Corporate health and wellness are important aspects of every employer’s long-term investment. Many executives hire consultants to cut down on employee-related expenses so as to increase productivity through employee health enhancement. But this often turns out to be more difficult than had been initially envisaged. Sometimes, things go well and employers see improved productivity, high levels of creativity, increased profit and a significant reduction in health care utilization.
It is no secret that healthy employees are cheerier, more creative and productive. They are unlikely to utilize sick leaves caused by stress-related problems. Here are six corporate health and wellness tips that can help improve employees’ health.
Invest In Good Quality Furniture
Bad furniture is bad for not only for business, but for employee’s health. In fact, studies have reported that bad furniture are deadly, especially when they have to be used all day. Research studies show that sitting for more than three hours each day can reduce life expectancy by two years. Shocking statistics, isn’t it? Concerned employers can encourage their workers to stand every half hour, use the stairs or take a short walk. They can choose to swap their regular chairs for standing desks. This will help reduce the risks that come from extending hours of sitting.
Bad furniture worsens the side effects of a sedentary job. Employees often complain of headaches, lack of concentration, body pains, moodiness, indigestion amongst other health problems.
Investing in a variety of well-designed furniture is a great way to save the company a lot of corporate health expenditures while increasing productivity.
Encourage Physical and Mental Exercises
Exercising regularly is a great way to reduce stress. Research has proven that every adult should get at least 3o minutes exercise 3 – 5 times each week. Employees who have healthy eating habits and exercise regularly are less likely to suffer from stress-related illnesses.
Most office buildings have gymnasiums. This encourages employees to exercise regularly. Easy access to exercise is effective in encouraging workers to exercise. Employers who don’t have company gyms can subsidize registration fees in an approved local gym. This will encourage employees to exercise often.
Great mental exercises can help improve cognitive activity as well as boost brain power. Employers can organize competitions in the following categories: chess, scrabble, word puzzles etc. This is sure to guaranty a significant increase in employee productivity.
Corporate Parties and Hangouts
Occasional company parties are an effective way to encourage employees and make them happier. Company hangouts also provide a safe space for employees to better understand each other better in a less stressful environment. It can be lavish or frugal.
For instance, you could organize joint road trips to resorts. On the other hand, you could invite a caterer to host employees during a quiet office lunch or dinner. A multipurpose workspace can accommodate employees and their spouses. Height adjustable and/or boardroom tables can be used for standing parties.
Parties are the best places to present corporate gifts to distinguished employees and executives. Innovative bosses will discover that company outings are effective stress eliminators and productivity boosters.
Jettison Rigid Schedules
The availability of light, untethered wireless networks provides the opportunity for flexibility in the work environment. Most employers are beginning to get rid of rigid workstations and schedules.
Not every business can function in a virtual space and so it’s okay to ask employees to turn up for work at specific periods in the day. If you run such a business, you must compromise productivity. On the other hand, employees can be allowed to work remotely when they have other urgent needs to meet. This will help reduce stress and boost productivity.
Organize Public Health Campaigns
When there are epidemics in the place where the business is located, it is wise to organize awareness creation programs and/or provide materials. For instance, during the Ebola and Zikka virus outbreaks, companies organized awareness creation campaigns and provided hand sanitizers for employees and visitors. Some companies also provide mosquito nets for employees who live in mosquito-infested areas especially when studies showed that malaria affected employees’ health and their productivity.
Companies often partner with health insurance companies to reduce the cost of vaccination against infectious diseases for both staff and their family. This will reduces incidences of absenteeism due to physical and mental illnesses.
Encourage Breaks and Rest Periods
Most office designs include rest areas where employees can take breaks and rest. Not only do lounge areas permit workspace flexibility in the office environment, they also help reduce mental stress. Such rest areas should not be cluttered with work-related materials, instead, they should contain a lot of outdoorsy paraphernalia and nature. Flowers, plants, artworks, soft music and light reading material can be arranged around the rest area.
These often create an ambience of relaxation, meditation and reflection. Employees should be discouraged from using this room for laughter, conversations and meetings. This space should be as quiet as possible so as to increase the effectiveness of the mental breaks. Employees are more productive and creative when they take the rest they need. And employers can be sure to see a boost in overall corporate health and wellness.
Bio: Chioma Iwunze-Ibiam writes creative non-fiction and prose fiction. Her works have appeared in Romance Meets Life, Flash Fiction Press, MTLS, Saraba Magazine, Sentinel Magazine and others. Her first novel, Finding Love Again, was published by Ankara Press. She owns and manages creativewritingnews.net