5 Simple Ways to Promote Wellness at Work
When you contemplate workplace wellness, you might envision the mammoth-sized programs of giants such as Apple and Google. For most businesses, these sorts of programs are simply out of reach. This doesn’t mean your employees have to abandon their health every day when they walk through your doors. These five simple strategies can save your employees’ health—and may even save you some much-needed cash, since wellness programs tend to boost productivity.
Offer Flexible Work Hours
Life happens at all hours of the day, not just on the weekends and evenings. If you want to maximize your employees’ productivity and wellness, offer them significant control over their schedule. Does it really matter whether work happens at 9AM or 2AM? In most cases, the answer is a resounding “no,” so consider allowing your employees a little time to care for themselves or their loved ones.
Provide Paid Time Off
Study after study has demonstrated that paid time off can reduce workplace illnesses and accidents. Employees who can’t expect a paycheck when they’re sick will likely still come to work, exposing everyone in the office to illness. And when an employee can’t take time off to care for an aging parent or a sick child, his or her performance may quickly deteriorate.
Encourage Preventative Care
Many illnesses can be prevented with early medical care, vaccinations, and a healthy diet. Encourage your employees to seek preventative care by allowing them to take time off of work for doctor’s visits. Better yet, bring the preventative care to your office by sponsoring mammograms, vaccinations days, or wellness exams. Just make sure your employees know that the physician can’t and won’t report the results to you, since many folks worry about medical privacy in the workplace.
Don’t Neglect Mental Health
More than a quarter of Americans struggle with mental illness each year, and many say that workplace stress figures prominently in their symptoms. In addition to providing mental health coverage and workplace mental health screenings where possible, ensure you nurture a workplace that promotes—rather than undermines—mental health. Avoid demeaning comments and micromanagement. Nip office bullying in the bud, and promote a culture of fairness, accountability, and unquestioning kindness.
Offer Healthy Food Options
If you order a case of single-serving potato chips and a bunch of soda each month, you’re not doing all you can to promote workplace health. Make it easy for your employees to get a healthy meal without leaving the office. Keep fresh fruit and veggies on hand, or consider ordering healthy take-out for the entire office once a week. Not able to fund healthy snacks? Then offer your workers incentives for eating healthy. For instance, you might offer discount vouchers to a local salad joint, or agree to only hold working meetings at restaurants with healthier options.