Professional workplaces are where many of us spend the majority of our time—and yet, these offices can be unhealthy traps when it comes right down to it. Our dependence on technology and screens in almost any modern workplace means that we risk negative physical effects ranging from annoying digital eye strain to chronic sitting, which has been dubbed “the new smoking.”
As such, it’s extremely important for managers and corporate leaders to take initiative and set their employees up for success with regards to their health and wellbeing. Below are three main ways that any leader can take this matter into his or her own hands, with the goal of fostering a better work environment for everyone involved.
1. Partner with a Local Gym
Whether we’re talking about the front desk intern or the systems administrator, everyone in any given office, regardless of department, would probably argue that they don’t move around enough. The downside of more traditional office jobs is that sedentary lifestyles can be detrimental to physical and mental health. However, the rush of energy from a quick workout can help employees start the day off right or even get recharged during a lunch break.
Near any office there is bound to be a gym or fitness club where you can negotiate a group rate for employee membership. Oftentimes businesses get corporate discounts, and it shouldn’t be different in this case. Whether it is an all-encompassing facility like a YMCA or a university recreation center, group rates are a great option to consider looking into. If they are not offered, utilize your negotiation powers with the leaders of the center and see what you can manage; it’s more likely that they’d cut a deal than watch you take your business to competitors.
A membership at a gym is much more than a place to pump iron and run several miles. A membership can provide escape; a place to relax and regroup before, during, and after a taxing day at the office. Not only is a membership a perk to a job, it helps the wellbeing of your employees.
If you’re a manager or leader at any level and have the power to do so, consider the addition of a recreation agreement with a local facility. It will make your employees happier and healthier, which equates to higher business engagement and growth.
2. Stock the Fridge with Nutritional Snacks
Nowadays, it costs just a little bit more to purchase the healthy option. However, healthy options in the office won’t influence the budget as much as you’d expect, and the importance is there when the health of employees is considered. Consider introducing a fridge with bags of nuts, various fruits, and juice—especially if it’s any type of green juice, which can boost energy and improve general health. Depending on the office size, it shouldn’t cost more than $100 to maintain each week.
With your professionals scrambling around, working in the most efficient ways possible, healthy snacks are a necessity. Today’s technological world means businesses are adopting odd hours and strange workflows. Any workplace that is experimenting with routine will learn quickly: calculated choices can end up restricting variety and spontaneity. If an employee doesn’t know exactly when they will get to eat lunch, there is no viable way to prepare a healthy option.
Have nutritious options available on the run and your employees will appreciate your leadership and the added energy they receive. These little things garner respect from the employees and make the department a more desirable place to show up every day.
3. Consider a Business Retreat
If you’re not a leader, consider reaching out to your superiors and gauging the possibility of taking the office (or at least your department) on a team building getaway. Pick a weekend and a neat place somewhere nearby and make a bold move.
Going to a mountain lake a couple hours from the workplace and camping for a night can do wonders for the mental stability of your team. Not only will they get more familiar with each other, they will get to release themselves from the job setting and simply enjoy themselves.
On the retreat, organize some activities that push people to share their personality and dreams. Making the weekend fun while learning more about one another will not only benefit the workforce and individual departments as a whole, but the entire business operation and the personal life of each individual. In fact, a retreat can help employees feel appreciated, the opposite of which is a major reason leading to high employee turnover.
The workplace can be a stressful place, which is naturally a juxtaposition to a healthy natural lifestyle. It’s important as a leader in the industry to understand this and to provide your employees with the ability to stay healthy, both mentally and physically.
Enhance the aura within your organization. There is no better time than now to embrace a positive change in a progressive society. After all, it can’t hurt.