Section 1: Introduction
Our body benefits by moving, and our mind benefits by remaining still.
– Anjan Pathak, Co-Founder, Vantage Circle
For far too long, we have prioritized doing well over being well.
Thousands of years ago, our ancestors had one major job description. Being hunters and gatherers. Their daily work involved being faster, keener, and sharper with their senses and skills. Otherwise, the risk of becoming the prey was much more.
If we compare our present scenario, things have changed. An inactive and sedentary lifestyle has made health and well-being hit rock bottom. Besides, easy access to soda and junk food has worsened it.
Do you know doctors recommend 10,000 steps per day for good health? Yet, an average employee walks only about 2000 steps daily. Their lifestyles have been changing due to the consumption of unhealthy food and no exercise.
This has also been a major contributor to the ever-growing health risk today.
But what are employers doing to improve it?
You ignoring your employees' health might be costing you quite a bit more than you think. In 2018 alone, poor employee healthcare costs contributed to $530 billion in employer losses.
Let that sink in. Seems daunting.
Wellness takes work, effort, and time. Healthy behaviors don't happen overnight.
Here we present an all-inclusive corporate employee wellness guide to your workforce. A guide that will help you understand the significance of wellness in today's era.
Section 2: What Are Corporate Wellness Programs?
There is no single person who does not want their business to grow. And the smartest choice would be to invest in the most valuable asset- employees. A healthy workforce always equals a healthy business, and there is no doubt about that.
The inclusion of technology at work might have made things easier at work. But this happens at the cost of lesser physical activity, which is a basic need for a person to lead a healthy life.
With more hours at the work desk, an employee often struggles with long-term health goals. Such problems have been neglected for a very long time.
The traditional health plans were limited to insurance and sick leaves. But, modern employee wellness plans are more diversified and all-inclusive. Which is why, most companies have implemented corporate wellness programs in their workplaces.
So, what exactly is a Corporate Wellness Program?
A corporate wellness program is an employer's approach to achieving a healthy workplace. It incorporates wellness activities into their daily life to promote employees' well-being. In comparison, taking a holistic approach to creating a better work culture.
These health activities range from anything to everything centered around health. Well, if it means driving the employees toward maintaining good health.
The benefits of corporate wellness programs are manifold.
Creating wellness programs helps in solving various workplace health risks. Mostly that arises from unhealthy habits, stress, lack of physical activity, etc.
The importance of having an employee wellness program at the workplace can also be linked to employee retention and acquisition.
Employee wellness varies on factors like workforce size, work environment, and work schedule. A corporate wellness program can change according to the organization's needs, size, and budget.
Corporate wellness programs are in many forms across different organizations. Some only provide insurance covers, while others are leaping holistic wellness.
Section 3: Wellness In The Workspace
Enter any office, and a familiar sight will most likely greet you.
What is paramount to your organization's success? Your assets, rather valuable assets, are your employees. Keeping them fit and happy is the first step towards ensuring good employee health.
Corporations are dealing with constant stress and increased working hours. It only makes sense for a company to provide wellness solutions to hold employees and motivate them to do their best. Income is no longer the most focused area in the current world. Job satisfaction, appreciation, and work-life balance provisions reach the top ranks.
Due to this, progressive companies make provisions. For example, lifestyle education, fitness sessions, health assessments, and whatnot.
The current work environment is detrimental to your employees' emotional and physical well-being. Such as long hours of sitting, fast takeaway meals, and computer screen eye strain.
Employees, in general, tend to make unhealthy choices compared to healthier ones because they need more time to do so. Picking up a doughnut for breakfast is easier than making a salad. Several cups of coffee substitute for a bad night's sleep. Getting some extra winks in the morning instead of getting up and exercising.
Do you know what this set of lifestyle choices has resulted in a generation of workers suffering from many health problems?
All these illnesses, in general, state poor physical health among employees.
But there is a larger concern at hand.
We ignore another crucial part of complete wellness, namely Mental Health, in our rush to achieve the best physical health.
A clear distinction is often made between the "mind" and the "body." And that's where we start to make poor decisions.
