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National Healthcare Quality Week is October 20-26th and is dedicated to celebrating contributions made to improve healthcare. In addition, it is meant to bring awareness to the importance of healthcare. While healthcare plays an important role in individual lives, it also plays a critical role within the workplace. After all, employees who are happy, healthy, and have access to quality healthcare are more productive at work.

Many companies look at absenteeism as being a major contributing factor to the loss of productivity. However, studies estimate that lack of productivity due to presenteeism, the act of employees being physically present but not fully functioning due to stress, illness, or injury, is 7.5 times greater than that of absenteeism. 

Workplaces that offer wellness programs or initiatives, on the other hand, experience a decrease in absenteeism and presenteeism, increased productivity, and increased employee satisfaction. These findings suggest that implementing a workplace wellness initiative can: 

  • Improve employee health behaviors
  • Reduce healthcare costs
  • Reduce elevated health risks
  • Improve productivity
  • Decreased absenteeism 

Here are 5 practical, simple steps you can implement immediately to improve wellness in your workplace. 

1. Encourage Mental Health Days

Typically, employees are encouraged to stay home if they are running a fever to prevent sickness from spreading throughout the office. However, mental health isn’t always looked at in the same light. Unfortunately, employees that are riddled with stress and anxiety may not be as productive. In addition, their moods can be reflected upon other employees, causing company morale to decline. 

To combat the effects of mental health issues in the workplace, you can encourage your employees to take mental health days if needed. After all, your staff is human and everyone needs a break from time to time. In fact, the World Health Organization explains that “workplaces that promote mental health and support people with mental disorders are more likely to reduce absenteeism, increase productivity, and benefit from associated economic gains.”

2. Do Team Building Activities

Not only is working with friends more enjoyable, but it can also be more productive. It’s no surprise that when it comes to collaborative efforts, friends outperform strangers every time. Similarly, employees who feel comfortable, supported, and appreciated at work are more likely to enjoy their jobs and drive results. 

To improve communication and boost collaboration, therefore increasing teamwork and productivity, you can organize team building activities for you and your employees to participate in. These activities can be short and simple, or more lengthy and detailed. Either way, they should aim to improve workplace morale and get your employees excited about their work.

3. Supply the Office With Healthy Snacks

Healthy snacking is known to regulate mood, improve brain power, boost energy levels, and benefit one’s overall health. However, many employees live busy, fast-paced lifestyles, and it can be difficult to remember to prep some fresh fruits, veggies, and nuts to bring to work for a snack. Instead, some people will opt for quick, sugary snacks or those dreaded trips to the vending machine.

If you want to help keep your employees healthy and productive, supplying the office with healthy snacks is a great option to consider. Not only will your employees be grateful for the food you provide, but they will begin to develop healthier habits, avoid after-lunch sugar crashes, and have more energy to be productive throughout the day. If you don’t have quick access to healthy office snacks, it might be time to invest in some.

4. Allow Flexible Work Hours

Employee wellness isn’t all about physical health - it’s also about mental health and being able to maintain a work-life balance. Working a 9-5 job can make it difficult to attend to certain appointments or obligations that come up. However, flexible work hours can resolve this issue and help employees meet their basic needs. 

Offering flexible work hours not only allows employees to meet their personal and family needs that are important to them, but it also shows employees that they are trusted and valued. When employees are enabled to work flexible shifts as long as deadlines are met, they will feel more appreciated at work and begin working even harder to maintain your trust and respect.

5. Combat Sedentary Work Environments

Sedentary lifestyles contribute to elevated health risks and chronic diseases, which can increase healthcare costs in the long-run. It is estimated that sedentary lifestyles are responsible for 6% of coronary heart diseases, 7% of diabetes type II, and 10% of colon cancer diagnoses. In addition, it is responsible for more deaths than smoking. 

Some workplaces may opt for standing desks, however, if that doesn’t suit your workplace, encourage short team breaks to go for a walk. In addition, if your team needs to have a short meeting, you can have a meeting while taking a walk around your workplace, neighborhood, or street. Similarly, encourage employees to get up to speak with their co-workers rather than sending a text, message, or e-mail. The smallest amounts of physical activity throughout the day will make a huge difference. 

If you’re looking for a way to make a difference in the health and quality of your employees’ lives while boosting productivity and company morale, try implementing some of these small, practical ideas into your workplace. You might be surprised how much of a difference they make on your company as a whole.

Health News


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