Many employees spend long periods of the workday in the same position, whether sitting at a desk or standing at a counter. Others find themselves doing the same movements over and over again, leading to the potential for repetitive strain. Taking a few simple steps to improve the workspace and incorporate movement and mindfulness into the workday can have wide-ranging physical and mental wellness benefits, including high morale, engagement, and productivity.
Promoting wellness in the workplace doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive for employers. We’ve compiled a list of five wellness ideas that are quick and easy to implement:
- Make the workspace attractive. Cultivate a productive atmosphere by encouraging employees to regularly declutter and rearrange their space. Choose comfortable, upright seating to promote good posture, or invest in anti-fatigue mats to ease joint pain. If the area has little natural light, brighten the mood with some lamps. Consider adding plants or other safety-conscious decor to workspaces to boost team morale, reduce stress, and improve air quality. Consider how odors/perfumes can irritate your employees and consider requiring an odor free workplace and download our free environmental sensitivity policy template.
- encourage movement. Incorporating movement into your daily work routine has many health benefits and provides opportunities to reset and recharge. Recommend that employees stand up, stretch, and take short walks or laps during the workday. Encourage them to adopt these positive habits during downtime or go a step further and introduce standing desks or mobile meetings in office settings! Alternatively, encourage regular breaks if employees’ daily work is physically demanding. Download our free poster that outlines a simple stretching routine.
- Set activities for lunchtime. Group activities are a great way to instill camaraderie, promote team building, and create a positive work environment. Consider tailoring activities to your employees’ interests and make sure there are options for different skill levels. Walking clubs and yoga are examples of lunchtime activities that you or an employee can set up to get you started. If you want to go one step further, bring in a professional to lead the activities.
- Encourage focus time. Suggest that employees set aside blocks of time to work on a task or project without interruption. ‘Focus time’ blocks increase employee productivity and reduce outside distractions. Brainstorm ways to combat monotony by breaking down repetitive tasks. Some employers even implement ‘no meeting days’ to curb overcrowding and conserve workers’ time and energy during the week.
- Disconnect outside of business hours. Technology makes workplaces more connected than ever, but it’s important for employees to unplug from work during their time off. The most effective way to help employees unplug from work is to allow them to choose for themselves how, when, and where to respond to business communications outside of business hours. You might consider implementing a Disconnection from Work policy for your company (mandatory in Ontario as of June 2, 2022). Download our free and customizable template.
The best way for employers to promote wellness in the workplace is Lead by example. When you put your own well-being first, you show your employees that they should do the same. Incorporate these 5 tips into your work routine to level up your leadership and improve the well-being of your workers.
Brought to you by CFIB Wellness Center – a lot of help, information and resources