Bringing wellness into the workplace is an important aspect of promoting employee health, productivity, and overall well-being. Here are some ideas for ways employers can help foster a culture of wellness in the workplace:
- Promote Work-life Balance: Set clear expectations of work hours, provide flexible work options (remote work), discourage overtime, and encourage employees to take regular breaks and vacations to prevent burnout.
- Provide Wellness Programs: Offer employee wellness programs that focus on physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This could include activities such as yoga or meditation classes, stress management workshops, nutrition counseling, or nutrition and fitness challenges.
- Provide Ergonomic Workstations: Encourage workstations to be arranged properly to promote good posture and reduce strain on the body. This may include adjustable chairs, standing desks, ergonomic keyboards, and monitor stands. Provide training and resources on proper workstation ergonomics.
- Offer Healthy Food Options: Promote healthy eating habits by providing nutritious food options in break rooms or common areas. Swap out vending machine foods with healthier options or partner with local venders to deliver healthy meal options. Offer low cost or free fruits, vegetables, or whole grain snacks instead of sugary or processed foods. Make sure there are healthy food options included at company events.
- Encourage Physical Activity: Encourage regular exercise by offering onsite fitness activities that employees can attend in the office or remotely. Consider facilitating standing or walking meetings to promote exercise during work. Organize sports teams, walking groups, or yoga groups to help increase physical activity before, after, or on breaks.
- Mental Health Support: Recognize the importance of mental health and provide resources and support. Offer employee assistance programs that include counseling services to help employees manage their mental health and stress.
- Create a Positive Work Environment: Nurture a positive and inclusive workplace culture by promoting open communication, collaboration, and respect among employees. Encourage teamwork, recognize and appreciate individual contributions, and provide opportunities for professional development.
- Foster Social Connections: Organize team building activities and events, social events, or volunteer opportunities to foster positive social connections among employees outside the office.
- Employee Feedback and Involvement: Include employees in decision making processes and seek their feedback on what they want for wellness initiatives. This shows inclusion and that everyone’s thoughts and opinions truly matter to the employer.
Employees also play a crucial role in promoting wellness in the workplace. Here are some ways employees can help bring wellness into the workplace:
- Lead by Example: Take personal responsibility for your own health and well-being and demonstrate healthy habits. This includes having a positive attitude, good work-life balance, prioritizing breaks, and practicing self-care habits. Create department health goals so you and coworkers can help keep each other on track and accountable.
- Move Throughout the day: Incorporate movement into your work routine. Analyze your schedule and figure out when you could add in movement in your day. Set specific personal physical activity goals to strive for at work. Take walks on breaks, stand for meetings, set a daily standing goal, or do body weight exercises or yoga on breaks. Reevaluate your goals every quarter and make sure they are still realistic to achieve and adjust as needed.
- Promote Healthy Eating: Pack a lunch to bring to work or if working from home. Taking the time to pack a lunch allows you to think about what you should be putting in your body and for those working from home it gives you a sense of normalcy or routine just like going to the office. Try to pack a balanced meal that includes a healthy protein food, fruit and vegetables. Pack low calorie snacks, and a hydrating beverage like water. Bring healthy foods to potlucks to encourage coworkers to eat healthy.
- Prioritize Hydration: Limit your trips to the vending machine to get sugary drinks by bringing a water bottle to work. Keep it full and within sight at your desk. If you are traveling for work bring the water bottle along so you can stay on track. If you don’t like plain water, add some fruit to the water to give it natural flavors. Set a daily water intake goal and keep track of your progress.
- Create a Relaxing and Ergonomic Workspace: Set up your workspace with calming elements such as plants, soothing decor, or décor that motivates you. Keep your workspace clean and clutter free to keep stress and anxiety at bay. Position your monitors, chair height, footrest, keyboard, and mouse to prevent muscle strain and to encourage good sitting or standing posture.
- Practice Gratitude: Express appreciation for coworkers’ efforts and achievements to cultivate a positive and supportive workplace culture.
- Be Aware of Your Mental Health: Check in on your mental health occasionally and talk to your doctor if you are struggling. Practice self-care habits and utilize company offered employee assistance programs when needed.
- Take Your Breaks: Make taking your breaks a priority and avoid working on your breaks to prevent burnout. Be mindful of coworkers break times to prevent disturbing them while they recharge and destress.
Workplace wellness is a collaborative effort for both employers and employees. Employers and employees should follow the above suggestions to help bring wellness into the workplace. When both take an active role in promoting wellness it can lead to a more productive, happier, and healthier workplace for everyone.