A "healthy mind" and "healthy body" shouldn't be considered separate entities. It's not an apple-to-an-orange situation, and you don't have to choose one above the other.
Nowadays, organizations work so hard to promote excellent physical health. They fail to consider the consequences of disregarding mental health in the organization.
It's a problem. A huge one, at that.
But here's the good news. There is a clear way to fix this problem.
And the answer is "you."
You play an (if not the most) active role in encouraging employees to make healthier choices and creating a health-centric culture. It's not as easy as simply hanging motivational posters and providing healthy snacks in the breakroom.
Encouraging employee wellness goes far beyond these very basic steps.
No pressure, right?
In this guide, we will go through the ways through which you can encourage healthy living in the workplace.
So sit down, relax and scroll!
Section 4: Importance of Corporate Wellness Programs
Corporate wellness initiatives may appear out of reach if you have a restricted budget and resources.
But here's the reality. Investing in corporate wellness programs may improve your company in the long run.
Researchers from Harvard published an extensive summary from 22 different studies over 3 years, and here's what they found:
“For every $1 that was spent on a wellness program, the company saved $3.27 because of reduced healthcare costs.”
It's not surprising to see the value of building a culture around healthy living.
Still doubtful about the importance of corporate wellness programs?
Here are some statistics supporting why you need to invest in it:
Infographic Reference links:
Effective business wellness initiatives provide tangible and intangible employee advantages.
Work-Related Illnesses: An employee's good health shows through reduced stress, increased strength, and better immunity.
Insurance Costs: Employees who get sick less often qualify for lower health insurance rates. Thus resulting in significant savings for both employees and employers.
Lower levels of Absenteeism: Absenteeism is reduced by 27% for those exercising and eating healthy regularly.
Higher Morale: Healthier employees are more positive, outgoing, and energetic, which boosts workplace morale.
Less Stress: Stress among employees goes down considerably when they are in a healthy state.
Lower Turnover Costs: 88% of surveyed employees claim that access to corporate wellness programs is important when deciding whether to join or stay at a firm.
Increased Productivity: Well-being generally improves focus and productivity among employees.
By investing in corporate wellness programs, employers can drive employee engagement. They can also create healthier, happier, and more productive workforces.
Section 5: The 9 Dimensions of Wellness
People frequently associate wellness with physical health — nutrition, exercise, weight control, and so on — but it is so much more. Wellness is a complete integration of physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. It nourishes the body, engages the intellect, and satisfies the soul.
Although it always involves aiming for health, it is more about enjoying life to the fullest. It is defined as "a lifestyle and a tailored approach to living life in a way that helps you to become the greatest type of person that your potential, circumstances, and fate will allow."
To understand and achieve overall wellness, we must first know all its interconnected dimensions.
If you are an employer, here are some great ways to address the nine dimensions of wellness in your workplace -
1. Physical Wellness
Physical fitness is a state of health and well-being. It also implies the capacity to participate in sports, professions, and daily activities. Physical fitness is often accomplished with
Moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
System recovery plan.
Ways to address physical wellness at your workplace-
Introduce office fitness challenges among your workforce to keep them engaged and healthy.
Encourage regular exercise and physical activity such as walking, climbing stairs, etc.
Sanitize your workplace. Use disinfectants and sanitizers to promote proper hygiene among your employees.
Promote the benefits of proper nutrition and encourage healthy eating habits in the workplace. You can provide nutritious snacks and lunches to them as well.
Introduce cycle-to-work schemes for your employees. Especially encourage employees who travel by public transport to ride cycles to work instead.
Encourage a heart rate monitor to keep tabs on your heart rate. This will keep you updated on the daily health of the heart. In the process, it also promotes a wellness culture by emphasizing employee health.
Demonstrate desk exercises at your office for employees to stay fit in case they cannot manage their time to engage in a fitness routine.
Include step tracking in your wellness program to check daily activity. Walking is an excellent way to beat inactivity.
