Most people know that they need to keep to make sure their health is in tip-top condition (whether they achieve that goal is another matter), but if you’re a business owner, then it’s not just your health that you need to be thinking about. You also need to have one eye on the health of your employees, taking steps to make sure they can be physically and mentally well when they’re at work. You won’t just be doing this for their benefit; it’ll also help the company – healthy employees have been shown to be more productive than others.
Your office is many things, but probably not as many as it could be. The offices of today aren’t just places of businesses; they’re more like centers that can fulfill myriad employee needs. This extends to the health and fitness. In your office, you can set aside areas that can be used for fitness purposes. You can also structure it into the day, ideally the morning. If everyone’s up and getting active shortly after they get to work, they’ll be much more productive for the rest of the day.
The Extra Mile
You’ll be doing what you can to ensure the bare minimum of employee health, including health insurance and allowing for days off when an employee is unwell. But those things are reactive; to have a healthy office, you’ll want to have a proactive approach. Learn about Proactive Health Management Plans, and you’ll be managing your employee’s health head-on. And you might just find that it’s the best thing for your business, as it’ll reduce costs, and ensure your employees are healthier – meaning fewer days are lost through illness.
Offer Free Water
You might be trying to feed your employees cup after cup of strong coffee, but that isn’t going to do them – or you, for that matter – much good. Instead, what you should be doing is promoting water drinking. This is an important aspect of maintaining good health, and can also help to boost productivity, too. Of course, there’s a reason that many people don’t drink water: it can taste a little bit boring. Invest in a high-quality, filtered water machine, and keep some lemons around so that your employees can make the drink more interesting.
Stay at Home Policy
It turns out that having people in the office at all times really isn’t the best idea when it comes to productivity. This is true of all employees, who might perform better if they were working from home. But we digress; it’s especially true of ill employees. The worst thing you can do is have a skeptical attitude when it comes to employee illness, and have them come in any way. They won’t work well, and you’ll have put the rest of your workforce at risk of falling ill.
People were not supposed to spend hour after hour, day after day inside an artificially lit room. They were supposed to be outside. As such, why not give them the option to spend some time in the outdoors, even during the working day? Creating an outdoor space at your office is easy. All you’ll need is a bit of space, some artificial grass, and some tables and chairs. If the weather is nice enough, your employees will also be able to take their computers outside and get some work done. In any case, they – and their health – will appreciate being able to step outside and get some fresh air from time to time.
Focus on Mental Health
It’s not just your employee’s physical health that you need to ensure is in good condition. Their mental health is just as, if not more, important. The stresses and strains of modern life mean that more people than ever before are suffering from mental health issues, and it’s not always apparent who needs help and who doesn’t. Moving forward, try to incorporate mental wellbeing initiatives into your workplace. If you think someone is beginning to feel stressed because of the demands you’re placing on them, try to share their responsibilities with others.
As well as mental health issues, you also need to keep an eye on its cousin, fatigue. There’s a lot asked of people in this day and age, and very quickly demands can creep up and consume one of your employees. Speak to your employees regularly, and if you suspect that any of them are taking on too much, suggest that they work from home. It’ll make a big difference when it comes to helping them take greater control of their life. And bonus: studies have shown that stay at home works can be more productive than those working in the office.
A lot of people would be willing to spend more time on their health if it was made just a little bit easier for them. This is where you can come in. Taking biking, for instance. If your employees biked to work, they’d be happier, healthier, more alert when they make it into the office, and be doing their bit for the environment. You can make this easier for them by installing a bike station at your office. They’ll be able to bike straight to the office door, without worrying where they’re going to put their bike.
Have you ever thought about doing a sponsored activity at your work? They can bring in a lot of benefits, and virtually no drawbacks! For starters, climbing a mountain, for instance, will bring the team closer together. It’ll also get them fitter, and be a chance to raise some much-needed money for charity.
Good Old Bribery
Finally, let’s not discount one of the oldest tricks in the book: bribery! You can host competitions in the office to see who can walk most in the week. At the end of the week, you tally up the steps and whoever’s walked the furthest gets to leave the office early.
Don’t take your employees health lightly: if they’re fit and healthy, so too will your company!
Disclosure: This is a contributed post.