An important question to consider as a business owner is, “what value does a healthy workforce have in relation to my employee’s productivity and organization’s bottom line?”
Encouraging your employees to be healthy not only increases their productivity but helps them to have a healthier/fuller life.
Below, we’ve put together some tips for fostering a healthy lifestyle in the workplace.
1. Encourage your staff to be active during the workday.
Consider allowing your staff to occasionally perform job duties differently (i.e., taking calls while walking in the park). Another option is to encourage them to take a long lunch some days (and work late) to accommodate for time in the gym during the workday. Making it easier for your employees to exercise improves their motivation to stay active. Some of the benefits of exercise include weight management, improved mood, increased energy, a decreased risk for various health concerns and diseases, enhanced quality of sleep, and more. If your employees stay active, they are likely to be healthy, productive, energetic contributors to your team.
2. Make exercise at gyms financially prudent.
Some of the ways you can achieve this objective include lowering health insurance premiums for employees who work out for a set number of hours at a gym or reimbursing employees for gym memberships up to a certain dollar amount. For example, provide your employees with a number of “company-supported” health clubs and offer them $20 off their monthly premium if they use the gym 20 hours a month. Another example could be offering reimbursement gym memberships up to a certain amount a year as an employee perk. You could also bring various trainers into your workplace throughout the month and encourage your employees to take group fitness classes to better their health and improve morale.
3. Offer alternative methods of working.
You may have employees that work on their feet all day, and you may have employees who sit at a desk for long periods of time: It all varies among different workplaces. It’s important to consider different methods of working for your employees depending on the nature of their work.
If your employees typically stand all day, encourage them to purchase comfortable shoes or inserts, and consider providing them to your employees. You may also want to consider setting up more places for your employees to sit for a short break.
If you have employees who sit at a desk for long periods of time, this may seem like a small tip, but the studies of adverse effects due to static sitting in standard office furniture are numerous. Some of the adverse effects of prolonged sitting in customary office chairs include hunching of the spine, pressure on spinal discs, over-stretching of ligaments, and more. Standing desks are a great option for employees whose joints are achy as a result of endless sitting. Conversely, sitting on a stability ball provides health benefits as it burns more energy (calories), requires core stability, and forces “active” sitting.
4. Make exercise, dieting, and weight-loss fun.
Friendly competition is no stranger to the standard workplace. Offer additional accountability in workforce health and well-being by creating teams and support systems. Offer motivation for things such as choosing to take the stairs, selecting healthy, high protein, low-fat options for lunch and snack, etc. Breed camaraderie and understanding amongst employees that choose to participate. If possible, create some sort of incentive for high performers.
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Disclaimer: Please note that this is not all-inclusive. Our guidance is designed only to give general information on the issues actually covered. It is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all laws which may be applicable to your situation, treat exhaustively the subjects covered, provide legal advice, or render a legal opinion. Consult your own legal advisor regarding the specific application of the information to your own plan.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published to SyncHR by PrimePay’s blog and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.