A healthy employee is a fulfilled employee, and a content employee is a productive employee. Establishing and growing a forward-thinking, modern workforce involves not only nurturing intellectual ability, but taking care of the holistic well-being of your employees too.
Business solutions provider, Nashua, encourages employees to keep fit and healthy through the sponsorship of a wide variety of sporting and outdoor events. Here are Nashua’s key tips on how to give your workforce a health and fitness makeover to inject new energy into the office.
1. Provide multiple workstations. Sitting in one position can put unnecessary strain on the lower back and shoulders, and prevents movement. By setting up different types of workstations around the office – standing, sitting and ‘chill’ spaces, employees will be more inclined to shake up their work routine and move around the office.
2. Keep it fresh. Exercise is crucial, but healthy eating is the first frontier of wellbeing. Employees who snack on unhealthy, convenience foods will have peaks and troughs in energy. Rather provide bowls of fresh fruit or vegetables for them to pick at if they’re feeling hungry. It’s an inexpensive exercise, and will go a long way in improving office health. Similarly, if you host a meeting with snacks, eschew greasy platters for crudités and nuts instead.
3. Water cooler runs. If you have a water cooler in the office, consider moving it to a central spot in the office, away from your team’s workstations – or better yet, downstairs, if your employees work upstairs. The extra steps will keep them moving and increase activity levels.
4. Get devices right. An incorrectly positioned laptop or desktop can do serious damage to the neck and shoulders, so lead by example and make a point of correcting all the device positioning in your office. Make sure keyboards are low enough for elbows to rest at 90° and keep screens at eye level.
5. Active outside the office. Although joining a gym is an excellent way for employees to increase health and fitness in their own time, it can be an expensive exercise. Consider subsidising gym or health club memberships – the positive results in morale, motivation and overall energy levels will be worth the cost.
6. Take away fast food. Encourage employees to bring their own, home-made meals, as opposed to popping to the corner shop to buy a pie, chips and a coke. The easiest way to make this a habit is to establish a proper office kitchen, complete with a meal prep and eating area. Keep a small fridge in the office for employees to store food and water – it’ll make it convenient for them to eat home-made.
7. Outdoor meetings. If you’re setting aside time to brainstorm a project, why not try hosting your meeting outside the office – either somewhere you have to walk to, or chat while walking around the block. Fresh air, legs moving and simply getting out the office will spark creativity and inspiration.
8. Chair changes. Exercise balls are an excellent and efficient way for employees to exercise while sitting at their desks – the constant movement and balance builds core strength. If you’re worried about balls rolling around the office, you can also invest in stands with wheels, for the exercise balls.
9. Workplace wellness. We’re all motivated and influenced by the habits of our fellow employees. If you want to encourage healthy habits within your workforce, the best place to start is at work itself. Host wellness classes – whether nutritional advice, Pilates or even yoga – to start a health movement in the office. It’ll set the tone for a holistic, healthy office.
10. Offer incentives. Use outdoor or sporting events as fitness-focused team building exercises. Covering the cost of tickets for marathons, runs or walks will drive a much quicker uptake and encourage` group participation.
Nashua is the leading South African provider of integrated business solutions, and sponsor of a wide variety of sports events.