8 Ways to Maintain Health and Well-Being in the Workplace
1.Provide healthier alternatives in the staff canteen
Food available in the staff canteen should always have a healthier alternative. Chips and pies may seem appealing, but encourage the catering staff to produce a healthier menu. Healthy food is cheap and there are so many options. Your employees are likely to go for the most convenient option at lunchtime, so make sure this is a healthy option. This will also help improve their afternoon performance and reduce the after lunch slump. Ask your employees for healthier alternatives that they would like to see on the menu.
2.Reduce allergens in the workplace
Many, if not all of us, are allergic to something. Sensitivity to a perfume, cream or lotion is usually the first indicator of an allergy to fragrance. This can make the working environment very uncomfortable for those experiencing the allergy. Consider making your workplace a fragrance free zone, as is the norm in other countries, such as Canada. Make sure dust is kept to a minimum with an effective cleaning schedule and if your employees do report any allergies, make sure you act to make their working environment as comfortable as possible.
3.Encourage staff exercise
Factory workers who are in cold warehouses, or office workers who sit at desks all day, need extra motivation to keep the muscles warm and limbs mobile. Team leaders could conduct a unified stretching session for two minutes to help increase the blood flow, warm muscles, and stretch limbs. Fun staff events can also encourage more exercise and sociability. Examples include an organisation-wide charity walk or run.
4.Educate your employees
We often fail to realise the secret evils in our everyday food, such as high salt and sugar levels. A nutritionist could educate your staff about healthy eating and how to do this without breaking the bank. There are so many positive outcomes from healthy eating, such as more energy, improved immune system, the ability to think and act faster, improved sleep patterns, and a better quality of life. Investing in a short lesson in nutrition could lead to increased levels of productivity for you.
5.Run a staff medical service
Sickness in the workplace costs the employer time and money. A healthy workforce is a productive workforce. Investing in your employees health is an investment in your companys future. A medical identifies early stages of any potential health problem. Getting employees treatment early can seriously reduce time off with major illness. You could set up an annual medical for each member of staff. Private healthcare could also be provided as a benefit.
6.Have schemes in place for flu and bug outbreaks
The current global epidemic of Swine Flu has been an employers nightmare. Pandemic precaution practises and contingency plans should be in place. The potential employee hours lost through contamination of the workplace is exponential, and employers have a responsibility to the healthy employees not to put them at risk. Anyone with an illness that could put other work colleagues at risk should not be allowed to enter the workplace unless given management approval. Educate all employees on the methods used to avoid cross-contamination.
7.Provide gym membership as a benefit
Approach local gyms, and agree special rates and terms for anyone working for your organisation. This way, you the employer are benefiting your employees and the local community. This added benefit will increase your employees loyalty as well as encouraging them to go to the gym, leading to an active and healthy workforce.
8.Have fruit delivered
Eating the recommended 5 a day is easier said than done. Having fresh, appealing fruit in the workplace encourages staff to eat healthier. Your organisation could start an opt-in scheme where employees can have a small amount of money taken from their wages every week in order to supply them with fresh fruit daily. If employees paid 50p per week for the best fresh fruit available and it had flavour and taste they would feel that it was money well spent.
Personnel Surveys promote a healthy living lifestyle, and believe that a healthy mind and body leads to a positive and productive employee.
Encourage a healthy lifestyle within the workplace and start 2010 with a positive outlook towards food, exercise and most importantly the future.