Should employers be concerned about their employee’s wellness?
Why should a company care about promoting a healthy living and working environment?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) American companies lose upwards of $225 Billion annually ($1,685 per employee) in lost productivity due to illness, sick days and sub-par performance. These costs will continue to soar as the American workforce becomes older, more chronically ill, works more hours and deals with higher levels of stress.
There is some good news! A study by Health Enhancement Research Organization shows employees that eat healthy and exercise regularly have 27% less absenteeism and 11% higher job productivity.
Healthier Employees = More Productive Employees
Creating a healthy workplace environment that benefits the employee and employer does not have to be expensive or time consuming! Here are some simple low-cost ideas that you can start tomorrow:
- Onsite Wellness Service – Hire a personal trainer to come weekly or monthly to lead small groups in a workplace moving and stretching break during lunch. Other professionals you can hire are masseuses, meditation instructors or chiropractors. Your employees will love having free access to knowledgeable professionals!
- Free Healthy Snacks – Switch out the unhealthy vending machine food with healthier options or provide FREE fruit and healthy snacks in the break room (fruit, low fat granola bars, light popcorn, individual portions of peanut butter, unsalted crackers, raw veggies, etc.) When employees have easy healthy options then THEY WILL CHOOSE THEM.
- De-Stress Zone – Every office needs a “safe” zone where employees can vent or de-stress while on break or after work. Start creating your De-Stress Zone by designating a specific area or office, turn the lights down, add a couple comfortable chairs and pillows and a soft music.
- Water Cooler – Water is ESSENTIAL for a HEALTHY mind and body! The human brain is 85% water and to use them efficiently we need to drink water regularly throughout the day. Offering your employees a water cooler, bottled water or a break room reverse osmosis system will help them avoid the vending machine soda!
- Corporate Health Discounts – Contact local gyms, YMCA’s, supplement stores and health clinics to see what they offer. Often times this type of partnership is FREE to the employer!
- Ergonomic Work Stations – All work stations should come with plenty of natural lighting, back supporting chairs and decluttered desks. You can also offer employees a height adjustable desk and computer monitor.
- Sports Clubs – Make your workplace fun by encouraging employees to get moving by offering walking, running or sports groups. People are far more likely to exercise if they are in a group of friends and coworkers!
- Fitness Challenges – A company fitness challenge can be anything from counting daily steps to counting pounds lost over a set time frame. Get CREATIVE! To encourage involvement in the challenges offer the winner paid time off or gift cards.
- Lead by Example – Create a healthy, productive work environment as part of your core business strategy. Become personally committed to helping your employees lead healthier lives!
These are just a few low-cost easy to start ideas that can help you create a unique healthy work environment. Pick one or more out and implement them today! Questions on which strategy is best for your company? Contact us today and we will be happy to help get you started!
Green Zone trainers work with businesses in the Phoenix Metropolitan area to help integrate healthy fitness and nutrition principles into their daily practices – both at work and at home! We can come to your business for a lunch & learn to discuss specific topics or lead a movement and/or stretching class. We will customize our visit and topics to the needs of your employees!