Sitting is the New Smoking
May 23rd, 2019
Innovative Ways to Keep Employees Engaged, Productive and Healthy
Keeping a workforce engaged and healthy is no easy task. Especially when your company is made up of positions that are mostly desk jobs and there is an increasing amount of evidence pointing toward constantly sitting as a negative thing for long term health. Some studies have gone so far as to compare the negative health effects of sitting for 8 hours or more a day to smoking. There’s no getting around the work that needs to be done to keep your company progressing and your clients or customers happy, but it’s also important to keep your workforce happy and engaged, too. An unwell team costs your business money and decreases productivity. So how do you keep your employees engaged, productive, and healthy? Here are a few ideas to try implementing in your organization to see what works, best for you and your employees.
Provide Stress Relief
Providing resources for stress relief for your employees can be as simple as having caffeine-free tea or offering a space where employees can take a break for 15 minutes when they need to reset. Or, it can be as layered and involved as offering employer-covered therapy or bringing a masseuse in once a quarter and offering short massages for employees. You may also consider having a list of documented resources for employees to look into on their own time if they don’t feel comfortable exploring their stress relief needs in the office. The important thing about this option is that your employees know and understand that you care about their mental health just as much as you care about what they bring to the table for your team.
Try Walking Meetings
If sitting is the new smoking, there’s one obvious answer – walk more! Encourage employees to take walks on their own, or to turn internal meetings into walking ones, where you get away from your desks and get out into the world. There have been studies done (there’s even a TED Talk on this particular topic) that show walking meetings often produce new ideas and spark creativity at much higher rates than traditional meetings.
Another option to keep your employees on their feet more is to offer standing desks. There are a number of adjustable options now that allow each individual employee to raise and lower their desks whenever they like, so they aren’t forced to choose one way or the other, but have ample opportunity to spend more time on their feet.
Try an In-Office Fitness Challenge
If you can’t really get around needing your employees to be seated most of the day in order to be truly productive in a way that moves your company forward, but you want to encourage physical activity all the same, consider starting a fitness challenge within your company. Have employees sign up to keep track of their physical activity for a specified length of time and offer a prize or incentive at the end for employees to meet certain goals or manage to be the most physically active within the given time frame. You’d be surprised how excited you can get people to be when there’s an incentive to chase after!
Offer Healthy Snacks
Not all offices have kitchens, and that’s totally fine. But if you have a space where you offer snacks, consider taking stock of what you offer. Chips and sugary granola bars are easy, sure, but they could be swapped for fresh fruit and vegetables. Offer suggestions for snack swaps or send out healthy recipe ideas in a weekly internal email blast to encourage employees to embrace a healthier lifestyle.
There are so many ways to shake up your office culture and encourage healthier choices among your team. Often, it just comes down to opening up the conversation. Sometimes in an office environment, employees don’t feel comfortable discussing things like health – physical and mental – but both are critical to keeping a productive and engaged team. Letting your employees know that the conversation is not only allowed, but encouraged, is an important first step. Looking for a partner to help you manage all the ins and outs of keeping your workforce engaged, productive, and healthy (not to mention payroll services and more)? Give us a call today.