6 Tips to Create a Culture of Wellness at Work
It is widely known that incorporating wellness practices into your workplace can not only lead to happier and healthier employees, but also more productive employees. This is because when people are healthier, they need fewer sick days and are better able to focus on work while they’re in the office, rather than feeling ill or having chronic aches and pains. All in all, employees feel better and the company saves money. Makes sense, right?
Okay, this information is all well and good (pun intended), but how does a company actually create a culture of wellness at work? What are some practical tips that an organization can implement in order to make wellness a clear priority? To help you get started down the right path, we’ve put together six tips to help you integrate wellness into the workplace today.
Promote Healthy Eating
Healthy eating is a huge part of overall wellness – as they say, you are what you eat! This is why it’s so important to encourage your employees to have a healthy diet, rather than resort to fast food lunches or vending machine snacks. Some practical tips that you can do to encourage this dietary lifestyle is to provide healthy snacks in your breakroom, or compile and distribute a list of healthy restaurants nearby your office so that people are more aware of their options. You can also include healthy recipes or eating tips in your employee newsletters so that that information is always top of the mind. Some great healthy recipes to kick-start your collection can be found on this great blog.
Host a Step Challenge
What better way to get your employees moving than by encouraging a little healthy competition? Company-wide step challenges are an excellent way to promote more activity, because no one likes to lose a competition. By watching other co-workers pull ahead and by engaging in this activity as a community, others will be more inspired to participate than they would be if they were just walking themselves. You can implement different prizes for some extra incentives, and can have weekly check-ins in-person and on social media so that everyone can follow along with company progress. Garmin activity trackers are also a good option to ensure everyone is on the same playing field (check out our company step challenge from last year where we used the Vivofit 4 model to keep track of our steps!).
Incorporate Active Furniture
Okay you knew this one was coming – incorporate active furniture! By outfitting your workspace with items like sit-stand desks or active seating solutions allows your employees to integrate movement directly into their workflow. This means that wellness is a priority without sacrificing productivity whatsoever; in fact, productivity is even shown to increase when these products are used! Prolonged sedentary behaviour is also proven to be associated with many health risks, including Type 2 diabetes, poor sleep quality, cardiovascular disease and even some types of cancer. By reducing sitting time, this active furniture will keep your employees happier and healthier for longer.
Host Wellness Workshops
If you purposefully set aside time for wellness each month, your employees will know that it’s something you prioritize, and consequently that you care about their well-being. Organizing a wellness workshop every month or so is a great way to do just that! These workshops could involve an in-office yoga class, a guided meditation session, a discussion about mental health or anything in between. There are tons of agencies that offer services like this, and a simple Google search will help you find an appropriate one in your area. By having dedicated time to de-stress and unwind, employees are likely to be more relaxed in the workplace and experience anxiety due to workload.
Organize Social Events Around Something Active
Many companies organize periodic social events for coworkers to be able to bond and enjoy each other’s company outside of the workplace. Why not take advantage of this idea and make the social event something active too? For example, organizing a company team to participate in a community sports league is an excellent way to encourage camaraderie while still promoting an active lifestyle outside of work. Other ideas could include going on a group hike, organizing a trip to an exercise class or doing a city-wide scavenger hunt. Remember that social health is really important too, so these activities can serve two purposes in the realm of wellness.
Optimize Office Design
Okay so we’ve talked about the active furniture aspect, but what about the actual design of your office? What we mean by this is that they are ways to arrange your office space that encourage greater movement throughout the day, rather than close convenience. For example, don’t place that coffee machine right in the middle of your desk area where employees can roll their chairs over to it. Put it in an entirely separate space that encourages employees to actually get up and walk around in order to get that next cup of joe. Similarly, you can place desks further from the washrooms, or even put up signage in strategic areas that encourages workers to take the stairs or get up and meet with that co-worker rather than shoot off another email. These little actions can add up to a big difference in the long run.