What could you change right now to improve wellness in your office?
Luckily, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. We’ve got six proven health promotion ideas that can make a difference to your employees’ mental, emotional and physical well-being. Effective immediately.
1. Fuel Your Workforce
If this seems too obvious, keep in mind that a Workopolis poll revealed four in ten Canadians resort to unhealthy food choices to combat energy slumps during the workday. And according to Harvard Business Review, What You Eat Affects Your Productivity. People who eat healthy, perform better on the job and have lower rates of absenteeism. But the temptation to make unhealthy choices is largely tied up in convenience. So what if you could make healthy choices that fuel productivity just as easy? Services like Vancouver’s own Natural Source help with that. They offer snack box delivery, catering and healthy vending options for businesses.
2. Go Au Naturel
Allow us to explain: Fragrant personal products like perfume, lotion and hairsprays can cause allergic reactions, asthma attacks and migraines. In this regard, it’s best to ask employees to ‘take it all off.’ The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety provides resources on how to implement a scent-free policy in the workplace. In addition, the Guide to Less Toxic Products names commercial alternatives to common cleaning products, which can also emit strong odours or volatile organic compounds (VOC).
3. Think Biophilia
Biophilia is a hot topic in office design. It’s about connecting people and nature through the built environment to improve overall well-being. Benefits include enhanced clarity, creativity and calm. Without redesigning your office, you can still introduce natural elements that help employees achieve wellness in the workplace. Health promotion ideas that improve contact with nature in the office include:
- adding plants
- a small waterfall
- zen garden
- decorating with natural elements like rocks, shells and wood
Planting trees or flowers also contribute to biophilic design and can be a great team building exercise.
4. Clear the Air
As noted above, air quality is crucial to maintaining a healthy office environment. Fragrance-free is a great place to start. Keeping dust under control, maintaining a comfortable temperature and allowing proper ventilation are also important, and easy to address. Keeping biophilia in mind, open the windows for a fresh breeze whenever possible, and add air-filtering plants like peace lilies, chrysanthemum, gerbera daisies, and ferns. Tip: Hire a natural cleaning company to clean your office with fragrance-free, eco-friendly products.
5. Break it Up
If your office is small enough, call everyone together for five minutes instead of sending a group email. Trust us, people need the break. It will give them an opportunity to stretch their legs and socialize a little as they migrate back to their workstations. You can also encourage staff to use break reminders like Stand Up! and Stretch Clock to refresh and reset.
6. Get Moving!
(Our personal favourite). Provide a variety of workspaces like traditional desks and chairs, as well as standing desks. But give employees the freedom to move to the break room, lobby, the new zen garden, or anywhere else they feel productive. The ability to move where they’re comfortable, finding both private and public workspaces, can reduce noise-related stress and physical stresses cause by being sedentary. And it can go a long way to making employees feel valued. Take advantage of occasional use spaces like meeting rooms and large common areas for wellness activities. Enjoy a mid-morning stretch in the foyer or out on the lawn. Or host a meditation session in the boardroom.
Health promotion ideas for the workplace aren’t about preaching, or forcing lifestyle choices. They’re about providing options that help employees truly feel – and do – their very best at work.
Would any of these health promotion ideas suit your workplace? Do you have any other ideas?
Share them with us on Facebook or Twitter!