According to Health & Safety Ontario:
Unhealthy lifestyle practices … contribute to absenteeism, health insurance claims, presenteeism, short- and long-term disability, depression, and accidents. While these habits may be ones that the employee brings to the workplace, work-related stress can make it more difficult to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and may in fact encourage unhealthy habits.
Reducing stressors and encouraging healthy habits in the workplace is not a trivial concern. Taking actions to create a healthy workplace can mean less lost revenue due to absenteeism, fewer accidents, and lower worker’s compensation costs. Not to mention, employees are more likely to stay more engaged and productive when they feel respected and taken care of.
So, how can you create a healthier environment? Here are seven healthy ideas for the workplace:
- Instead of pizza and pop at your next lunch meeting or presentation, have healthier options on offer such as sandwiches, fruit, and flavoured water. If you offer snacks on a regular basis, ensure you have healthier options there as well.
- Ensure that employees have ergonomic workstations, including proper chairs and computer monitors at the correct height. Some workplaces even use standing desks. For suggestions, check out the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety’s website.
- Look for ways to offer flexible working schedules for employees, to reduce the stress of long commute times or not being able to attend to important personal business.
- Offer incentives and deals to encourage physical fitness to your employees. This can be a discount on gym memberships, a monthly yoga class, or team charity cycling events.
- Check in with your employees regularly to make sure they are maintaining a healthy workload. Avoid piling work on someone without making sure it makes sense first.
- Offer opportunities for continual learning and training so employees can upgrade their skills and feel a sense of ownership over their careers.
- Foster a culture that doesn’t expect “presenteeism” – working while sick. Ensure that your policies around sick days are fair, and employees have a chance to seek medical attention without feeling guilty.
Still not convinced? According to Health & Safety Ontario, for every dollar Canada Life Insurance spent on its fitness program, they saved $3.43. Sounds like a good investment to us!
Do you have any corporate wellness tips you’d like to share?