The Benefits of Promoting Workplace Wellbeing
GEMMA COLLINS DOYLE
It’s common sense, a healthy workforce equals happy employees, which in turn benefits the employer. Employees spend so much time in the workplace; it is the perfect arena for employers to promote health and wellbeing. So, it’s important that the employer takes advantage of this and promotes workplace wellbeing as a benefit, not just a “nice to have” extra. Savvy employees are now looking at a company’s health and wellbeing program, before saying yes to a new job. So like it or not, as a company, it’s time to review or establish your workplace wellbeing program. “Most people chase success at work, thinking that will make them happy. The truth is that happiness at work will make you successful.” ALEXANDER KJERULF
We work too hard to suffer from ill health or to be living our lives out of balance. We all deserve to live a healthy, well balanced life. It’s not an option, it’s a necessity!
The way we work, company culture, well-being programs and our relationships in the workplace are the main drivers for whether employees feel that they are valued in their roles. Having a live and fully functioning (in other words, not a policy sitting in a computer somewhere!) health and well-being program will play a huge, beneficial role in promoting employee health and workplace wellbeing, minimising avoidable ill health, absenteeism and facilitating faster recovery and return to work after injury or illness.
Looking at well-being at its simplest level it is ultimately about personal happiness – feeling good and working safely and healthily. It’s not rocket science, but it is something that every company in the country can improve on, small or large. This is one investment that has no downside, because there is no downside to having healthier, happier employees!
So, as a company, what can you do to turn your employees into the super human beings that they are destined to be?! Here are just a few of my favourite ideas:
- Firstly, you have got to keep it fun and interesting, a boring workplace wellbeing program will have people turning off, straightaway.
- Host onsite Yoga classes – Yoga doesn’t need to take a full hour, it can be done in 15-20 mins at lunch time. Perfect for stretching and increasing energy for that afternoon slump! There are plenty of apps now that run online yoga classes too.
- Ergonomic Assessments – not only is it the law, but, providing employees with the proper ergonomic set up will prevent RSI and other back and eye complaints.
- Visit a local farmer’s market for lunch or get some local, healthy snacks delivered to site.
- Consider installing standing desks – its proven. We sit too much. We were never meant to sit for such long periods of time.
- Hold a Health Fair – Ask local health professionals (alternative and general!) to come on site for a day and let your employees explore different avenues for a healthier life.
- Encourage creativity with communal areas – Find an empty office or unused area around your office and turn it into a place where people can meet and collaborate on projects. Install some comfy furniture so people can get away from their desks and let the creativity flow.
- Healthy Eating – an obvious one. If you have a company restaurant, make sure your service provider is on board. Not having chips on the menu every day is a great start!
- Offer remote working – It could be one day a week or one day a month, whatever suits the role. Remote work allows people to work more productively, eliminate long commutes, and spend more time with their family.
- Fresh Air – we don’t get enough of it. Studies have proven that we work more productively after some fresh air (and some sunlight, if there is any around!)
I’m going to stop there, before I get carried away! There are so many ways to create a healthier, happier workplace. The most important thing is that you have fun doing it and your employees jump on board with enthusiasm. Before you know it, health and wellbeing will be second nature within your company, just the way it should be.
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