Does Your Office Need A Health Makeover?
Many business owners are making the move towards healthy workplaces, deciding to not only transform their own health habits, but those of their employees as well. After implementing a few healthy tweaks around the workplace, you may find your staff became more energetic, more productive, positive and creative.
You can’t just take away the donuts and give them carrots instead. Surprising your staff with a juicer where the soda machine used to be, could cause a riot!
The key is to get your employees on board and ease them into these positive workplace changes. Most they’ll love right from the start, but a few of them might take a little getting used to – but the benefits are powerful. As an employer, you’re always trying to get the most out of your employees. By making these small changes, many of which don’t cost much, you can cut down on sick days, midday doctor’s visits, and those infamous afternoon energy slumps.
3 signs your office is in need of a ‘health make over’
1. Negativity in the workplace
People who do not feel well overall tend to have a more negative outlook on life – both personally and professionally. When suffering all day with a headache or fatigue, it is hard to feel or act positive and cheerful. If you notice that the overall energy level of your office is low or negative, then perhaps it is time to brighten things up by focusing on recapturing high levels of health in your office.
2. If one person gets a cold or flu, many others get it
When everyone’s immune system is strong, colds and flus do not get passed around quite so easily. Some offices bring in a healthcare worker to administer flu shots each year. If you find that your office goes through times where quite a few employees are out sick at the same time, you may want to evaluate whether a health make over is needed.
3. Many of your staff members are overweight
When the metabolism slows down and people gain a significant amount of weight, other systems in the body are also compromised. The immune system and the liver (which plays a large role in the strength of the immune system) usually do not function as well in people with slower metabolisms. The difference eating fresh fruits, vegetables, antibiotic-free and hormone-free chicken and seafood can make is simply amazing. Take an objective look at your staff. If you realise that more than 10% of your employees are overweight or obese (with a Body Mass Indicator (BMI) over 30), then your office may benefit greatly from a health make over.
4 changes you can make to boost employee health:
1. Install a water filtration system with hot and cold water
Having access to pure water, not plastic water bottles or tap water, will encourage your staff to hydrate well.
Hydrated brains are productive brains. Drinking soda, coffee and black teas dehydrate our bodies. Some organisations provide coffee makers and staff members are welcomed to bring soda from home or drink tea of their choice. Herbal teas are another healthy alternate, and staff are just as likely to drink these provided beverages.
2. Provide healthy alternatives at staff luncheons and celebrations
Most offices provide lunch for their staff from time to time. This gives a good chance to evaluate what you’re feeding your employees. If your lunches are centered on burgers, fries and milkshakes, consider adding some healthy alternatives such as turkey burgers, whole wheat buns, fresh juices and salads.
Not everyone will eat the healthy food, but there are many who would appreciate having a choice. At birthday celebrations, include a fruit platter with the cake and ice cream.
3. Start a walking club at work
You’d be surprised at how many of your employees would come early to the office to walk together! Walking in the early morning can be invigorating and give everyone a jump start on the day.
Walking is not something which is going to make your staff wish for a second shower before starting the day at the office. It gives a chance to relax, refocus and refresh in the middle of the day.
4. Keep morale high in the workplace
Mental attitude has such a profound impact on health that you should consider starting a ‘daymaker initiative’ based on David Wagner’s book, Life As A Daymaker. The focus on making someone else’s day better can really capture the interest of your staff. You may find the number of compliments flying around the office, little niceties and random acts of kindness begin to soar after you introduce the initiative. Simply creating a positive environment can make your office a healthier place to be.
Remember, you can’t change things over night! The key to moving your staff into a healthy paradigm at work is to make incremental changes, rather than coming in all at once and making sweeping changes. Not everyone in the office will be excited about embracing a healthy lifestyle, but many will. Most people need to make changes and know it, but they may not know how to make those changes, or they may lack the motivation or willpower to do it. Having a healthy, supportive focus at work among others with whom to share this positive shift can make all the difference!
By Dr. Ivan Misner
Published with permission from the International Institute of Directors and Managers (IIDM) – www.iidmglobal.com
Proteus Leadership is one of Australia’s premier leadership training and development companies. Proteus Leadership provides leadership courses and management training to a range of industries and assists organisations to build positive workplace cultures, implement change and Create Great Leaders. Proteus also facilitates a range of world-class management courses, workshops, conferences and events across Australia and beyond with the sole purpose of bringing leaders together to connect and grow.
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