5 Top Tips for Wellness in the Workplace
I met Heidi about a year ago at a workplace conference in Brisbane. We promised that we would keep in touch when coming back to Sydney. You know how it goes, that initial awkwardness of introducing yourself, you exchange business cards, have a chat about synergies, never to hear from that person again.
Sure enough though, a couple of weeks later we met up for coffee and have not looked back. We have been collaborating ever since and, more importantly, Heidi has given me some invaluable advice in enhancing my wellness, which is why I asked her to guest blog for me.
If you are a business owner, a leader, or an employee looking to enhance your wellness, you have come to the right place. Check out Heidi’s 5 top tips below for wellness in the workplace.
What is wellness in the workplace?
Wellness in the workplace is any health promotion activity, organisation policy, or ongoing educational program that is designed to support the health and wellbeing of people who work.
The goal of workplace wellness programs is to improve vitality, reduce reactions to sterss, and increase productivity levels. This ensures the health and happiness of individuals is enhanced, which leads to a more successful organisation.
In Australia, wellness programs designed specifically for the unique strengths and challenges of each workplace have become a fast growing area. This has lead to many companies turnign to experienced consultants to ensure they stay or become an employer of hoice, while maintaining their economic advantage.
Why should we incorporate wellness in the office?
It makes business sense for companies to invest in wellness programs as part of their people strategy.
In 2010, the Global Economic Forum told us that if employees take an unfavourable view of a company’s promotion of health and wellbeing, they are four times more likely to leave in the next 12 months. Ouch!
So what are some of the initiatives you can put in place at work to ensure your team members are thriving? Here are five starting points to enhance wellness in a workplace.
1. Brain Breaks – if you want your staff to be the best they can be, to work efficiently, and produce results, you need to encourage them to have mini-breaks every day. This will give the brain a chance to rest and replenish itself. One way to do this is to lessen the amount of digital distraction that is so common in a workplace. The whole office does not need to be interrupted every time someone retweets, likes a post, or updates a shared Dropbox, so urge everyone to turn off the sounds to their notifications.
2. Nourishment – do not starve the brain from nourishment. Even when it is an incredibly busy day, it is still crucial to eat lunch so that you can function well for the remainder of the day Obviously choosing healthy, nourishing foods is best for overall health, but if this has not been organised, then eating anything is still better than eating nothing!
3. Movement – walking out of the office to eat lunch gives you a great wellness boost. The increased activity will improve the likelihood of not feeling so exhausted and being more energised for the afternoon due to the increased blood flow. Please don’t think this means that every day you need to go out for a full-on exercise session – it doesn’t. Even walking outside and sitting on a park bench to eat your lunch will get the blood flowing and lessen the chances of the 3pm slump.
4. Breathing – when staff are stressed, emotional, or angry, encourage them to take some time-out to breathe deeply. The breath is the single most impactful way to decrease reactions to stress. When you start breathing from your diaphragm you are communicating to your entire body that everything is OK.
5. Sleep – make it an end-of-day habit of writing a “to do” list before the day is finished. This trains your brain to be clear of the next day’s activities. This daily habit helps to stop the 3am wake-up prattle of forgetting something that needs to be done.
There is no doubt that the evidence is showing us that investing in the health and happiness of your people will lead to better business performance and profits. In fact, a Pricewaterhouse Coopers study found that every dollar spent on effective workplace mental health actions may generate $2.30 in benefits to an organisation. These benefits are derived from a reduction in presenteeism, absenteeism, and compensation claims.
It’s never too late to get started on ensuring you have workplace wellness policies, initiatives and/or education programs in place. When you put the health and happiness of your people first, your company reaps the rewards, so all you need to do is take that first step, and apply just one of these five tips above.
This article originally appeared here.