Improving the overall health of a workforce has a direct impact on productivity and employee satisfaction. By taking a few measures and sticking to habits, a business can cultivate a happier culture while promoting strong work ethic and optimal productivity.
However, as soon as some leaders hear the word, “healthy,” they’re quick to see dollar signs, which can be difficult for startups or small businesses.
We’ll cover just a few ways businesses can encourage healthier habits among employees without having to worry about adding costs.
When you’re in an office building, it’s easy for everyone to concentrate so hard on the work that they end up indoors for the majority of the day. But sunlight is good for us! When you can, encourage your employees to try and get more vitamin D by opening up the curtains or taking a quick walk outside. Vitamin D deficiencies may cause your team to feel weaker and may lead to more serious issues like osteoporosis.
And not just smoke breaks. Remind your team to step away from the computer, walk around, drink some water, or even meditate. It’s easy to get wrapped up in routines and projects, but even a five-minute break can be enough to ease stress or anxiety. Allow yourself and your team some room to breathe, and you all might come back to work feeling more focused.
This suggestion may be the most costly of the options reviewed here, but the return is also perhaps the most significant. When businesses offer wellness or health benefits, employees find greater motivation in maintaining healthy habits, as they begin to see the connection between physical and mental health, and their work performance. Check nearby gyms or healthcare providers that offer bundle packages or discounted plans for local businesses. Health insurance plans also frequently offer incentives that can help get your employees access to wellness programs at low cost.
Expansive has partnered with TriNet to offer up to 50% off on on healthcare, payroll, and worker’s comp. Learn more here.
Another easy way to encourage more active lifestyles among your team is to promote biking to work. While it may not be an option for everyone depending on their commute, it’s a great way to not only get some exercise, but it also generates endorphins from being outside in the sunshine and fresh air. Expansive locations provide indoor bike storage for just this reason. Even easier – remind them to take the stairs! Even a few flights a day add up and get the blood pumping. Contests among your team can be a good motivator to get people thinking about simple ways to be more active.
Convenience and low cost often mean less healthy when it comes to food. Think about the nearby lunch options – do employees have access to something more than fast food? Do your office snacks offer plenty of choices? Keep a fruit bowl and some water or orange juice as options in the team fridge. Expansive kitchens are frequently stocked with yogurts, granola bars, and nuts, all of which are are perfect reasonable options for satiating an appetite between meals.
Staying seated can be one of the worst things to do all day, there’s even a TEDx Talk on the subject with over 2 million views. Staying seated can weaken muscles, stress the skeleton, and restrict regular blood flow. To combat this, work in different areas of the office around the day. If you’re an Expansive member, the coworking lounges provide a variety of unique places to work at, from desks to bars, and from couches to stools for expressly this reason! Perhaps you can also consider trading in the swivel chair for a stability ball, or your old desk for a standing desk. These furniture and workspace changes will help your team develop better posture while they work.
Wellness is one of the most important aspects of a business, but almost seldom discussed. Creating a health plan isn’t about leadership, it’s about collaboration. Get input from your team members and employees to find out what their biggest concerns and challenges are in taking care of their body. The less time they spend worrying on their wellness and other health aspects, the better.
We’ve covered a few ways to keep your team physically healthy, but it’s equally important to remember to take care of your team’s mental health as well. Long work hours, strict deadlines, and competitive environments may not always be conducive to a healthy or balanced mindset. Keep these things in mind as you are developing your business and office culture, and remember to have resources available such as professional counseling or therapy.
Don’t expect a few changes to lead to immediate results. Introduce changes one by one. Test them out, get some feedback, and keep going. The key to a healthy lifestyle is to create habits you can maintain. It’s a lot like exercise, getting started may be difficult, but once you get into the rhythm, it’s even more difficult to stop!