Small businesses are more productive when the employees are healthy.
Many large businesses implement an extensive, expensive program to promote wellness as a top priority. Small businesses can benefit from workplace wellness programs, too, but money and time are often a barrier to implementing a grand-scale corporate wellness solution.
The good news is that an effective health and wellness solutions program does not have to cost a lot. Plus some insurance companies offer discounts when there is a health and wellness program in place. Many of these inexpensive workplace wellness solutions do not require much time either.
Try these top 10 workplace health and wellness solutions for small businesses:
#1 Encourage your employees to take part in a fitness program. Provide on-site or off-site gym memberships. During lunch time offer a gym shuttle. Organize group workouts or stretching sessions in the morning. Physically active employees have less stress, increased self-esteem, and a more positive mood which helps them focus on their job. Exercise also increases energy levels which increases productivity.
#2 Host health education sessions to inform your employees about healthy choices. Some helpful topics include nutrition and managing stress.
#3 Offer incentives for wellness activities. Be creative. Have a gift card raffle. Every time an employee takes the stairs instead of the elevator, he gets a ticket. Offer free lunch for attending a wellness activity like a sport, exercise, course, seminar, etc. Invite a massage therapist to the office to give free massages to those who had an annual physical during the year.
#4 The physical layout of the workplace matters. Design the space to suit a healthy lifestyle. Include houseplants in the office for both air quality and a serene atmosphere. Create a walking trail around your building or property.
#5 Provide healthy food. What snacks are in the vending machines? When hosting a lunch, order in gourmet salads instead of pizza. Bring in trays of fresh fruit instead of donuts. If there is a cafeteria in the building, be sure the food served features fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
#6 Offer alternatives for desk seating such as stability balls for desk chairs or a standing desk. Set up a treadmill desk for long conference calls.
#7 Have an expert evaluate your workplace environment to diagnose the health risks. Invite a workplace wellness educator to assess the risks.
#8 Prevent the flu from spreading through the office by inviting health professionals to give the flu vaccinations and screenings at the workplace.
#9 Lengthen the lunch break to give opportunity for employees to hit the gym, eat at a leisurely pace, or read a book before getting back to work for the afternoon. These stress-relieving activities will rejuvenate the employees for a productive afternoon. The longer lunch will also allow time for a nutritious meal instead of wolfing down a candy bar and a soda at the desk, contributing to the long term health of the employees.
#10 Put an end to tobacco, alcohol, and substance abuse. Host a quit smoking program. If you suspect alcohol or substance abuse, support your employee getting help to end their addiction.
Which of these top 10 solutions can you implement in your office this week?
What other wellness solutions have worked for your business?
If you need wellness and health solutions for your small business, call Dr. Mehri, a medical doctor and certified health coach trained in workplace wellness by WELCOA.
She will give health education sessions in your workplace and provide one-on-one health coaching services for your employees. Ask her to come assess the health risks in your office.
Call 484-240-9730 for more information.
Work stress! Home stress! Career stress! Traffic stress! You name it. Stress is everywhere. Is it even possible to find a stress-free zone in your life? My answer is both “yes” and “no.” It is completely up to you and no one else! Let me explain:
Stress is a well-known entity. Sometimes we ignore it, and sometimes we carry it like a badge of honor. But are we really understanding stress? Its basic definition is “to be in a situation that you can’t handle.” Scientifically speaking, it is “your body’s response to demands placed on it.”
When facing a stressful situation, realize the implications it has on our soul, body, and mind. Our response toward stress is either fight or flight. During a fight response, we stand our ground, defend our position, and attack! On the other hand, in a flight response, we surrender, remove ourselves from the situation, and move on. Person to person, we can have differing responses to the same stressful situation.
Within a short period of time, we can tolerate a certain degree of stress. However, chronic stress, persisting over hours, days, or months, greatly impacts our body, mental health, and relationships in the long run.
Under stress, our muscles tense, mouth dries up, heart beats faster, pupils dilate, digestion slows down, and blood glucose increases and so on. Mentally, our mind becomes foggy, causing lack of concentration and productivity. Socially, we lose track of our interactions with others, resulting in relationship problems.
Can we defeat stress by covering up its symptoms? Or would it be better to get to the root of our stress and learn to manage or eliminate our stressors?
In the next series of blogs, I will dive into stress further, and share with you the practical tips on stress management. Let’s explore these stress-free zones together.
Mehriban Ulas, MD, CHC