29 Ways to Improve Workplace Wellness
Workplace wellness – it might seem like a fluffy term used by big Silicon Valley-type companies with millions of expendable dollars – but, there’s a reason Google has nap pods and free snacks! Workplace wellness will affect your performance as a business.
At the end of the day, every business decision comes down to value and ROI, even for companies like Google, Facebook, Spotify and HubSpot. Workplace wellness is far more than keeping your employees happy and making your business look good. Workplace wellness is a huge part of your company culture and something that affects all aspects of your business.
Every business no matter the size can make their workplace better. Whether this is something you’ve considered before, or just looking at now. Not every workplace wellness idea will be worthwhile or a fit within your company culture, but, your employees at the end of the day are still people.
People have the same fundamental wellness needs, and, people care about experiences and wellness. And as an employer, you have a responsibility for their wellness and can take steps to improve workplace wellness that can overall improve the performance of your business.
So what is workplace wellness?
Workplace wellness considers the health and wellbeing of your staff; the elements that help individuals to deliver, stay motivated and enjoy their work. In turn, happy, healthy individuals are both more able to, and more motivated to, perform at their best at work.
Workplace wellness can be divided into 5 categories. The following categories have been developed by Gallup and Healthways:
- Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
- Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
- Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
- Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
- Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily
The first rule of workplace wellness – wellness doesn’t stop when someone walks out of the office.
What happens at home is bound to affect what happens at the office. Because of this you always need to take into account your employees experiences once they step out of the office.
Stresses and issues at home can not only affect the mental health of your staff but those around them. Issues like this have been known to affect workplace performance as well. Although as an employer you can’t control what happens at home, you can provide the right support.
It’s a common knowledge to “act like a human” in reference to the way you treat your customers. But this phrase is also very much applies to workplace wellness. As an employer, you shouldn’t just “act” like a human you should “behave like a human”.
Your responses to situations like illness and tragedy at home will define how your staff perceive your business. Reacting “not like a human” is bound to have a negative long-term effect on your relationships but also in areas like productivity. Mutual trust and understanding are fundamental groundworks to improving workplace wellness.
What can be done to improve workplace wellness?
Below we’ve listed a number of great ideas to improve workplace wellness in your business. Some of these we’ve implemented ourselves, some have been implemented by well-known brands and all of these will improve your workplace wellness:
Ensuring your office space has good links to wherever your staff are commuting from can have a great impact. No-one wants to commute for hours every day, especially when the journey should or could take significantly less! So good transport links and easy access can help to improve employee wellness every single day.
If there are limited actions you can take here and moving the office isn’t an option, finding ways to alleviate certain traffic or travel issues as they arise can help start everyone’s days a little brighter. You could try adjusting individuals start times for the duration of disruptive road works, or initiating a system for allowing employees to work from home for public transport disruptions.
Animals (office dog)
Although not always possible, and not always the case, most people love our fluffy best friends. Office pets are known to destress staff and provide a constant source of entertainment.
Having a policy around bringing in your pets to the office can also be beneficial. Situations at home might lead to an employee’s pet needing to come into the office, so why object? In most cases, the rest of the staff will be happy to see them. However, this does depend hugely on your team. If someone has a phobia or allergies you need to be respectful and be consistent on what is and isn’t allowed.
Smoking cessation programs
It’s well known that smoking can hugely affect your overall health. These voluntary programmes can help employees stop smoking. With a reduction in smoking, many businesses have seen fewer sick days being taken and increased productivity.
Paramedical services (massage therapy)
Although paramedical services can be costly for many businesses, these kinds of services have been known to de-stress staff and improve business performance. These kinds of services can also be differentiating factors for potential employee candidates looks for employment.
Keeping your workforce healthy, both mentally and physically is a challenge for most businesses. However, yoga along with other activities are great options. Yoga is particularly good as it appeals to people of all ages, genders and skill levels.
