Employee wellness programs have become common in many organisations, with large organisations such as Google investing heavily in programs that are aimed at boosting employee wellness and morale. According to Career Builder the top five stress symptoms causing missed workdays are constant fatigue (29%); sleeplessness (26%); aches and pains (24%); high anxiety (23%) and weight gain (18%). Employee wellness programs are essential in mitigating negative work environments.
In this blog we’ll be listing ways in which you can promote wellness and self-care at work - without spending a fortune.
1. Add plants and indulge your innate Biophilia
Biophilia is the innate and genetically determined affinity that human beings have with the natural world. It can be nurtured by adding plants to your workspace. A University of Queensland study found that work environments outfitted with plants can actually improve employee productivity by 15%. Indoor plants have also been found to have air-purifying and stress-relieving properties.
Additionally, you could engage your employees by gifting them a small desk plant and challenging the office to a friendly “plant nurturing” competition. Prizes for those whose plants thrive. Ambius provides a variety of indoor plants to enhance your interior environment and will take care of the maintenance for those you without green fingers.
2. Good Hygiene Tips
In our previous blog: Absenteeism, presenteeism, and the economic impact of poor hygiene we learnt that presenteeism costs the South African economy an estimated R89 billion annually. We noted that by actively engaging employees and reviewing your workplace for factors that contribute to illness, you are provided with the opportunity to address a portion of the 19% of absenteeism attributed to physical health. Initial hygiene offers a range of services to stop the spread of germs in your workplace, thus keeping your employees healthy and productive.
Ensure everyone in your office practices good hand hygiene with our Handwashing Guide. Download your copy now.
3. Offer remote working
Provide remote working opportunities for employees. This is especially useful should employees fall ill (for example with a cold) but still have the energy to work, or for those that have family responsibilities and can’t commute to work. Not only does this build trust within the work environment but it also enhances employee morale.
In our blog Presenteeism and Productivity we discussed the negative effects of presenteeism and how it poses a threat to workplace productivity. It may be tempting to come to work if you only have a mild sniffle in a bid to keep up your work rate, but you’ll be surprised to find that not only will your work rate drop, but that you will also inadvertently pose a threat to your coworkers health - thus further affecting the office’ productivity levels
4. Office wellness newsletter and wellness wall
Set up a wellness wall at the office where employees can post things like their top hygiene tips that help them keep well, healthy eating tips, exercise routines or stress management ideas. The wall should have a place where employees can upvote on ideas they have tried out and have worked well for them.
At the end of the month, the best ideas can be selected for the monthly office newsletter. Additionally, you could curate wellness articles from the internet to introduce new health and wellness ideas in the office
5. Health Posters to encourage healthier choices
(photo by: Photos Freezer and Stair Iyashix.Com)
Have posters that encourage healthier choices strategically placed around the office (like the one shown above). This should help change long term employee behaviour and ultimately improve workplace wellness.
Good employee health behaviours lead to fewer health risks and improved morale, ensuring positive interactions and productivity in the workplace. According to Aflac 61% of employees agree that they’ve made healthier lifestyle choices because of their company’s wellness program.
Organisations don’t need to spend a fortune establishing a wellness program, all it needs is a bit of creativity and insight.