August 4, 2017
5 ways to promote a healthier workplace
Creating a healthy workplace can happen with just a few changes that promote healthy behaviour and stop people from sticking to bad habits. Not only can this mean the health of your workforce is improved, it can also have a knock-on effect in terms of productivity, helping people get more done during the day.
Other benefits of a healthier workplace can include fewer sick days, a better environment and general employee wellbeing, all of which can help with creating a great company culture and a happier team. With this in mind, here are five ways you can promote a healthier workplace without causing a lot of disruption:
Create a social area
If there is nowhere else for people to have lunch, they’ll tend to eat at their desks. This means they aren’t getting a chance to really take a break from work, which can lead to increased stress levels. On top of this, it can also mean people get into the habit of snacking at their desk throughout the day, which can increase calorie intake and have an impact on weight management.
Creating a social area in the workplace that allows people to eat lunch, grab a coffee or just generally have a break will ensure people have an option other than their desk. It will encourage people to move more, develop better relationships with co-workers and pay more attention to what they’re eating rather than being distracted by their screens.
Provide bike storage
Providing a space for employees to store their bikes during the day could help to encourage workers to cycle, rather than drive or get public transport. Not only is this a great way for them to get fitter and improve their health, it can also cut down on congestion and pollution around the workplace.
Cycling has also been found to reduce stress at work, so it could lead to happier employees all round. You could even create a bike scheme to help partially fund workers buying bikes or provide bikes that can be rented from the company to encourage this healthier form of commuting.
Supply different drinks
Most offices supply tea and coffee, but that is often where the drink options end. While the caffeine in tea and coffee can help people keep going, it also results in energy crashes. On top of this, people tend to stick with caffeinated beverages rather than drinking enough water throughout the day, which can have an impact on productivity.
As well as standard tea and coffee facilities, it could be a good idea to provide herbal and fruit teas, a water cooler and alternatives to sugar for those with a sweet tooth. This can encourage people to branch out and choose healthier drinks throughout their work day.
Discount gym membership
Looking at deals in your area that could allow you to provide a subsidised gym membership to employees could help encourage them to fit some activity into their working day. If the gym is close to your office, you could even actively encourage employees to visit on their lunch break, as well as before and after work.
Many people don’t join a gym due to the expense or its location, so finding one that is close and offering discounted membership could help keep your workforce fit and healthy. Alternatively, you could arrange fitness classes in the workplace, such as Monday morning yoga.
Healthy snack table
People will snack throughout the day no matter what, which is why it is a good idea to promote healthy food instead of things like chocolate and crisps. Putting a snack table out for employees that offers healthy foods like fresh fruit could encourage them to opt for foods with less fat and sugar.
You can either provide the snacks free of charge or implement a pay-as-you-feel option so people donate what they can. This can cover the cost of the snacks or be put toward a charitable donation, which can also help to improve morale in your office.