Ten Ways to Promote Workplace Health and Wellness
Health and wellness is key for employees to be happy and productive. Sitting at a desk all day can be draining and is not usually conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Our team tested out some of these small changes and we were able to improve the overall health and wellness in our office. We encourage you to try some of these tips out!
#1 Invest in Standing Desks
It’s hard to sit in one place all day without getting restless or bored. The standing desk is a healthy solution to this problem because it allows employees to stretch their legs and stay productive. You can even hold competitions to see who can use their standing desk the most. It is a surefire way to get your office moving.
#2 Supply Healthy Snacks
Tempting treats at the office are one of the main reasons why people gain weight at work. There always seems to be a birthday, holiday or anniversary that is celebrated with cake or donuts. Instead of cutting out the celebrations, opt for more nutritious snacks. There are all kinds of meal delivery services these days, including healthy snack boxes that can be delivered right to the office. If that’s not in your budget, head to Costco and grab some healthy items. These could be trail mix, pretzels, popcorn or hummus or veggies.
Another alternative is to pick one party day a month. You can celebrate all the birthdays with a big cake or pot luck. If that’s not your style, maybe switch the Ben and Jerry’s out with Halo Top’s low calorie ice cream. Hint: it comes in over 25 delicious flavors!
#3 Try 5-10 Minutes of Mediation at the Beginning of Staff Meetings
Sometimes the best thing you can do to make your staff more productive is to actually give them a few minutes away from their work. There are all sorts of meditations and gratitude exercises that you can implement to help your team relax and refocus. The Hoyt Organization recently invited a meditation expert to our meeting to help us learn how to meditate, and boy was it a big hit!
#4 Place the Printer or Coffee Maker at the Far End of the Office
The farther away, the longer the walks to go grab a cup of Joe or a printed report. These little walks not only give your team more chances to move their bodies, but they also provide a mini break from staring at the computer screen. People may groan about the less convenient placement, but over time their new habit will become a welcome break. It’s an unexpected yet effective way to boost office health and wellness.
#5 Encourage Desk Plants
Bringing a little nature inside the office can help your team to enjoy their work space more and can even help them to relax. Some of the best plants for office use are succulents which require little to no watering. If there are a lot of allergies going around, you can decorate your desk with a nice arrangement of plastic flowers to add a pop of color without all the pollen.
#6 Offer a Discount Code to a Workout Class or Nearby Gym
Finding time to workout can be hard with a full-time job. By providing a discount coupon or code for nearby classes or gyms, your team is encouraged to be active. You can make it a team building exercise and go all together, or you can simply support local businesses by choosing a gym in the area where employees can stay fit before or after work. Some companies even start workout clubs (like running or walking buddies) or some employees use their lunch break to hit up a class like Soul Cycle.
#7 Encourage Water Intake With Fun Water Bottles and Flavors
The Hoyt Organization recently purchased personalized water bottles for the whole office. They came with straws, which are known to promote water consumption. We added everyone’s name so the bottles don’t get confused in meetings or on the drying rack. Additionally, providing lemons or cucumbers for people to flavor their water is a great way to get them to hydrate!
#8 Two Words: Office Dogs
If your building will allow it, you should consider making your office dog friendly. The presence of dogs can reduce stress. It doesn’t need to be everyday, but maybe on Friday’s people have the option to bring their furry friend into the office. You can set a size limit so there aren’t a bunch of great Dane’s leaving large “presents” all over the carpet. It’s also important to do a trial run with the dogs to make sure they get along (Cue rotating schedule of office dogs). Another option is to have the ASPCA or another pet adoption agency bring some dogs to play with so your staff can relieve stress and potentially meet a new best friend.
#9 Boost Morale With Office Swag
Take a page from the “fun office” like Google and Facebook! You can get branded swag for your staff to feel like a valued member of a team. Or instead spend that money on an item the whole office can enjoy like a ping-pong table, a treadmill desk (first come, first walk) or even a sparkling water machine to make hydration even more fun.
#10 Start a Health and Wellness Program
Turn healthy choices into a friendly competition. Tracking co-worker’s steps, exercise and water intake can boost competitiveness, motivating employees to be more health-conscious. Be sure to have a tempting prize for the winner, such as an extra vacation day or fit bit.
Office health and wellness does not have to be hard. It just takes a little time, effort and creativity. Let us know if you have any suggestions or if you try any of these tips!