Quality of life determines a lot – it determines how well you sleep, what you eat and drink, how you spend free time, who you hang out with and how you maintain productivity. If quality of life, both at the workplace and at home, is low, mental and physical health are likely to suffer. However, if it’s high, you’re more inclined to sustain a more positive outlook, as well as the motivation to make better choices for yourself.
When it comes to quality of life for employees, it’s vastly important, for the good of the company, to ensure employee health and well-being. Why? Because happy, healthy employees mean a happy, healthy company, and the productive output to match.
1. Encourage breakfast
In the scattered rush of every morning, breakfast unfortunately is the first thing to be sacrificed for those extra ten minutes of sleep. Eating shortly after waking up not only gives you energy, but starts up your metabolism for the day. When you skip breakfast, everything operates slower, like an old car that accelerates at 0.2 miles per hour. To get your employees well fed and energized, consider providing a healthy breakfast (as in, no donuts) either once a week or once every other week, depending on your company. Offering hard boiled eggs, lots of fruits, granola and yogurt, for example, can encourage healthy eating among your employees, and healthy eating leads to healthy employees.
2. Offer health-minded snacks
A snack bar or vending machine can provide a little energy for powering through a mid-afternoon slump. Steer clear of highly sugary options and stock up on granola/protein bars, fruits, trail mix and individual protein packs with meats and cheeses. Avoid sodas and energy drinks and instead offer water, sparkling waters, tea and unsweetened coffee.
3. Provide standing desks/stretch breaks
Sitting all day, from commuting to working to commuting again, isn’t good for anyone’s body. Encourage your employees to get up and go for a ten minute walk regularly throughout the day, especially if the weather is nice, for a breath of fresh air and time away from the computer screen. Additionally, provide standing desks if employees prefer them. This gives employees the option of standing throughout the day even when typing up emails or writing proposals.
4. Encourage brain breaks
Productivity steadily decreases the longer someone works on the same project. Request that your employees step away from their work every couple of hours. And make sure they physically step away, not just opening their social media accounts in a different tab but instead actually taking the time to focus on something else. For example, something as simple as walking down three flights of stairs to use the restroom on a different floor offers a change of scenery and a little exercise.
5. Schedule walking meetings
If you don’t need notepads or computers, ask your employee to walk with you for your meeting. It could be to a coffee shop down the street or around the nearby park. Not only does it provide a relaxing environment, but it gets you out of the office and into the outdoors.
6. Offer subsidized gym memberships
If possible, offer gym memberships either as an incentive or as a gift; or, collaborate with a nearby gym to secure discounted memberships for your employees. Exercising isn’t just good for the body, it’s good for the mind, so promoting gym time is an ideal way of improving employee wellness.
7. Consider taking the stairs
Do you have an elevator in the office? Post a sign on it, reminding employees to take the stairs for a little exercise. It’ll get their blood pumping and their legs moving before they spend time at their desks.
8. Encourage a little friendly competition
Competitions are a great way to promote healthy living among employees. For example, hand out step trackers to get people counting their steps, and offer a prize for the highest stepper at the end of the month! If most of their days are spent sitting, employees will need to get creative and intentional about the ways they participate.
9. Have the pros come in
Consider offering classes in anything and everything health-related: nutrition, mindfulness, mental or physical health, or other similar fields. Providing a workshop on different aspects of employee health right in the workplace can offer stimulating information, and give that push some employees need to get to the gym or sign up for yoga classes!
10. Set aside lunch time – away from desks
Multi-tasking is awesome. Most hiring managers look for the skill on any polished resume. When it comes to lunch time, however, even the best multi-taskers need to put their regimen on hold. Encourage your employees to eat somewhere other than in front of their computers, so they have some time in the work day when they are removed from the working environment. If possible, create a designated lunch area for employees to go, rest and eat peacefully without the chances of an office phone ringing nearby.
11. Keep an eye on your people
If you see someone struggling, not performing well or disengaged entirely, consider the reality that you only see the workday side of the story. There may be something occurring at home or in your employee’s personal life affecting their work performance. If you suspect this to be the case, speak with your employees about ways you can help them.
12. Provide access to an EAP
Improving employee well-being doesn’t stop at physical health. Mental health is just as important, and a simple, easy way of providing access to care is through an EAP. Employee assistance programs, like the services offered by Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP, offer 24/7 programming to employees and their families. From financial asset management to relationship counseling to substance use therapy, EAPs help employees improve wellness no matter what issues they’re facing. With access to an EAP’s services, employees will not only feel listened to, but taken care of – a key component of improving employee health and wellness. Call Mazzitti & Sullivan EAP today at 1-800-543-5080, to get started helping your employees prioritize their own wellness from day one.