In most offices in the UK a new year brings the same resolutions and the task at the top of the list is, “I want to get healthier”, which is often met with complaints about having to do more exercise, or go on a diet.
But as research shows, exercise reduces stress and in turn boosts moral- making people happier. It is proven that employees that are happy at work are more productive, so business owners should be looking at ways to encourage a healthy lifestyle at work for their employees.
A healthy workforce doesn’t just mean offering gym memberships or organising a lunchtime walking club. Although these are both great incentives, there are other ways in which you can encourage a healthy workforce within the office.
The national institute for health and care excellence have used industry research which proves a healthy workplace makes for happy more effective employees.
Here are a few things that you implement.
Teamwork and creativity is crucial to a smooth operating business. Collaboration is key, it is vital employees feel part of a team.
This theory is evidenced by research that has shown that results delivered by a team are greater than that of an individual. Working within a team increases a healthy environment and drives better results.
Office space planning and design can encourage teamwork. Construct open plan office space, spacious meeting rooms and fewer physical barriers. These will allow for more effective communication with your employees and your business will begin to reap the benefits of a more engaged workforce.
One area in which is often overlooked in many organisations but is becoming increasingly important as generations Y and Z join the workplace is breakout areas. Areas away from computer screens and desks that give people a break, an area they can relax in, get to know their colleagues and make their own.
Okay, office workouts may be a little extreme but there are businesses that hold lunchtime classes or after work boot camps to encourage employees to get healthy, but there are some more less direct ways of promoting a healthy workforce throughout the working day.
Some of our clients have taken the pro-active approach and have installed furniture which aids this. Simple changes such as the installation of sit stand desks can have an huge improvement on physical health. Research has shown standing desks aid people to burn up to 1,000 calories more per week without changing any other habit.
For the more extreme, try swapping chairs for exercise balls for a couple of hours a week.
An obvious yet overlooked element of your office is the décor, something as simple as changing the colours of the walls or adding living plants can have a positive impact on the health of your workforce.
These changes will help to encourage a healthier workforce – body and mind.