Two simple steps to support your employees' health
Employee health/ wellbeing is a hot topic at the moment, and rightfully so. A rampant worldwide pandemic flipped our deeply-embedded and arguably outdated working format practices (8+ hours at the office in front of our desk) on their heads and revealed to us certain shortcomings.
But, in the end, revealing shortcomings is a positive! It allows us to see what is going wrong, and implement steps to improve upon it. some key findings from the past 12 months were that work changes associated with the pandemic has decreased employee productivity and retention, increased absenteeism (time absent from work due to illness or injury), and, overall, reduced the health of employees.
Which now begs the question... what can we do about it?
We've spoken previously about the need for a culture or mindset shift within companies to a position where being physically active (be it at home or in the office) is something that is supported and promoted.
This truly is the holy grail of workplace wellness, where employees are motivated to stay healthy and active by observing the habits of their colleagues. This sort of workplace culture change compounds the widely spoken-of health benefits of being active within a company, which could have immeasurable positive effects across several important domains.
But how do we get there?
First, we reduce the barriers.
We make it as easy as possible for employees to adopt this new daily habit. And, as a company, one easy and proven way to support this is to:
Set up a dedicated "wellness area" within the office
This doesn't have to be much - all you need is a little bit of floor space, a few yoga mats, maybe some exercise bands, and a pot plant to make it all look nice. This space serves to reduce the negative stigma around staying active while at work which, in turn, removes a significant barrier for employees.
Second, provide guidance and reminders so that employees stay on track.
And, for companies, an easy way to achieve this in an effective and highly scalable fashion is to:
provide their employees with a tool that provides them with personalised exercise and promotes them to do it throughout the day.
Keep in mind that these two factors alone aren't the holy grail. It still takes positive involvement from management, employees to 'be the change they want to be in the office' and get the ball rolling, and other elements to increase the engagement and motivation. But, it is a great starting point, from which a company can build a thriving and long-lasting wellness culture around.
Don't believe me? Give it a try - lay 1-2 yoga mats down in a spot in the office. I guarantee they won't go un-used!