Technology has created a 24/7 work environment. No matter where an employee goes, they are tethered to their jobs. This constant pressure to work can have a hugely detrimental impact on employees.
Research has found that working over eight hours a day can result in a 40 to 80 percent greater chance of heart disease. Businesses can improve organizational wellness by promoting healthy employees.
Healthy employee habits benefit staff and their employer. More than 13 million working days are lost every year because of stress-related illness. Encouraging healthy employees can raise organizational satisfaction, increase productivity, and decrease absenteeism.
1. Form run or walk groups
Push employees to bring a coworker on a 15 or 30-minute walk, to break up the day. You can incentivize this process through challenges, for which employees can win healthy lifestyle related prizes.
2. Promote efficient teamwork
When your work teams are productive with their time in the office, there is no need to work after hours. Additionally, an efficient team can help to reduce the stress of an individual, if that individual has an off-week. Efficient teams not only make work easier for each individual but also improve the final result of that group as a whole.
3. Increase natural lighting
Increasing employees’ exposure to natural light can boost productivity and improve their sleep. If your office doesn’t have many windows, consider making an outdoor break space or incorporating natural lighting into meeting areas or conference rooms.
4. No emails after hours
Encourage employees not to send or respond to work-related emails after office hours (unless in an emergency). Responding to emails late at night especially, can increase stress and ruin sleep quality. These emails can also lead to employees doing other work after business hours, which can raise stress.
* Ensuring employees don’t do work after hours will be especially critical to employers looking to avoid employee-overtime under the new FLSA rule. *
5. Create bike storage
Adding space for workers to store their bikes is an easy way to promote riding a bike to work. Bike storage also allows for workers to share their bikes and let employees who live too far away to bike, the chance to take a break and go for a quick ride during the day.
6. Use the company intranet
Use the company intranet (or create one) to share healthy recipes, helpful exercises, stress management techniques, and financial wellness tips. A company intranet is a simple way to promote employee wellness and foster a closer work-environment.
An internal internet is a perfect method for employees to get to know one another better, while also benefiting the company as a whole. Employees can interact with one and improve organizational morale. This boosted morale helps improve both company productivity and employee health.
7. Permit regulated naps
Research has shown that naps can boost alertness, learning, and problem-solving while decreasing stress and fatigue. Allow employees to take a 10-20 minute nap, no more than once a day, when they feel it would help them.
8. Switch to healthy vending machines
Replace chips, candy bars, and cookies with nuts, granola bars, and protein bars. Change soda for flavored water or iced tea. A healthier vending machine promotes healthy eating among your employees.
9. Change your culture
Every company should develop hard work as a part of its culture; however, this hard work has to be within reason. Encourage employees to take regular breaks, create work schedules and stick to them, and discourage late night or after-hours work.
Management has to be the driving influence behind this culture shift. Leadership has to lead by example and promote a healthy lifestyle by living one. If your staff sees the leadership setting the example they are more likely to follow suit.
The average person spends 90,000 hours at the office over his or her lifetime. Businesses should be doing all they can to guarantee these 90,000 hours are spent as healthy as possible.
It is important for companies to keep in mind that employee wellness encompasses physical, mental, and even financial health. Businesses should use these nine tips to promote healthy employees and healthy work habits, which work to improve physical, mental, and financial health.
Dupont Co. found that each dollar invested in workplace health promotion yielded $1.42 over a two-year period in lower absenteeism alone.
Promoting healthy employees and positive work habits is good for both employee and employer. As “they” say, “If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing wellness.”