People spend about 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime. That reflects one-third of an average person’s waking hours. So, it’s unsurprising that the work environment significantly impacts employees’ health and well-being.
Many factors contribute to a healthy workplace — from the physical environment to the company culture to the way people work with each other. As an employer, you have the opportunity to influence all of these factors. You can create a work environment that encourages employees to live healthier lifestyles by making simple changes.
Here are some best practices for fostering a healthy work environment:
Provide avenues for employees to take a break
The workplace can be a stressful environment. Employees may feel like they need to keep working to meet deadlines or stay ahead of the competition. So, it’s important to provide avenues for them to take a breather from work to recharge and return feeling refreshed.
One way to do this is to set up entertainment rooms for employees. This space can be used for playing games, taking a nap, reading, or relaxing. You can also encourage employees to take breaks throughout the day by scheduling walking meetings or giving them time to exercise.
Another way to provide employees with a necessary pause from work is to offer flexible work arrangements. That could include allowing employees to work from home occasionally or have a more flexible schedule. This simple strategy can go a long way in reducing stress levels and promoting a healthy work-life balance.
Encourage healthy eating habits
The food you eat directly impacts your energy levels, mood, and overall health. So, it’s essential to encourage employees to make healthy choices when it comes to their diets.
You can start by ensuring there are healthy food options available at work. That could mean stocking the pantry with healthy snacks or providing employees with a stipend to buy lunch from local, healthy restaurants.
It would also help if you could invest in a break room with crafted dining room furniture to encourage employees to have their meals away from their desks. According to HR Digest, desk eating can lead to unhealthy snacking and can negatively affect productivity. By eliminating unhealthy food options and providing a space for employees to have their meals, you can encourage them to make healthier choices.
Create an active workplace
A sedentary lifestyle is one of the leading risk factors for chronic diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. So, it’s essential to encourage employees to be active inside and outside work.
For example, you can start by creating an active workplace. You can invest in standing desks, providing a space for employees to store their bikes, or setting up an on-site gym. You can also encourage employees to be active outside of work by organizing group activities like sports teams or hiking groups. This strategy is a win-win — it can help improve employees’ health while promoting teamwork and bonding.
These simple changes can encourage employees to live healthier lifestyles and create a healthy work environment. Thus, resulting in a happier and more productive workforce.
Switch to sustainable practices
Sustainability has become increasingly important in recent years. And for a good reason — the planet is facing serious environmental challenges.
As an employer, you can help by switching to sustainable practices. That could mean using eco-friendly office supplies, reducing paper waste, or investing in energy-efficient appliances. You can also encourage employees to be more environmentally conscious by providing recycling bins and promoting sustainable commuting options.
Not only is this good for the environment, but it can also help improve employee morale. A study by the University of Exeter found that employees who work for companies with sustainable practices are happier and more productive. So, by switching to sustainable practices, you can create a healthy work environment and promote employee well-being.
Add some greenery
Plants have been shown to have several benefits for both physical and mental health. They can improve air quality, reduce stress levels, and boost mood. So, it’s no surprise that adding some greenery to the workplace can create a healthier environment. You can start by placing plants around the office or setting up an on-site garden.
This simple change can have a significant impact on employee health and well-being. And it’s an easy and inexpensive way to create a healthy work environment. When looking for ways to encourage wellness at work, don’t forget the power of plants.
There are many ways to encourage wellness at work. But, the most important thing is to create a culture of health and wellness. Promoting healthy habits and investing in the above practices can create a healthy work environment that benefits both employees and the company. A healthy workforce can improve productivity, reduce absenteeism, and create a positive work culture. So, start promoting wellness at work today!