Research has shown that workplace wellness initiatives have a return on investment of $3.27 for every dollar spent. It’s clear to see that supporting your employees’ wellbeing in the office has a far-reaching impact on morale. Consequently, better efficiency and even reduced healthcare costs can follow.
But how can you enhance the wellness of your workplace?
Keep reading for our seven tips on how to take care of your employees.
1. Encourage Short and Frequent Breaks
It is well known that modern sedentary lifestyles can have a significant impact on employee health. This includes an increased likelihood of high blood pressure, obesity, migraines, and many other conditions.
There are several ways to help combat this during working hours. Many workplaces are seeing the benefits of encouraging their employees to take frequent breaks. In particular, stepping away from the computer screen and taking a brief walk is recommended to break up long periods of sitting at their desk.
Taking short and frequent breaks has the added benefit of increasing workplace productivity. The general consensus is that after 90 minutes of work, the brain ceases to maintain high levels of focus and efficiency.
Therefore, you should encourage your employees to take 10-15 minute breaks every 90 minutes.
2. Consider Office Design
Next, office wellness can be improved by adapting the design and layout of the workplace. There are several elements that should be incorporated into every office.
First, the office should allow a source of natural light to enter the workplace. Artificial light can be used in addition to natural lighting, but having windows is a significant way to improve the ambiance of the office.
Also, try to include some plants and greenery in your workspace. As well as absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the workplace, plants can also boost moods and encourage calmness.
Finally, make the most of the common office areas to provide a welcoming and relaxing space for employees. This includes the kitchen area and outside spaces too.
3. Be Mindful of Office Equipment
On a related note, employee wellness can also be boosted by the office equipment and furniture you have in the office. The wrong equipment can cause repetitive strain injuries and other health concerns.
Repetitive strain conditions such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and back pain are all common examples of workplace injuries. These increase unhappiness amongst staff due to their pain and discomfort. What’s more, the healthcare claims and lower productivity due to sickness days are further reasons to address this issue.
You can improve your workplace ergonomics by investing in custom or adjustable desks and chairs. These provide great value for money as they can be lowered or raised to meet the needs of any future staff using that equipment.
You should also be aware of other office accessories that reduce the likelihood of repetitive strain injuries. These include footrests and wrist rests.
4. Improve Office Communication
Another way of improving workplace wellbeing is by carefully considering your office communication. The goal is to streamline communication between your employees, which can be done in several ways.
First, employees should be encouraged to think carefully before scheduling meetings. Many weekly and one-off meetings can be more efficiently handled via email or other less time-consuming means of communication.
Next, make sure you’re using an effective communication program, such as Slack. There are several different communication service providers that help you to organize your employees into different teams. This makes sure people only receive the messages and notifications they need.
Finally, it is important to encourage positive communication amongst colleagues. Kind words can go a long way to improve the emotional wellness of the office.
5. Support Employees to Take Paid Vacation
A crucial way to improve office health is by supporting employees to take all of their paid vacation days. Studies have shown the importance of taking space and time from office life to come back refreshed and recharged.
Long weekends and shorter vacations are becoming more and more popular amongst office employees. They allow shorter breaks throughout the year that don’t leave office workers feeling too isolated from their to-do list. By simply taking a Friday and Monday off, employees can avoid the burnout and anxiety that come with working for too long without a break.
6. Set a Positive Tone
Another way to encourage workplace wellbeing is by setting a positive tone in the office. This can be achieved in a variety of ways.
You could introduce weekly shout-outs, where team members highlight another employee who has done well in that week. Or, why not start a monthly lunch treat for workers, by getting pizzas or take-out for the last Friday of the month.
Small mood boosters like these go a long way to lifting morale and increasing workplace wellbeing.
7. Introduce Challenges and Activities
Our final tip for improving employee wellness is by incorporating challenges and activities into the office. Many businesses opt for annual away days that help bring the team together and are a fun day out.
This helps to break up the monotony of daily life and helps employees from different teams get to know each other and brainstorm ideas.
Another option could be to introduce a fitness challenge to help employees lead an active lifestyle. These can help to ward off illnesses and conditions such as heart disease and obesity. Fitness challenges help build motivation and support amongst employees.
Now You Know How to Optimize Workplace Wellness
We’ve now seen how you can improve workplace wellness with a few straightforward steps. Implementing these initiatives will make both your employees and your executives happy, with increased productivity and improved employee health.
If you found this article helpful, make sure you check out our other lifestyle posts.