Every employer needs to look out for his or her employees. They're the most valuable asset in the business, which is why helping them reach new heights should be one of your premier goals. It wouldn’t hurt to help them maintain their health, either. Many workplaces are considered unhealthy environments for their employees.
Employees tend to pick up bad habits while they’re busy at work. When you have your hands full with a busy project, it’s kind of hard to focus on eating healthy or getting the right amount of physical activity. It’s a problem that many modern workplaces are tackling some big changes. Here are some ways to get your employees on the right track to healthy habits in the workplace.
1. Fresh and fruity snacks
Employees might want to have a snack from time to time while they’re working. It helps take their mind off things and it can be an effective pick-me-up after hours of work. The type of snacks people consume in the workplace depends on a couple of factors.
What do they have available in the near vicinity of the workplace? No one is going to walk five blocks to get some snacks and waste most of their break. Instead, they’ll probably stick to the closest vending machine or store. What’s everyone else eating? An employee might note someone else’s snacks and think it looks tasty. Might as well have the same thing, if it’s available close by.
If you want to have people eating healthier in the workplace, all you have to do is give them that opportunity. People would rather eat healthy snacks when they're available. The problem is that processed junk food and fast food are the most commonly available cheap things around. Healthy products need storage and preparation. However, this isn't much of a problem for a dedicated workspace.
It might be time to make healthy options available to your workplace. Buy some fruit in bulk and see what you can cook up with it. A mixer might come in handy. People often get tired of eating the same seasonal fruits over and over again for weeks. Nobody gets tired of smoothies, though. You can always make a new one with new ingredients and make it tastier than the last one.
2. Health over dedication
People often show up sick to work. Sometimes, their dedication to the craft is to blame, while other times it might just be stubbornness. Who’s going to let a little cold get between them and their profession? People are more likely to simply tough it out and continue working. There’s also the factor of not missing out on work. You don’t want to face repercussions for not giving it your all at work. Some managers might see health problems as an excuse for
This line of thinking should be discouraged in the workplace. People coming in sick never bodes well for their productivity and the productivity of others. Who's to say that they won't get other people sick by spreading contagious diseases? If there's a bug, everyone in the office is going to catch it and it will ruin everyone's workweek. Worse yet, the employee won't accomplish much by coming in while they aren't in top form.
Encourage your employees to take the day off whenever they’re sick. The loss of productivity can’t be compared to what might happen if they came to work. This will help them recover sooner and get right back to being productive in no time.
3. Celebrating health achievements
A person's environment has an enormous effect on their behavior. When you surround yourself with certain types of people, they’ll rub off on you. It’s why people sometimes change after traveling around a lot. Humans are inherently social creatures and we tend to mimic our environment. People are also influenced by the opinions of their environment. When this environment supports our decisions and actions, they are made more valid in our minds.
This begs the question: do you happen to stumble upon individuals that have similar views or do these individuals influence you to have these views? It seems like a tough question to answer at first, but in reality, it’s probably a mix of both. Views and habits related to health are treated in a similar way.
If your workplace takes a positive stance when it comes to personal health goals, you can be sure that these goals will be reached more often. Try to be open about advocating for healthy habits. It will rub off on employees and management alike. They will then contribute to the health-positive environment.
Encourage people to share their recent healthy achievements. The support of others is going to further motivate them to stick to their healthy habits. Then their support will be much appreciated in another person’s situation. It’s a positive loop that reinforces itself time and time again. All it takes a start.
4. Proper ergonomics and comfort
The furniture and equipment in your workplace have a big impact on the health of your employees. It's something you need to pay attention to when you're designing the workspace. Proper ergonomics are often neglected in work environments and employees tend to suffer for it.
Improving this is especially important in office environments. Office employees are often seated for hours at a time. When seating options aren’t comfortable or properly designed, this amount of time seated will lead to posture problems down the road. Back and neck injuries are some of the most common problems in offices that don’t provide employees with comfortable seating. Improving furniture will lead to a much smaller number of injury incidents, while only costing you marginally more. It’s a worthwhile investment that will help employees =improve their posture and back health.
5. Team building in nature
Sometimes, you need to get a little proactive in your efforts to keep everyone healthy. If your company isn't already doing team-building exercises, now is the perfect time to start. They help promote teamwork and cooperation in the workplace. These are hallmarks of an effective work environment.
Why not use this opportunity to do these team-building exercises in nature? It's something that can really contribute to team morale and you get to spend some time in the great outdoors. Walking isn't everyone's schtick, though. You can't cover a lot of ground and it might end up taking all day to even get to your desired destination.
An office bike ride through nature might be the better option. It might require some extra gear, but it’s well worth the fun you can have on the trip. Everyone should prepare their helmets, knee guards, and durable cycling shoes before heading out on the ride. There's nothing more satisfying than spending time in nature while getting a nice and exciting workout out of it. Your team members will appreciate the idea and they might even suggest their own ideas for where to go.
6. Workplace workout sessions
Not everyone has time to hit the gym or go do some yoga. After a busy workday, people just want to go home, relax, and spend some quality time with their families. Staying physically active every single day might not be feasible for most employees. Besides, you have to find a convenient and close by workout space to start with.
If you want to be a little more proactive, help your employees by giving them the ability to work out at the workplace. It might seem a little unorthodox, but there are some proven benefits for this type of arrangement. For one, it gives employees the option to work out if they otherwise aren’t able to. It’s a much nicer way to spend your lunch break rather than just heading outside and eating your lunch. Not to mention, working out can really work up a healthy appetite.
Keep in mind, you're not really sacrificing productivity here. Working out can give employees a much-needed bit of rest from a monotonous day at work. It's a great way to reset your thoughts and relax a little bit. People will go right back to work after their break feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on new challenges.
You don’t need to go all out with the equipment, either. You can simply dedicate a room to exercising and provide some yoga mats so people have a comfortable surface to work out on. A couple of weights might come in handy as well. It’s a cheap investment for all the benefits your workplace receives.
Employees are starting to treat their workplaces like a second home. At the same time, employers are trying to make the workplace a home by treating employees like family. Every investment that helps improve the health of your employees is a worthwhile venture. Consider some of these ideas for your own workplace and you can be sure that your employees’ health will improve and they’ll be grateful for it. Small changes go a long way when health is concerned.