Ways Employers Can Encourage Better Employee Health & Wellbeing

The growth of technology combined with the idea that we need to work harder to achieve more at work and in life is a popular concept in the modern workplace. While there’s no denying the benefits and triumphs that come from committed bursts of hard work, people are pushing themselves to the extreme, suffering from burnout, high stress levels and ultimately, depression kicks in – getting out for bed becomes utterly overwhelming with many feeling like a hamster in a wheel they’d never hop off of. 

That said, it’s not a shocker that healthcare is a hot topic within the workplace today, and the personal health and wellness industry is booming. With health care reform, some companies are in a bind and are seriously looking at ways to promote wellness and preventive health measures for their employees. After all, healthy teams are happier and more productive, right? Happy employees are more creative, self-motivated, and team-oriented. Needless to say, they rarely get sick and handle stress better.

So show your team that you care and find out what changes you could make to their environment that could help them be happier. This could be a commitment to learning or providing standing desks but regardless lead by example and create a culture of wellness throughout the whole company. Sometimes, changing lightening in the room or taking an extra break during the day can make a difference in employee’s productivity. 

Here are a few more smart ways to encourage better employee health:

Allow employees to switch off – Encouraging employees to switch off outside of working hours is important to give them time to relax and recover from the stresses and strains of work. Avoiding emailing your team outside of working hours, encouraging them to take a lunch break and ensuring that they aren’t regularly staying in the office late into the evening are all ways in which you can help your team to have a positive work-life balance.

Offer the option of flexible working – According to research by Moorepay, around 72% of business owners believe that introducing policies such as flexible working, time off for family reasons and return to work programmes could reduce the rate of absenteeism by as much as 11% or more.

Encourage healthy eating – A lot of people eat unhealthy snacks such as candy bars or potato chips at work. It might be a solution for a ten year old, but adults should try to eat healthy every day since diet can directly impact their mood and general health. The employer should offer healthy options in staff canteens and encourage the team to pack healthy snacks, such as fruits or peanuts. They should also provide a fridge and microwave; buy healthy lunches for the team meeting.

Allow employees to rest when they’re unwell – If an employee is off work due to ill health, it’s important to allow them time to rest and recover without the stress of worrying about work. According to one study, over a third of employees admitted that managers often put pressure on them to return to work before they’re ready, with 52.9% of managers still contacting their employees whilst off sick.

Relaxation Spaces – When it comes to your office design, it’s important to have a space where your employees can relax away from their daily work load. This space should have a lot of light that comes from windows, plants that can add some vibrancy to the room and some comfortable furniture. You may even want to consider creating a napping space or a game area where people can start chilling out. This way when they get back to their workload, they can feel refreshed rather than drained.

Physical activity – These days, desk jobs are quite popular. The main disadvantage of it is the lack of physical activity. Regular exercise can help to improve employees’ mood and health. Employers don’t need to build a gym in the office in order to keep their employees healthy and happy. For instance, they can allow walking meetings (around the block, anyone?) or buy a gym membership for their employees. Further, you can create an employee sports team and enter your team in fun runs and charity events.

According to statistics, office workers are more likely to suffer from low back and shoulder pain. If you have the same problem, check out the infographic provided by Kemper Medical.

Brenda Berg

Brenda Berg is a professional writer with over 15 years experience in business management, marketing and entrepreneurship. Consultant and tutor for college students and entrepreneurs. She is passionate about covering topics on career, self-development, writing, blogging and others.