8 Ways for Improving Well-being at WorkJune 20, 2022
Well-being in the workplace is important for both employees and employers. A healthy workplace can improve productivity, creativity and morale while reducing stress levels and absenteeism. There are many simple ways to improve well-being at work. We’ll discuss everything from addressing the health needs of aging employees to providing mental health support through Employee Assistance Programs.
1) Encourage regular breaks.
Breaks are essential for both mental and physical health. So employees should be encouraged to take a few minutes every hour or so to stretch, walk around or take some deep breaths. And while encouraging breaks is fine and dandy, giving employees something to do during those breaks is even better.
Try setting up a break room with comfortable chairs, a few plants and some tablets for folks to read books and articles on or just zone out with a game. Don’t forget to install a mini-fridge stocked with healthy snacks. No room for this kind of elaborate breakroom? Maybe you can provide access to a gym in the building or a wellness room instead. The point is to look for options. Breaks spent sitting at their desk aren’t going to do much for employee well-being.
2) Promote healthy eating.
Speaking of healthy snacks, healthy food provides the energy and nutrients needed for optimal performance. Employers can promote healthy eating by providing healthy snacks and drinks in the office or offering discounts at local restaurants that serve healthy meals. If you’re a manager or above reading this, you’ll do your employees a genuine service by reaching out to local food delivery services and restaurants to see if they offer any discounts for your office.
3) Get everyone moving.
Sedentary behavior is a significant risk factor for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer. And while some jobs require employees to sit at a desk all day, there are ways to get everyone moving more.
Employers can promote physical activity by holding walking meetings, encouraging standing desks or treadmill desks and offering on-site fitness classes or gym memberships.
4) Take care of all your employees equally.
Too often, health initiatives and well-being programs in the office are geared toward younger employees, which can leave older employees feeling left out and unimportant. This is a huge mistake.
Older employees often have more chronic health conditions that need to be managed. They’re also more likely to suffer from loneliness and isolation. So whether it’s dry skin and thinning hair or arthritis and high blood pressure, employers need to be aware of the unique needs of older employees and make sure they’re being taken care of.
By including all employees in well-being initiatives and creating programs that meet the needs of employees of all ages, employers can create a truly inclusive and supportive workplace.
5) Offer mental health support.
Mental health problems like anxiety and depression are common. They can profoundly impact work performance and people’s personal lives. Examples of how they affect folks in the office include difficulty concentrating, low energy and absenteeism. Homelife can also suffer, as mental health problems can lead to relationship problems due to low sex drive, financial difficulties and substance abuse.
Employers can provide support for employees suffering from mental health problems in many ways. One is to offer an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). These programs offer confidential counseling and support services for employees struggling with personal or work-related problems.
Another way to support employees is to provide training for managers on how to identify and address mental health issues in the workplace. This can help them feel more comfortable talking about these issues with their team members and provide them with the tools to effectively support employees.
6) Encourage social interactions.
Humans are social creatures, and social interactions are essential for our mental and physical health. In fact, research has shown that social isolation is a more significant risk factor for early death than smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
Employers can encourage social interactions by organizing team-building activities, hosting company-wide events and promoting networking opportunities in the workplace. By creating an environment where employees feel comfortable interacting with each other, employers can foster a sense of community and support to improve wellbeing for all.
7) Promote work-life balance.
While some jobs require long hours, most people don’t need to be working all the time to be productive. In fact, research has shown that too much work can lead to decreased productivity and increased stress levels.
Employers can promote work-life balance by offering flexible work arrangements, such as telecommuting, flexible scheduling and compressed workweeks. These arrangements can help employees feel less stressed and more able to focus on their work when they are at the office.
It’s important to note that this can’t just be lip service. It has to be part of the company culture and atmosphere, respected by managers and actively encouraged. If no one believes in this idea or lives its principles, it won’t work.
8) Offer wellness benefits.
A fantastic way to encourage and cultivate wellness in the workplace is to give employees the means to access and pay for wellness services. This could include offering gym memberships at a discounted rate, providing on-site fitness classes or covering the cost of health club membership entirely.
Other popular wellness benefits include offering subsidies for healthy food, providing on-site child care and giving employees time off to volunteer. It should also have mental health days as part of the overall wellness strategy.
A wellness allowance paid out monthly or a yearly bonus is also a great way to do things. It allows employees to cater their wellness activities to their own individual needs and interests. So whether they’re finally getting the kit to do hormone testing at home to find out about their optimal wellness needs or taking a trip to Bali for a yoga retreat, they’ll be doing something that works for them and helps them improve their well-being.
It’s a Team Effort
Workplace wellness is never a one-person show. Instead, it takes a team effort to create and maintain a healthy workplace environment. By working together, employers and employees can develop a culture of wellness that supports and improves the well-being of everyone involved.