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How To Encourage Your Employees’ Health and Wellness

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A healthy workplace is a productive workplace. Worker injuries and illnesses cost companies billions ever year. Not only do companies have to pay more in healthcare costs, ill workers means missed time and lower productivity.

A more extravagant company might bring in a chiropractor or build a gym on company grounds. But there are more simple things which your company can do to promote wellness. Here are just a few examples.

Allow and Encourage Breaks

A brief downtime can allow people to recharge themselves, lower their stress, and improve their focus and productivity. But some businesses do not allow breaks beyond lunch. And even if the business does, employees will not take them in the hope of powering through their assignments.

Instead, encourage employees to take small breaks throughout the day, where they can socialize with their fellow coworkers, take a short nap, or stretch. Consider upgrading your breakroom so that it is an appealing place to take a break, and stock it with healthy snacks. If you offer vacation days, encourage workers to use them all.

Work Time, and Off Time

On a similar note to taking breaks, humans simply cannot be constantly working for hours on end. Long work hours do not just decrease productivity per hour, but outright productivity due to less focus and worse health. And yet, the rise in work from home has weakened the barriers between work and home.

Make moves to strengthen that barrier. Do not let workers take their work home to do on the weekends and discourage them from sending emails or messages after 6 to 7 pm. By letting employees rest at home instead of constantly pushing themselves, their sleep will improve, and stress levels will go down.

Move throughout the day

Exercise is not just something to be done for an hour here and there. It should be something done throughout the day. Instead, too many employees spend their day completely inert, sitting in their chair behind a computer.

Consequently, create an environment where employees are moving or at least standing throughout the day. Purchase employees a stand-up desk which can improve not just their health, but their posture. Encourage them to walk to talk to their coworkers in the office instead of sending Slack messages. You may even consider hosting events such as a 5K run or a daily stretch. There are many other ideas you can try and think of your own creative solutions to keep employees up and walking.

Socialize and Encourage

Humans are social beings, and isolation negatively affects our health. Your employees should feel like they are part of a team working together, instead of being isolated units or worse at cross-purposes.

Look for ways to build bonds between your employees. Encourage meetings when necessary that show what everyone is doing, and make sure to bring in remote employees so that they feel like a part of the team despite not being in the office. Celebrate and promote workplace successes. Consider hosting small company events such as bringing employees to the movies or hosting a small retreat.

Building a team is not just improving morale. It can also help improve health, and by extension productivity. 

Jacob Maslow is a Columnist at Disrupt Magazine. Based in the Middle East, he specializes in Journalism. He is the founder and editor of several news sites including Legal Scoops and Streetwise Journal.

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