Health is an essential part of your employees’ lives, but many businesses tend to overlook it. However, it’s estimated that about 133 million Americans have some chronic illness, such as diabetes, obesity, and heart disease, which means that the workplace is one of the most important places to focus on health and wellness. A healthier workplace is also better for employee morale and can improve productivity and retention rates. Here are five things you need to create a healthier workplace.
Encourage Physical Activity
It’s estimated that about 36% of female and 38% of male employees are obese in America. This is due to different reasons. First is the type of work people are doing. For example, if someone has a desk job, they’re not going to be as active as someone who works in construction. Secondly, the way our society is set up encourages sedentary behavior. Most Americans have a car to get to work and then sit at a desk all day.
Thankfully, you don’t have to invest in a fancy gym membership or equipment to encourage physical activity in the workplace. However, here are some ways to promote physical activity in your workplace.
You can have teams of employees compete against each other to see who can get the most steps in a day, week, or month. The prize can be a gift card to a local restaurant or store.
Meetings are essential to any workplace, but they don’t have to happen in a conference room. Walking meetings are a great way to get employees moving while still being productive.
If your employees mostly sit at their desks all day, consider getting them standing desks. Standing desks have been shown to improve productivity and reduce back pain.
There are many other ways to encourage physical activity in the workplace. Get creative and see what works best for your employees.
Comfortable Working Conditions
Employees should be comfortable in their work environment. Therefore, you should note various things when creating comfortable working conditions for your employees. Here are the essential ones.
The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is one of the most important things to consider when making your workplace comfortable. The temperature should be set to a comfortable level for employees. If you don’t have an HVAC system, you can use portable air conditioners to create a comfortable environment for your office. The best part about portable ACs is that they are easier to move around. So a portable AC can be a great solution if you have a smaller office that doesn’t require an HVAC system.
The lighting in your office should be bright enough to help employees see but not so bright that it’s blinding. You can achieve this by using energy-efficient light bulbs and cleaning the windows.
Another thing to consider is the noise level in your office. If it’s too loud, it can be distracting for employees. You can reduce noise by using sound-absorbing materials and having a quiet area for employees to work in if they need to concentrate.
Mental Health Support
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Ensure your employees know you are there for them if they need to talk about anything bothering them. Here are some ways you can provide mental health support to your employees.
An employee assistance program (EAP) is a benefit offered by many employers. It provides employees with confidential counseling and support for mental health and other issues.
Talk to Your Employees
You should have an open-door policy, so employees feel comfortable coming to you with any problems. Additionally, you can check in with your employees regularly to see how they are doing.
Ensure your employees know about resources such as the EAP, health insurance, and employee assistance programs. You can provide this information in an employee handbook or company website.
Positive Team Dynamic
Employees should feel like they are part of a team and that their coworkers have their back. This can be accomplished by fostering open communication, encouraging collaboration, and providing opportunities for socialization within the office (e.g., hosting regular company-wide events).
Encourage Relaxation and Leisure Time
Encouraging relaxation and leisure time may seem counterintuitive, but it’s essential for a healthy workplace. Employees who have time to relax are less likely to experience burnout. You can encourage relaxation by offering flexible work hours or paid vacation days. You can also create an “unplugged” area in the office where employees can take breaks from technology.
Creating a healthy workplace should be a top priority for any business owner or manager. Doing these things can create an environment conducive to employee happiness and productivity.