Following on from yoga classes, walking and running outings can be a great alternative to yoga. If your office space is situated in the countryside or has some kind of open space you’ll be surprised at the number of people who’d love to go on a walk. This optional activity can also be done during lunch breaks (meaning you don’t even need to lose out on productive time during the day).
The great outdoors has also been known to improve creativity and productivity in staff. This is largely down to the increased oxygen from being around trees! Meaning when people return to their desks they’ll probably be even more efficient than they were before.
Keeping the shelves stocked in the kitchen and providing easily accessible snacks and drinks are a great addition to any office. They provide stuff with energy boosts throughout the day and arguably even more important; people enjoy them. This benefit will keep your workforce full and satisfied.
Be sure to keep your snacks healthy and eco-friendly though. Promoting a healthy lifestyle should be a priority for any business. Snacks in the office, therefore, fall under both physical wellness and purpose.
This can be a bit controversial. Many businesses won’t promote this kind of behaviour, but it does have its benefits. A tired employee isn’t a productive one, and if a 15-30 minute power nap is going to improve their performance for the rest of the day, why not? This kind of wellness scheme needs to be monitored closely, and it is not a solution that will work for everyone so you will have to balance this as an offering. However, if it works for your workforce and your company culture – it could have a positive influence on productivity.
Trusting employees with this kind of scheme also helps to increase your relationship with staff for better.
Cleanliness (washroom facilities)
Hygiene is an essential part of workplace wellness. If your office is dirty it’s not only going to put off potential clients, it’s going to put off your staff. With cleanliness being particularly important for preventing the spread of illness, promoting this in your workplace is sure to be well received. Cleanliness again will help to reduce sick days and improve people’s attitudes towards the workplace. Providing tissues, hand sanitiser, clean and well-maintained washrooms and more are all key things to consider.
Activities Reimbursements Schemes
Promoting activities outside of work are sure to go down well with the staff. It’s not uncommon to see businesses providing reimbursements for certain activities outside of work. Encouraging your workforce to go to shows, concerts, festivals, holidays and more all help improve wellness in the workplace. At the end of the day, people usually go to work to fund activities like this, so helping to facilitate this is a great wellness scheme and a great incentive for employees.
Not having time off for your birthday can be an unfortunate situation. However, more and more businesses have a policy of an extra vacation day if your birthday falls on a weekday. This allows staff to make plans and not stress about using up their allotted holiday allowance.
These can be great spaces for staff to get work done in some peace and quiet. Open planned office spaces can be increasingly loud meaning when needed quiet areas can be calming and invaluable.
Adding some greenery to your office helps not only brighten up space it also helps the environment and brings in increased oxygen (and productivity!) to the office.
These events are great opportunities for businesses to give back and work on team building. Charity runs or schemes can be some great options for this.
Discounted gym memberships
As another physical wellness scheme, discounted gym memberships can be a great option. This helps to encourage being active and healthy. Plus, making gyms more accessible to your staff could be a deciding factor in choosing your business (in terms of recruitment).
There is much evidence suggesting that access to nature promotes health and wellbeing, so encouraging your employees to spend time outside can have a knock-on effect for your business. Choosing an office that is near nature and green areas provides a great way for your workforce to be active and benefit from the environment and fresh air. Cycling routes and more can also be safer than city-based offices.
Increased and sufficient pay
Money can be the single biggest stress factor in a persons’ life. Because of this, being a little generous in your pay can be of a huge benefit and sufficient pay (for your area) is essential to workplace wellness.
There are differences in opinions about giving all employees increased pay, but if people are worried about money, pay can lead to stress in the workplace, poor performance and more. Helping to alleviate this could help increase focus on doing the best work possible.
Recently a CEO placed his whole staff on pay of at least 70K, and although it had some issues it’s paid off hugely. This just highlights how just as it often comes down to money for a business, it does for employees too. The boss who put everyone on 70K – BBC News
Standing desks & balls etc…
Different work location options help keep staff stay productive and can have added health benefits. Standing desks can help with blood flow and much more. Perhaps trial the use of a communal standing desk and see how it’s used?
