28th April 2018
These tips are all great ways to start creating a fit, healthy and happy company culture. All or some of the below can form your workplace wellness strategy that aligns with your vision of creating a fit, healthy and happy business.
Getting the message out there, communicating the message, making sure employees can easily access content, resource and tools to help them, to help themselves, is so important. Just sending a company email stating the obvious that “being healthy is important — now go do it” just isn’t going to work. By nature, humans are lazy so need encouragement and ultimately a nudge in the right direction to help form new healthy habits.
1. Create a wellbeing calendar and give each month a wellness theme. You could piggyback national campaigns or key events to help you decide what theme a particular month could be. For example, World Meditation Day is on Tuesday 15th May 2018 so May could be Mindfulness May with the focus on meditation, breathing and mindfulness. This will give you an overall plan to work towards where events, talks, promos, guides, blog posts, social media and newsletters have a theme to follow.
2. Create an active travel campaign to encourage staff to walk, run or cycle to work. If employees live within a few miles of work then they could walk in. If they live within 5 to 10 miles then they could cycle in. Staff getting public transport could get off a stop or two earlier and walk the last part of their commute. To help, you could set up a Cycle Scheme which is an employee benefit that saves 25-39% on a new bike. The employee pays nothing upfront and the payments are taken tax efficiently from their salary.
3. Encourage walking meetings so instead of booking a meeting room and sitting down, take the meeting outside and walk and talk. Public Health England (PHE) is urging office staff to conduct meetings on the hoof. Walking meetings are now being prescribed by PHE as a potential cure to chronic sedentarism in the workplace.
4. Keeping active and moving is really important as sedentary office workers spend far too long in a stationary position. Encourage employees to use the stairs and not the lift. Provide nearby gym or health club vouchers to encourage employees to use them. Simple changes to routine habits will stack up over time.
5. Healthy food should be encouraged and supplied. Fruit and veg bowls should be available for staff to snack on. Information and guides on how to cook and eat healthily should be freely available off and online. Monthly cooking demos and group lunches where employees can prep and cook healthy meals together is fun and a great way to learn.
6. Staying hydrated is so important to help with energy and concentration levels. Plus if employees are increasing their activity then increasing their water intake is a must too. Providing free refillable water bottles and ensuring there is plenty of water stations to refill is key. We should be drinking between 2.5 and 3.7 litres of water a day depending on the individual.
7. Stretching and breathing to keep focussed, energised and relaxed can help balance out a busy day. Ensure employees are taking regular screen breaks, getting up from their desks and workstations to stretch out, walk around and to take some deep breathes. Standup desks are a perfect way to break up the standing/sitting positions (we recommend flomotion standing desks). Doing too much of one is not good so changing it up with a mixture of positions will help.
8. Encourage employees to get some head space as busy lives mean our brains never switch off. Heads are full of thoughts and worries which over time can wear us down. Taking some time out to give our heads a break, to relax and slow or even stop the thoughts will help switch off from the worries and stresses. Guided meditation through mobile apps is a great way to get started so educating staff on tools and techniques available to help them is important.
9. Events, away days and wellness days for employees to get together, outside of work, to focus on themselves and their health will create a sense of community connected to their well-being. Fun activities like tough mudders, cycling events, yoga retreats, meditation classes, group PT sessions, hiking and walking are all fitness-focused activities for people to do as a group.
10. Talking and having someone to talk to. Make sure managers and key people are trained to spot the patterns that someone isn’t ok. Make sure employees are safe in the knowledge that there are people to talk to. Ask the question “how are you?” and encourage employees to be open about how they feel, good or bad. Share wellness tips, healthy things to do and places to go and be active. Make a point of ensuring the culture is open, caring and supportive of everyone around you. Keep talking.
At FIT LINK we follow a simple habit loop methodology whereby we encourage an employee to do something active and healthy and then reward them for doing it. Simple. And after a while, the new healthy habit is formed. It can take approx. 21 days to form a habit and after 66 days it becomes part of your lifestyle.
We supply businesses with a powerful technology solution to help employees create new healthy habits. By rewarding employees for being active, by encouraging healthy competition and helping employees discover activities and things to do, we have created an effective set of tools that support businesses of all sizes to run a successful workplace wellness strategy.
If you want to give your workplace wellness and boast then you need FIT LINK to help you. Within a few weeks, we can have your employees well on their way to becoming a fit, healthy and happy.