Companies have finally cottoned on to the notion that looking after their employees is an investment worth making. And with this new level of awareness, we have seen the introduction of the company wellbeing week.
Employee wellness programs have been around for a while now, but to really have an impact and help you improve employees’ wellbeing, it’s going to take more than yoga and free fruit. Here are some ideas to make it a week worth talking about.
1. Bring in a chef to teach people healthy, easy recipes
One of the most common reasons people give for eating unhealthy meals is ‘I just don’t have time to cook’. More often than not, you can whip up the same meal you’ve grabbed from the takeout in the same amount of time - you just need to know-how. Chat with our friends at Feedr to see if they can recommend any chefs or DM Jess @Rad-ish.
2. Offer standing desks
Sitting down for 8+ hours a day does no one any good. Our postures are suffering and in some cases, it causes serious injury that leads to time off work. Standing desks might seem like an expensive payout initially, but they’ll pay themselves back in reduced employee absence for neck and back injuries. Humbleworks is a good place to start to find furniture that improves your posture, health and wellbeing!
3. Teach mindfulness
I know, I know. Mindfulness is a real buzzword at the moment. But the science is undeniable. Mindfulness is proven to help reduce stress, anxiety and overall mental health. Group mindfulness practice isn’t for everyone, but an intro and explanation of what it’s all about may convert a few sceptics. Openmindwellbeing is a good place to start to find out more about mindfulness in the workplace, Headspace is also a great meditation app.
4) Organise a relaxing creative session
Being creative for 45 minutes or more is proven to reduce cortisol and improve your mood. Plus, exercising those creative muscles will strengthen signals to the right side of your brain, so next time you need to think on your feet, problem solve or come up with ideas, you may be able to do so more easily. Don’t believe us? Check out what the BBC had to say about it here.
5) Encourage walking meetings
Most offices have a shortage of meeting rooms, and we already know we spend too much time sitting at our desks. Why not hit two birds with one stone and encourage walking meetings. Around the park, around the office, to the cafe, where ever!
6) Have a flexible working environment - duh!
Having flexible working in your company is a no-brainer. It encourages a more diverse workforce, it saves on overheads and it makes employees’ lives easier. This is one of the best things a company can do to improve it overall happiness and that all-important Glassdoor score.
7) Encourage nap time
It might seem counter productive to encourage employees to have a nap during work hours, but research suggests that a 20 minute nap between meetings is all it takes for staff to feel rejuvenated and energised. Consider allocating a quiet room where employees can go for a bit of shut-eye or even just some alone time.
8) Pay your employees to volunteer
Almost everyone has a cause their passionate about and would like to spend more time supporting. Giving employees a paid day away from the office to support a charity or project will not only be good for society, it will give employees a greater sense of purpose and pride. We all get a kick out of being selfless.
9) Teach your employees how to manage their finances
It’ll come as no surprise that money worries are one of the biggest contributors to stress and anxiety in adults over 30. And is there any surprise when our schools teach us trigonometry but not how to budget for unexpected life events - or how mortgages work! Some simple guidance from finance experts could help calm a lot of employees’ nerves. Nudge Global is a great company doing just that.
Why not implement a few of these ideas into your next wellbeing week? You’re sure to have happier and healthier colleagues.