As a business owner, having a fit and healthy workforce will benefit general productivity, help foster a positive company culture and result in less sick leave. But what steps can you take to ensure your team is physically looking after themselves?
In this article, company formation agent Rapid Formations looks at the different ways business owners can help improve the physical well-being of their employees. Let’s jump straight in.
1. Provide healthy meal options
As well as impacting their long-term health, what your team members eat will impact how well they are able to tackle their work. For example, if an employee regularly skips breakfast, they may grow tired as the morning progresses. Likewise, if someone is partial to large portions of junk food for lunch, they may be sluggish after their break. In both instances, this would negatively affect their output.
Whilst you can’t control what people do and don’t eat, you can influence their decisions. Here are a few ways that you can do this:
- Provide healthy breakfast options every morning, such as fruit, yoghurt, cereals and juices
- Host regular team lunches with catering provided by local (and nutritional) cafes and restaurants
- Talk to the same cafes and restaurants about providing discounts to your team
These perks will provide you with some sway on what your team eat and help cultivate a good company culture.
2. Encourage healthy snacking
On top of considering what your team have for their main meals, you should also provide them with healthy snacking options throughout the day – such as plenty of fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, trail mix, dark chocolate, and popcorn. Hopefully, this will relinquish their need to pop to the supermarket to pick up a bag of crisps or something equally as innutritious.
When it comes to what they drink, providing coffee and soft drinks is fine, but also stock other options, like a range of teas, juices, smoothies and kombuchas (as well as milk alternatives). You could even buy a smoothie maker for the office, putting all that fruit to good use…a smoothie-making competition, anyone?
3. Team up with a gym
Help your team stay fit by signing up for a corporate gym membership. This is something that all the main gym providers offer, so is a great opportunity to take a proactive approach to your team’s health and provide them with a great perk. Win-win.
Ideally, you can partner up with a gym that is local to your workplace, enabling the fitness fanatics amongst your team (and those who just dipping their toes into gym-going) to go there quickly and conveniently before or after work, or even during their lunch break.
4. Give them health insurance
By providing your employees with health insurance you can help them swiftly deal with any health-related issues they experience whilst under your employment. As well as giving them the expert care that they need, this will take away any stress related to finding the necessary help and the need to pay for this; two factors that could put extra strain on them and ultimately make them feel worse (which of course could lead to extended periods away from work).
An added bonus to providing your team with healthcare insurance is the extra benefits that they will receive. For example, insurance providers often run exclusive special offers with health-focused businesses such as gyms, food subscription boxes, clothing brands, tech companies (think smartwatches) and specialist cycling shops. All of which will go some way in helping your team achieve their healthy living goals.
5. Introduce walking meetings
Next time you have a small meeting (let’s say 3 people max.), instead of huddling around a laptop or booking a stuffy room in your office, why not take the meeting outside and make it a walking meeting? By shoe-horning this extra workout into the day, you will boost the cardiovascular health of everyone ‘attending’, and freshen up the format, which could result in some innovative thinking.
Not all meeting types will be appropriate (those that require a presentation), but by encouraging your team to step outside when they can, will demonstrate that you take their well-being seriously.
6. Ensure breaks are taken
In a busy workplace, people skipping a break now and then is inevitable. However, this should not become the norm as it can foster a negative working environment (“She’s not taken her lunch break so maybe I shouldn’t either”) and – more related to health – indicates that someone is not eating an adequate nutritious lunch or getting sufficient exercise.
If you notice that a specific employee regularly works through their break, have a quick word with them. Express that you are thankful for their dedication to the job but recognise the health benefits that can be had from taking a well-earned break, and demand that they take one when they can.
7. Make physical well-being part of the company culture
As well as what we’ve already covered in this article, there are numerous other initiatives that you can implement at your workplace to encourage physical well-being. For example, you could start an office running club, 5 a-side football team, host in-house yoga (whereby an expert comes in) and launch a pedometer ‘steps’ competition. You could also put in place a cycle-to-work scheme.
You should also mix up regular events, like the annual Summer and Christmas party, steering the focus away from the normal food and drink and making them more activity-based (or at least starting with an activity), such as paintballing, bowling or visiting an escape room.
Physical wellbeing shouldn’t be a fad that comes and goes. It needs to become part of your business’s DNA.
So, there you have it
That’s 7 ways you can boost your team’s physical health. Put some of these in place today to build a healthier, more productive and happier workforce. We hope you have found this article useful.