Working nine to five while sitting up to a desk isn't the most healthy lifestyle in the world. It's a sedentary lifestyle, and there's often very little chance of getting exercise. Office workers are also prone to getting certain illnesses from bacteria on office equipment, as well as through air conditioning, and unhealthy work practices can lead to lots of occupational hazards such as repetitive strain injury. That's why it's important to ensure a healthy work environment. Not only does this boost morale and productivity, but it reduces the risk of illness, saving you money.
Sitting at a desk all day isn't good for anyone, so encourage your staff to move around. They could try some desk exercises, or perhaps just go for a brisk walk on their tea break, either way they can enjoy the benefits that even a small amount of exercise can bring. Some companies also have sports clubs or other incentives for people to exercise and bigger sites sometimes include a subsidised gym, or space for yoga and other classes.
Those who work in an office often develop bad eating habits. From skipping lunch, to eating up to their desks, or grabbing quick snacks, there are lots of reasons why people in offices often gain weight. However, you can encourage your employees to eat better by:
- Making lunch breaks away from the screen mandatory
- Providing healthy snacks such as fresh fruit and vegetables
- Getting rid of vending machines with high fat snacks
- Ensuring there are healthy lunch options on offer
- Setting up a kitchen area for people to bring in homemade food
Giving your employees the time and facilities to be able to enjoy healthy food is important to their well being, and means they are much more likely to make good food choices.
Smoking is no longer tolerated in the workplace, but you'll often see workers huddled around outside during their breaks, puffing away. Designating your grounds as non smoking can discourage this, but make sure you offer support for those who want to quit smoking. You could allow the use of electronic cigarettes such as those found on nucig.co.uk, and perhaps offer emotional and practical support to those who are trying to quit. This can help cut down on the amount of sick days caused by smoking related illnesses, as well as helping your staff add years to their lives.
As well as physical health, it's important for employees to consider the mental health of their employees. Staff who are stressed, putting in too many hours, or are juggling personal issues with work, are much less likely to be productive. By creating a caring, supportive environment, you are likely to boost employee productivity, and boost staff morale in your office.
Think about what your employees need to make their lives easier and how you can be more accommodating. Do you speak to them enough? Could you be more flexible with hours and responsibilities? A workplace where employees feel valued and heard is likely to have much less stressed staff, than a place that's ruled with an iron fist.
Encouraging a healthy lifestyle is good for both your employees and your company. It means they will add years to their life, have more energy, and be much more focused at work, as well as cutting down on the number of sick days you have to deal with. Just a small investment in employee health can therefore have a hugely positive effect on your finances, and it's one that's worth making to boost morale.
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