Fun & games
Encouraging team games can help with collaboration and team spirit. Plus, a bit of competition in the office can help to boost productivity and more. It also helps to stop the workplace from being too serious. Creating a more relaxed and inviting office has many added benefits.
This is an interesting scheme used at Google among others. This allows staff to spend 20% of their workweek on their own projects (as long as it benefits Google or the business in question). Huge, innovative products like Gmail have come from this scheme. This kind of freedom opens people up to be creative and work on what they’re really interested in. And the fruits of this is often very juicy.
Private healthcare and insurance can help your workforce to feel at ease. Without having to worry about injuries or accidents (especially in risky jobs) you’ll find people are more open to things like exercise classes and more. This also goes back to money. Money at the end of the day is a huge factor in the welfare of staff.
SED – Seasonal Effective Disorders
Understanding your staffs’ mental health and making allowances for them is important for your workforce’s long-term wellness. Giving people with this kind of disorder the ability to work from home on bad days or to take a mental health day will all be appreciated. And if people feel appreciated, their work often shows this. When you might need a helping hand or extra time, they’re also more likely to oblige.
Allowing your staff to work from home or similar can be great options for people with a young family or other commitments. It can also just be nice to work from home from time to time. This kind of working is highly requested by staff and often well-received. Like many of these schemes, it does require an element of trust, but when trust is given it’s usually reciprocated and rewarded.
Praise and achievements, celebrations
Celebrating people’s achievements both in and outside the workplace is a great way to promote workplace wellness. Simple things like birthday cards and celebrating job anniversaries help people to feel appreciated and a part of the team. In weekly meetings highlighting and celebrating people’s achievements as a team can be really great ways to do this. Why not have a think about what you can praise your staff for at your next team meeting?
Mental health days
Sometimes your work and home life can be a bit much. In these circumstances making allowances for your staff can be great ways to promote wellness. Mental health is increasingly becoming more prevalent, meaning as a business you need to ensure you’re implementing the right policies to ensure your staff are safe and have the support they need.
Intranets and slack channels
Company intranets and channels on applications like Teams and Slack can be great places to socialise and express yourself. Try creating a channel for less serious subjects and just company chit-chat. If people start engaging it can help to bring people together and improve your company culture.
(Almost) Everyone likes music. However, not everyone likes music, or the same type of music, in the office. But, if you reach a consensus on music in the office it can be a great way to keep things focused and motivated. Shared playlists on Spotify or similar streaming services can be very entertaining and help staff to express themselves.
Ensuring your staff are informed on mental health issues, physical health issues, environmental issues and more all have benefits for both in the office and at home. Wellness starts with understanding.
The right tools for the job
Keeping your workforces tech and equipment up to date is a key part of wellness in the office. A frustratingly slow machine can affect motivation and more. Whereas a shiny new laptop will be sure to have an impact and be greatly appreciated.
Most importantly – the right company culture
Above all, the right company culture is essential to workplace wellness. If people enjoy where they work – they’ll be more productive, happy, loyal and provide your business with better value. Workplace wellness is just one part of your company culture, but arguably, it’s the part of your company culture that your workforce will most appreciate.
In some cases, aspects of company culture can even be viewed as more important than money. This is because people might take a cut in salary for a workplace that they truly enjoy being a part of, or because of added benefits in the form of gym memberships, reimbursements, flexible working and more.
Offices that promote workforce wellness
Improve the wellness of your workforce with Tanshire Park. If you’re struggling to implement schemes like the ones above in your current office space Tanshire Park may be a great solution. We provide Grade-A office space to businesses of all sizes. With our idyllic location in the Surrey hills, our on-site cafe and modern office space you’ll be able to implement the above and more.
Get in touch with the Tanshire Park management team today and see how offices at Tanshire Park could improve your workplace wellness.