Following on from yesterday’s blog, discussing the threats to wellness in the workplace, today we look at what can be done immediately at work to improve the wellness of employees. The first area in which wellness can be improved relates to education. Ensuring employees know good dietary habits, understand their mental and physical health and are taught the importance of when and how to exercise effectively. This can be achieved through talks, handouts, and discussions in the workplace where wellness is the sole priority. Furthermore, the ‘buy-in’ of senior management is crucial, if CEO’s and managers lead any wellness programmes and implement cultural changes within an organisation, then the rest of the business is more likely to benefit.
Away from education on what staff should and shouldn’t be eating, providing solutions to enable change is equally as crucial. Ensuring staff have a proper lunch break (over half an hour) to allow them to either prepare their own meal or pick up a good selection of nutritious food will help staff be more focussed in the afternoon, and more productive for the business. Furthermore, encouraging staff to get out the office, during their lunch break – even just for a walk can have huge benefits for individuals and the productiveness of the organisation in the long-term. (See our blog on lunch-time wellness for more details).
There are more simple solutions to improving workplace wellness that can be implemented at a moments notice, which will have huge impacts on the health and wellbeing of employees. Ensuring tea, coffee, and water are free is one simple way to do this, however many employers now offer a variety of free healthy snacks or fresh fruit to their staff to encourage healthy eating throughout the day. We have seen first hand the popularity and desire for healthy snacks in the office. With over 95% of people snacking throughout the day, avoiding unhealthy products and being provided with a healthy option is beneficial for both the morale and the wellbeing of employees.
Changing workplace habits, and changing attitudes towards health in the office can not only improve the health of staff – and add to the corporate social responsibility of a company – but also increase their profits, due to the increased productivity of staff. Furthermore, showing employees that a business cares about them, through education and a wellbeing package, can enhance staff loyalty and even attract new, talented employees to that business.
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