Workplace wellness may sound like a modern concept, but the fact is that employers have always known that healthier workers are more likely to be more productive workers. Nowadays more than ever, with the appearance of Millennials as the leading workforce, wellness-focused lifestyle is gaining more significance and popularity. Prospective employers are more than ever willing to incorporate wellness programs into their employee’s daily routine.
What does workplace health and wellness really mean?
Generally speaking, workplace wellness is considered to be any kind of workplace environment that encourages healthy behavior of all employees. It incorporates a set of organized activities at work that mainly focus on fitness, meditation, healthy eating habits, stress management. EA, an American-based company, prides itself on a great health and wellbeing programs for its workers that includes things such as access to fitness benefits, onsite fitness centers, ride-to-work schemes, and much more.
Why is health and wellness important in the workplace?
There are many benefits that go in favour of worksite wellness programmes.
Work-related stress may lead to demotivation, loss of sleep, anxiety and even depression. Stressed employees are prone to illness and unable to fulfill their full potential. Wellness programmes might help employees reduce stress, foster positive working environment, inspire greater performance and improve work relationships.
Moreover, promoting employee wellbeing has a positive influence not only on individuals but also on the entire organization. According to some studies corporate wellness can result not only in healthier and more productive workforce, but also lead to lower healthcare costs.
Most importantly, the vital element of a good workplace wellness program is behaviour change. Most people spend at least 40 hours of their week at work so the workplace may become the right environment for people to form and maintain healthy habits.
How to improve health and wellness in the workplace?
The ideas for promoting and improving health and wellness-based activities in the workplace are numerous. It is vital that the activities are diverse in order to address the needs and preferences of all employees. Here are only a few to spark your interest.
On-site yoga/fitness break
It is not uncommon that some companies use their conference or break rooms to organize midday yoga classes. Yoga is believed to have a positive impact on a person’s physical and mental health. Organizing yoga classes onsite allows workers to plug off and relax just a few steps away from their office. What’s more, doing yoga with your coworkers can improve relationships and build a sense of community.
For those who prefer a more intense workout, on-site fitness programmes provide a great alternative. In case your company does not have enough space to organize a fitness class for a group of workers, vibration plates are designed to perfectly fit in the corner of your office. A 10-minute full-body workout can help employees get back into shape, reduce stress and muscle strain, boost energy and encourage better work performance.
Cycle to work scheme is being introduced with the aim to foster a healthier option for daily commuting. It seems quite important to encourage more people to cycle to work and travel actively. This is how it works: firstly, employers buy bikes and safety equipment which are then made available for their employees to ‘hire’. Workers give up a part of their pre-tax salary in exchange of a bike hire. Benefits are countless: cheaper travel, better health, increased worker productivity for businesses, while for the environment it means better air quality and lower congestion.
Office workers frequently complain about severe neck and shoulder pain and stiffness as a result of poor sitting posture and limited mobility. Therefore, regular massages can help them relieve stiff neck and tight shoulders, reduce headaches, relieve eyestrain, de-stress, and increase workflow.
Neck massagers with heat can be seen as a great addition to a company’s wellbeing strategy. What’s more, another advantage is that workers do not need to leave the premises and the company does not have to spend hours booking massage treatment in advance. Anyone can simply sit comfortably in their chair, turn on the massager and let it do wonders to your achy muscles. After just a 15-minute massage people are likely to return to work refreshed and energized.
Is employee wellness worth the effort?
It is well-known that a positive working environment improves worker productivity, team spirit and overall wellbeing. In principle every good business should make sure that its employees are healthy, safe, motivated and satisfied. Developing and implementing an effective wellness program can be quite time-consuming and generally requires commitment and good plan and strategy. However, studies have shown that in the long run its benefits and results can outrun the initial effort and investment.