with a wellness program in the first place? Simple. They work. When they’re implemented well, they work even better. Companies benefit from employees that are happier and healthier as a direct result of workplace wellness. Get your team together, and see how much better you can be in the new year.