Cultivating workplace wellbeing habits that can help your employees print

Week in and week out, most of us spend more than 40 hours from Monday to Friday at work. Even if you and your employees love what you do and get a mental boost from a job well done, there is no denying that the ‘daily grind’ can take a lot out of a person.

We tend to spend most of those 40 hours seated at a desk, working on high stress projects and exerting a lot of mental energy. Your employees’ pulses race as they prepare for a big presentation, and everyone feels stressed when the annual report is due. Sure, you can blow off some steam at the pub after work – but what is all of this stress and these high expectations doing to everyone’s health?

Aching joints, a crick in the neck, a literal pain in the rear end, and a stress migraine at the end of the day – top these symptoms off with more than a few pints or glasses of wine and you have a recipe for health disaster. Helping your employees to maintain a strong sense of work life balance is key, but there are some other important ways that you can help everyone in your office to cultivate a strong sense of wellbeing.

This is about so much more than just ‘feeling good’ when you’re at work. When your employees feel that you care about their wellbeing, they will respond with loyalty, engagement and a positive overall work ethic. This will undoubtedly result in a stronger company, a healthier bottom line, a better reputation – and higher profits.

Here are five key tips that can help you to ensure that you and your employees all stay healthy and happy at work. These habits might seem strange or foreign at first, but will become second nature before you know it.

1. It’s time to take a stand – standing desks can be a great option

Standing desks might seem like a trendy new fad, but they are gaining in popularity every year. Have you wondered if these are more about the hype than any actual benefits?

Well, we all know that sitting all day every day can be a serious health hazard. According to Smithsonian Magazine, obesity and diabetes can all be exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle – sitting all day is clearly not good for us. Some people even compare sitting at a desk all day to the smoking epidemic of the 1950s to the 1980s. Think about it – it is not natural for humans to sit all day long.

This is where standing desks can come in. They ensure that your employees get up out of their seat and do their work from a standing position. This allows an individual to pace, stretch and even jump up and down when they are completing their workplace tasks.

2. Get rid of the unhealthy snacks around the office

It’s natural to want to snack when you get stressed out. In fact, you might already reward your employees with a break room full of biscuits, chocolates, sugary coffees and crisps. After all, providing these fun snacks makes you a great boss, right?

Wrong! This altruistic instinct can actually cause more problems that you might think. Unhealthy snacks will cause your employees to pack on the kilos, and they will suffer from the dreaded ‘carb crash’ in the afternoon.

A far better strategy is to provide your employees with chilled water, fresh fruit, whole grain snacks and plenty of tea and coffee – hold the sugar.

3. Keep things around the office clean and clutter-free

You may not realise that your workplace has a lot to do with how much you get done in an average day. Just as a messy desk can cause stress and frustration, a tidy workspace can actually help to enhance your focus and productivity. Once a month (or even once a week), encourage a workplace wide cleaning blitz and get the whole office looking fresh and clean.

4. Encourage everyone on your team to ‘work out at work’

While you might encourage your staff to get moving with a standing desk, nothing beats moving around to keep fit. Even if you don’t think that standing desks are the best solution for your company, you should encourage your employees to move around as much as possible during the day. Discourage them from eating lunch at their desk and encourage them to get outside and take a walk on their breaks.

Want to do even more for your employees? Look into corporate gym schemes and/or discounted gym memberships that you can offer them. You can even arrange an office football team and join a local league, or train for a fun run together. The sky is the limit.

5. Team building doesn’t always have to take place at the pub

Sure, many of us enjoy heading to the pub after work to have a few pints with our colleagues. This togetherness is an important part of team building, allowing everyone to commiserate and celebrate as a unit. That said, when the routine becomes a little too predictably about drinking beer and eating unhealthy foods, it can become a health hazard.

If you want your employees to have a strong sense of togetherness and team spirit, there are other activities that can bond them – and you – as a group. Consider taking a fun day out, completing an ‘escape room’ challenge, or taking part in a local sporting event. This will improve everyone’s health and wellbeing, all while still encouraging that ever important team spirit.

Concerned about your profits and employee retention? Don’t neglect your staff’s health and wellbeing. These simple tips are easy to implement, but they can make all the difference in the world.

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