Most employees spend between 8 and 12 hours a day at the office. It has become a lot more than just a workplace. For many, it’s the place where they spend the majority of their waking hours during the week. As such, it is indispensable that the workplace puts health requirements on top of its priorities. Of course, health and safety regulations are essential in order to ensure that the office environment doesn’t cause any harm to your team. But your health commitments shouldn’t stop just there. Indeed, as a business, you can’t ignore common health complaints. Stress, for instance, has become the number one killer in the workplace, meaning that too many companies fail to introduce practical solutions to help reduce stress levels.

Additionally, the sitting position – which remains the most common working position for office jobs – has been linked to the increase in health risks. Indeed, the lack of physical activities combined with reward snacks can facilitate obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Finally, too many individuals, both in and outside the workplace, struggle with medical fees, being forced to postpone or refuse life-changing treatments they can’t afford. Businesses are in an excellent position to support their communities and provide essential health benefits. Here is how you can help your community to improve health every day. 

Encourage regular breaks at work 

Taking a break has almost become a swear word in some offices. At an age where too many business owners continue to promote the hard-working image of the perfect employee who accumulates hours without complaining, your team can feel uncomfortable take regular breaks. However, the best approach to breaks is not to ignore them! Indeed, people need a short pause away from the desk every two hours, at least. Not only does it help the mind recharge itself, but it also maintains high productivity and creativity. Dropping the break is counterproductive in the long term, leading to drops in quality, productivity, and motivation. The best and easiest way to remind your staff that they need to stand up regularly and clear their minds is to introduce a break room to your office. Designing a room that is entirely focused on entertainment can seem like a waste of money, at first. But you’d be surprised by the long-term benefits you can get. Indeed, as your team gets into the habit of arranging regular breaks, they’re more likely to reduce their stress levels. As a result, sick days become less frequent. Additionally, your team performance increases, as well as their overall health levels. 

Offer health-focused perks 

Health insurance is a no-brainer when it comes to choosing job perks that are likely to appeal to your employees. Indeed, offering health insurance benefits can transform your business. According to Aflac’s annual employee finding surveys, 60% of employees would be ready to receive lower wages as long as their jobs offered better benefits. For 62% of employees, health insurance is an indispensable perk that can significantly improve their lifestyle. Additionally, you are more likely to attract the best-qualified candidates if you can polish your perks. Another lesser-considered job perk that can dramatically improve your team health is to provide dedicated sports and fitness offers, such as on-site yoga classes like Google, which can help employees to relax at work. Alternatively, providing discounted gym membership in the local fitness facilities can be a fantastic way of encouraging your team to stay healthy on their own time. 

Donate to charity 

It’s fair to say that health services can be expensive. Many families in poverty and crisis struggle to provide the necessary healthcare for their children. Offering health insurance can provide support to your employees, but you may be interested in supporting the rest of your community. As a business, you can consider donations to The LifeSavers Foundation, which is dedicated to providing feed mobile pediatric clinic to families. You can even organize charity events to encourage donations in your company. Similarly, you can also reach out to your local hospital and charities to find out how to best support those in need. 

Organize regular health workshops

Offering extra-curriculum workshops in the workplace can give you the opportunity to explore alternative health tips. Inviting a plant expert, for instance, could be the opportunity to promote houseplants with healing properties, giving your team the knowledge they need to look after their health at a low cost. You could run a regular survey in the office to find out what people would want to know and where they struggle the most. As it is soon the cold and flu season, it could be beneficial to have a workshop on the best ways to protect the immune system with everyday items that can be found in the kitchen. After all, everybody knows about the chicken soup, but do they know whether it is really helpful to cure a cold? 

Fill up the office kitchen with healthy snacks 

Everybody loves a snack during the workday. However, it doesn’t mean you should fill the office with vending machines. Indeed, you can instead consider healthy snacks for your kitchen area. Keeping cheese strings in the fridge can be a superb alternative to the typical chocolate bar. Make sure to stock nuts in the cupboard, as they are a high-protein snack that is fantastic combined with friends or yogurt. A bowl of fresh and yummy fruits can also help everyone to fuel their body with the right vitamins and minerals. 

Keep track of your team satisfaction

Last but not least, mental health is another crucial element that too many companies fail to track. Unfortunately, failure to notice emotional tensions and pressures within the workplace can lead to depression, anxiety, and high stress. You should keep an eye open for signs of dissatisfaction among your team. Running regular surveys that check the overall happiness level in the workplace can be a game-changer. Additionally, you may want to provide access to a therapist on-site, either physically or via an app, to encourage people to discuss their issues. 

Making your business the promoter of better health is a long-term project that requires time and money commitment. However, it can not only benefit your team but also your performance and reputation as a company. More importantly, you can also find ways to give back to your community, strengthening your bonds with the local economy. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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