Everyone wants a happy and productive workforce. But, like anything worth having, you’ll have to work and plan to maximize employee wellness – and reduce employee sick days and absenteeism, while improving productivity at work.
Fortunately, employers are more focused on everyday wellness than ever. According to a recent study, 69% of employers with more than 50 employees offer some kind of office wellness program. Plus, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from. But why choose? Here are 9 things you must do to ensure a well workforce in 2018.
Volunteering doesn’t just make people feel good, it makes them feel healthy. Volunteering has many mental benefits, like decreasing depression and enhancing social bonds. Now, it appears that volunteer work has physical benefits as well, like reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.
Benefit from the bonding aspects of volunteering by organizing an office volunteering day. Or give workers a certain amount of time off every year to pursue their own volunteer goals.
Sleeping on the job is no longer a bad thing. Americans are very sleep-deprived, a situation that has major ramifications for both health and productivity. Tired employees are much more prone to anxiety and depression. They’re also more likely to make mistakes and to lose interest in work.
The solution? Naps. A short nap at work can recharge creativity and mood. If you’re not comfortable having employees sleep at their desks, consider a nap pod or just a quiet conference room. Companies that encourage workday naps include JetBlue, Zappos, and the Huffington Post.
Sitting all day is very bad for health. Prolonged (over 8 hours) of sitting can cause neck and back pain, and increase the chance of contracting diabetes. One straightforward solution is to offer all your employees standing desks. Standing desk technology has come a long way – many office standing desks now offer the ability between sitting and standing positions.
If you do offer standing desks, make sure to also ensure employees have comfortable mats to stand on.
Massage in the office is a fast track to employee wellness. Just ten minutes of office massage, whether that’s chair massage or clothed table massage, leads to reduced back pain, less stress and anxiety, and improved mood.
It’s simple to set up massage at work, no matter where your office or workplace is located – just visit Zeel for Corporate Wellness.
Everyone loves food in the office – but a steady diet of donuts and beer is not the way to enhance employee health. Fortunately, there are options you can bring into the workplace that are both tasty and wellness-friendly. Bring in a fruit bowl instead of bagels, or turn to assortments of pre-packaged treats, like those offered by Graze.
Mindfulness may be the word of 2018. Taking a few minutes to attune to what’s happening right now, instead of what’s happening next week in your calendar or yesterday on Slack, helps people reap mental wellness benefits. Mindfulness reduces stress, increases focus, and can even make coworkers nicer. Mindfulness is typically first accessed via meditation. Set aside a meditation space (which can double with your nap room), or sign up your employees for meditation apps like Headspace.
Shower in the office
If you want to increase employee fitness, make it easier for them to work out at lunch time or run to the workplace. Providing access to a shower, either in the office itself or at a nearby gym, means that employees can integrate a workout routine with their day job.
Another way to make sure your employees are able to incorporate exercise into their workday is to provide bike racks at the office, or other secure bike storage. (Shower access combines well with biking!) If you’re very serious, you can even offer a bike subsidy, just like you might subsidize public transportation, or provide a parking lot for cars.
A health fair is a great way to get your employees to think about fitness and health. Health fairs typically engage employees with medical screenings, wellness activities like massage and yoga, and specials from local, wellness-friendly vendors. If you’re thinking about a health fair at work, it’s never too soon to start planning.
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.