Encouraging fitness and a healthy, balanced lifestyle should always be a priority when it comes to your employees. While your employees meet important deadlines, their productivity and success are not only reliant on the work they do but also on how they take care of themselves outside of work. When your employees are taking care of their physical health and mental wellbeing, their ability to manage stress, stay productive, and focus during the day is all the better.
Employee wellness isn’t limited to physical wellness. According to lifespeak.com, “Depression has become the leading cause of disability across the globe, and it’s estimated that 172 million workdays are lost due to depression each year.” When your employees are suffering, they lose their focus and their ability to perform at their best.
How can employers help?
We spend most of our week at work, focused on projects and deadlines and interacting with our coworkers. It’s imperative to make sure your employees are not only thriving in the work setting, but also in other areas that impact their lives.
Here are a few tips on how to promote overall wellbeing in the workplace:
- Subsidize physical and mental fitness apps and programs
This is a great way to encourage your employees to take care of themselves. Apps such as Calm and Aaptiv give employees the ability to focus on their mental and physical fitness on their own time. By taking initiative to provide these apps for free or at a lower cost, employees will want to take advantage of it and inherently devote time to themselves.
- Spread awareness and get the conversation started
Incorporating mental health awareness into the work culture is important and to do this, conversations and openness should be ongoing instead of a passing thought. By making employees feel comfortable with the idea of taking care of themselves, they will recognize when they need time off and be able to feel like they can do so without negative repercussions. Incorporate this message into internal communications so employees are aware of the resources available to them.
- Provide helpful tips for staying healthy
Providing your organization with helpful tips such as easy lunch recipes or fitness challenges for employees to take part in will encourage healthy habits during busy workdays. While it’s easier to order takeout, encourage employees to cook something healthy and perhaps incorporate easy examples into wellness communications.
- Pay attention and provide assistance
If you notice or hear of an employee that is acting differently or seems off, it could be a good idea to reach out. Without singling anyone out, make sure all employees are aware of any resources provided as part of your benefits package, such as wellness programs and employee assistance services.
- Encourage employees to take walking breaks
Encourage your employees to take little breaks during the day for a breath of fresh air and to add a little movement to their day. Just 10 – 15 minutes of walking can lead to improved moods, alleviated stress, and improved cardiovascular fitness. Not to mention the added benefits of boosting your immune system and energy as well as burning calories!
Advocating for the importance of overall health and wellbeing in the workplace will not only encourage employees to take the initiative to lead healthier lives but will also motivate them to continue to do their best at work.