Businesses in increasing numbers are recognizing that their success can be measured in part by the health and wellness of their people. By promoting wellness in the workplace, they can increase the health, happiness and productivity of their employees, directly affecting their bottom line. At SB Architects, we work hard to provide practices that support the wellness of our team (read more about our wellness program here) – and you can too.
As working hours steadily climb, it is estimated that eleven million people now average 59 hours per week. Put that together with less vacation days taken, and retirement age that continues to creep higher, and you have a formula for an overworked and overly stressed workforce. Real or imagined, the American penchant for ambition and hard work may not be easy to switch off – but this cultural “pursuit of happiness and success” may actually be driving us right into the ER.
Read on to discover why promoting wellness in the workplace can heighten output and enhance your company’s culture, one downward-facing-dog at a time. Here are our top ten reasons for promoting wellness in the workplace.
#1 BOOSTS MORALE
Every employee performs better when they feel supported, and there is no better way to show support for each individual employee than committing company effort, time and money to promoting the wellbeing of its workforce.
#2 INCREASES OPTIMISM
Living in an optimal state of mental and physical health broadens positivity and propels curiosity for innovation. Making group fitness, yoga, and meditation classes accessible to employees provides opportunities for self-care and mood enhancement throughout the day. Optimism boosts immune system making it easier to remain resilient in the face of setbacks, and in stressful situations, flexing the optimism muscle fosters creative, solution-oriented focus when things go awry.
#3 REDUCES MENTAL & PHYSICAL ILLNESS (decreasing sick time)
Providing employees tools of education about diet, fitness training, and stress/lifestyle management reduces absence and costs associated with sick leave. The cost of employee healthcare can be countered by offering preventative wellness education and fitness to promote movement and aid in addressing common, chronic diseases related to depression, hypertension, high blood pressure, adrenal gland fatigue, tension headaches and back-pain.
#4 FOSTERS AN ATMOSPHERE OF OPENNESS & LEARNING
Sustaining an on-site wellness program requires long-term commitment from leadership and cultivates layers of communication, education and accountability. Learning about what employees actually want and aiming to provide it supports each unique perspective of wellness and grants exposure to new avenues. Offering healthy snacks, bringing in an ergonomics consultant, inviting a juice company to discuss health benefits of juicing are examples of diverse methods to inspire education for personal betterment.
#5 ATTRACTS TALENT & INCREASES RETENTION
What better way to create your tribe than through alignment of ideals and purpose? Potential employees are drawn to companies that make their people a priority. When employees feel the company supports their wellbeing, they remain dedicated to the company as a result, and feel encouraged to consistently give their highest performance.
#6 SAVES TIME & MONEY
Offering office bikes to ride to offsite meetings, or promote walking to lunch save time spent in traffic, inspires movement in fresh air and decreases travel expenses. Both employer and employee benefit.
#7 BOOSTS CREATIVITY & PRODUCTIVITY
Amidst churning projects and heavy deadlines, encouraging employees to schedule time to step away from the desk for some breathing room each day helps them stay calm and creative. Let the team trade in the afternoon mental slump with a mindful personal break to step outside. This demonstrates your trust in their performance and empowers them to do their best work.
#8 SUPPORTS THE WORKPLACE COMMUNITY
Participating in a yoga class with co-workers, walking to lunch together, listening to an ergonomics coach, sharing healthy snacks in a meeting all serve to build a sense of community and shared experience above and beyond the work experience.
#9 IMPROVES TIME MANAGEMENT & PROMOTES WORK-LIFE BALANCE
Offering the opportunity to exercise at lunch – and sponsoring the classes – takes some of the burden of maintaining a healthy work/life balance off the shoulders of employees, and eases the perpetual time crunch to fit work and life into each day. In turn, employees are empowered to make the most of their hours at the office, knowing they don’t need to squeeze in a workout after work hours.
#10 WELLNESS AT WORK EXTENDS TO WELLNESS AT HOME
Once your employees have kicked the soda habit with the aid of natural waters provided at work, or get in the habit of grabbing a handful of nuts instead of a bag of chips for an afternoon snack, healthy habits tend to stick – particularly if they are an integral part of the office culture. Practicing mindful behaviors at work extends naturally into family life, making for happier, healthier employees – who in turn create a better, stronger, more productive workplace.