This year has been filled with hurdles and unexpected obstacles for every single company out there. Most have had to adapt to a quick switch to remote work, while others have had to introduce new office health policies, preventative measures, and keep an eye on employee health more than ever before. Now, people will want to prioritize their health, and it’s up to you as their leader to make sure your workplace is designed to promote wellbeing and to inspire healthy behavior.
The pandemic has, in addition to many other issues, caused a spike in office stress, which can lead to health deterioration among your employees. To prevent this pandemic-induced impact of stress, to inspire healthy habits in your staff, and to give them ample healthy choices, you should create a program that elevates their fitness and health. Here are a few options that can be adapted to any business model and company size to help get you started.
Offer Paid Fitness Programs Online and Offline
If you cannot fit a designated gym at the office, even if it means just putting a few treadmills in the rec room, you can at the very least offer your employees the option of paid training packages on a monthly basis. Even during the pandemic, you can find and offer online exercise courses that fit the needs of your employees.
Depending on their needs, you can find affordable, but effective home-based workouts they can follow online, or you can offer group sessions that can be done outdoors, such as outdoor yoga, or hiking. Boosting employee fitness can help boost productivity and help your employees deal with stress in a healthy, constructive way.
Design Office Meals With More Versatility
Nowadays, most workers will choose unhealthy takeout options and ready-to-go meals they pick up at a local store. These might be fine occasionally, but they shouldn’t become the go-to choice of nutrition for your staff. From compromising their resilience, poor immune system health, all the way to reduced focus and productivity, nutrition is a major source of health and wellbeing for your staff. For starters, make sure that your office menu reflects the diverse needs of your staff.
If some of your employees are vegans, help them by consulting a vegan protein guide and providing balanced meals that fit their nutritional needs. Simply choosing meat and dairy-free options isn’t always the most nutrient-dense version of a meal for a vegan. That is why educating your employees and yourself on what it means to eat healthily will enable you to create office lunch menus with greater care and awareness for their needs.
Provide Mental Health Support
In addition to burnout and increasing stress levels at the office, the pandemic has also caused an increase in mental health issues spanning from mild anxiety to depression. The health of your employees shouldn’t be limited to their physical fitness and dietary habits – their mental and emotional wellbeing needs to be equally valued in your culture.
If they are feeling the impact of isolation, having trouble sticking to their work-life balance while working from home, or their anxieties are getting worse by the day, you can provide psychological help. Offer paid consultation and therapy from an accredited professional in your community and give your employees the support they need to overcome their mental health issues.
Create Wellness Challenges
Every organization has employees with certain health and fitness goals. You can help them reach their goals more efficiently and quickly by turning their efforts into an office-wide challenge. For example, you can organize quick HIIT breaks, help track the progress of your staff, and provide rewards in the form of healthy snacks, theater tickets, online performances, etc.
You can also organize charitable fitness challenges where you’ll organize a small-scale charity run to collect funds for those in need. Organizing park clean-ups and similar environmental initiatives will also get your employees to spend more time in nature, which is essential for their health, and it will give them a sense of purpose, too.
Healthy Snacks At Their Disposal
If you’ve already dealt with the idea of introducing nourishing meals in various forms, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free options included, have you considered the impact of your vending machines at the office? Most of the time, employees will reach for a sugary snack or a beverage in order to get over that afternoon energy slump, only to encounter yet another one as soon as that immediate burst of sugar wanes off.
This is a long-term hazard for the wellbeing of your employees, and in order to help them preserve their health, you can introduce healthy vending machines, as well as fresh fruit and dips in the office kitchen as a safe snacking option. Healthy snacking is a small way to contribute to their long-term health, and a brilliant way to build your company culture on healthy choices all around.
Employee wellness has always been a top priority for most business leaders that know just how vital this is for retention and employee engagement over the long term. Hopefully, getting creative with these suggestions will allow you to design a program fit for your staff and your business budget, and of course, that will help reduce burnout and stress, while increasing employee satisfaction, productivity, and overall health.
Sophia Smith is beauty and lifestyle blogger, an eco-lifestyle lover, graphic designer and a DIY enthusiast. Design plays a huge role in her personal expression. Sophia loves sharing meaningful content that educates and inspires people. She has contributed to a number of publications including: Women Love Tech, Cause Artist, Carousel and Viva Glam Magazine.