When you’re running a company or managing part of a company’s team, it’s important to keep your employees happy and healthy. Whether you’re running an up-and-coming startup like Verma Farms or a traditional accounting firm, so much of your business’s success is going to come from employee happiness. So in addition to the importance of being a good boss and keeping everyone happy, you’ll also see a lot more engagement–and therefore, productivity–if you keep your office team healthy. It can be a bit of a challenge, especially if everyone’s working the daily nine-to-five, spending the majority of their time sitting in rush hour traffic and at their desks. But it’s so important that even with that challenge, you need to make it happen.
Luckily, we’ve put together some great strategies to keep your office team healthy, happy, and productive–and here’s how you do it.
Provide flexible working hours
One of the best strategies for lowering the general stress and improving the health of any office team is providing flexible working hours. And while this may have been impossible in the past, with so many offices going remote these days or allowing employees to work from home once a week, it’s now becoming commonplace and easy to implement. There are tools like Google Docs and Asana for organizing work for employees who need a little more flexibility, and you can have employees call in via video apps so they can be present at meetings.
By providing this opportunity to your employees, you’ll help their physical health by cutting down on their commute times and giving them the opportunity to exercise and rest more. Additionally, they’ll be less stressed out if they’re allowed to work when it’s best for them (after all, some people are night owls and work better at night), and they’ll feel valued because you trust them to get the work done even when you aren’t around.
And it’s better for your business and retaining employees: in 2018, 31 percent of people surveyed by FlexJobs said they’ve quite a job that isn’t flexible.
Have healthy snacks available
One quick way you can make your office healthier is by simply having healthy snacks available. Instead of bringing in carb-heavy bagels or donuts in the morning, provide snacks throughout the day that are better for your employees. In the same way that using a service like Hashtagsforlikes lessens the burden on your social media manager by helping with Instagram strategy, using a healthy snacks provider in the office lessens the health issues that will impact your team over time.
Additionally, remember that creating a healthy eating culture in the office is smart. In addition to encouraging healthy eating by providing actual healthy food, give your employees a slightly longer lunch break and encourage them to bring in healthy snacks, too. Considering that between 2016 and 2017, adult obesity prevalence increased in six states, without any states experiencing a decrease in obesity, making these changes will really help your employees be healthier.
Implement healthy practices in your office
If the majority of your team works from the office, then you know it’s as easy for their health to slump as it is for them to slump down into their chairs. That is, of course, unless you provide them with chairs that require the right back support, and with keyboards that don’t cause carpal tunnel. Do your research, and ensure that you’re buying the right equipment, setting monitors at the right height, and implementing awareness of these issues during the hiring process.
Additionally, if you really want your employees to feel well throughout the day, you need to encourage regular breaks. Simply doing a few stretches throughout the day isn’t going to do much for anyone sitting at a desk all day–especially not in the long-term. So provide several breaks throughout the day, encouraging your employees to go out for a walk before returning refreshed to their desks. They’ll be less stressed, too, which will make a huge difference considering that 83 percent of US workers are stressed.
Encourage emotional health
Finally, it’s important to encourage emotional health in the workplace. One of the best ways to understand this is to understand the emotional needs of every person, and how to best provide that to your employees. According to Supportiv, a person gets these emotional needs met by having the ability to connect with others (such as fostering connections), having unstructured time, and planning or setting goals.
When it comes to providing personal connections, having team-building activities in the office and going on conferences and trips with your team will help make everyone feel like they’re included. Giving your employees extra vacation and sick days gives them unstructured time and meeting with them to discuss short- and long-term goals will help them be able to plan and set goals. Additionally, don’t forget to keep communications open and providing transparency when it comes to how the office works. This will lower stress levels. And by talking about the importance of mental health and encouraging the use of meditation apps and going to therapy for those who need it, you’ll make your employees know that their mental health matters.
Don’t forget that there’s the added benefit that highly engaged teams show 21 percent greater profitability!
These are some of the best ways to keep your office team healthy. What other strategies do you think would be effective?