2. Mental Wellness
Mental wellness is more than the absence of mental illness. It is characterized as being aware of your emotions and being able to control and express them in a healthy and age-appropriate manner. It entails having strong mental and physical health, a high level of life satisfaction, and a feeling of purpose. Mental well-being is just feeling good about yourself and your life.
Ways to address mental wellness at your workplace-
Educate your employees on effective stress-management techniques and encourage them to practice mindfulness.
Conduct mental health workshops and training sessions in your workplace.
Conduct on-site yoga and meditation sessions.
Encourage your employees daily or weekly with motivational and inspirational quotes.
Invite a psychologist to provide counseling services to your employees for stress and anxiety.
Talk to your employees or instruct your HR department to do so weekly to find out symptoms of stress or depression.
Encourage Your Employees To Take A Mental Health Day Off to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Show the benefits of maintaining a proper sleep schedule among employees by introducing a sleep challenge.
Practice mindful eating among the employees and teammates and promote the culture.
Promote an appreciative culture so your employees realize their worth and contribution to the company.
3. Intellectual Wellness
Intellectual Wellness is being open to new ideas, thinking critically, and finding ways to be creative. It is about seeking knowledge and partaking in mental activities. This further improves existing skill sets, fosters critical thinking, and heightens global awareness. Being intellectually healthy is essential for keeping our brains healthy. It even prevents age-related cognitive decline.
Ways to address intellectual wellness at your workplace-
Encourage your employees to read books to expand their knowledge on various topics.
Create a workplace library providing easy access to valuable information.
Conduct brainstorming sessions among your employees to facilitate collaboration and team-building. Such activities can help your employees innovate new ideas and learn from each other.
Provide on-site lessons and workshops on different topics to help your employees improve their skill sets.
Value new ideas, insights, thoughts, and expressions of your employees. There isn't always a "right" answer.
Introduce flexible work hours to encourage time management among employees.
Engage your employees in a scavenger hunt as a team bonding exercise.
4. Spiritual Wellness
Spiritual well-being is being linked to something greater than oneself. Having a set of values, principles, morals, and beliefs brings a feeling of purpose and meaning to life and then puts those ideals into action.
Many actions connected with overall wellness are also important components of spiritual well-being. Some examples are optimism, connecting with people, experiencing a sense of belonging, and exercising self-care.
Finding meaning and purpose may be a lifetime process. It might change in response to one's unique circumstances, personal experiences, and world events. Like other aspects of wellness, a person's level of spiritual well-being changes throughout life.
Ways to address spiritual wellness at your workplace-
Offer separate rooms where employees can meditate, pray, relax, and so forth.
Create an indoor or outdoor garden in your office and encourage your employees to maintain it. Gardening can help them relax, unwind, reflect, and restore themselves.
Determine and set your organization's purpose for the greater good of the community and make your employees aware of it. Doing so will help your employees find meaning and value in their work.
Take part in charity events with your employees and help or donate to the poor or needy.
Create a biophilic workplace to add a touch of nature to your office.
Introduce walking meditation to your employees. Mindful walking allows employees to open up their senses and engage in the present moment.
5. Social Wellness
Social wellness is the state of well-being attained via positive and wholesome interpersonal connections at home and work. Having a genuine connection with well-wishers contributes to one's overall wellness. In fact, when there are companionable people around you, your emotional and mental well-being also stays intact.
Building healthy connections and nurturing them leads to trust and tranquility. Additionally, good social skills increase one's self-worth and confidence in social settings.
Social wellness comprises an important part of wellness and is directly linked to the other dimensions of wellness in one way or the other. It is all about balancing your personal and professional lives with conscious actions.
Ways to ensure social wellness in your organization-
Introduce various wellness contests in the workplace. Like marathons or yoga, and involve your employees in them so they can interact with one another. Make the activities team-centric, fostering team spirit and building unity and trust. Not to mention incentivizing them to participate is a must, as that will keep the motivation going.
Introduce the idea of a weekly sharing circle where the employees can have small sessions and open up to each other. This activity will help them decompress, discuss their issues, and perhaps even find a solution. This activity will strengthen their trust in one another.
Organize a sports day event and engage everyone in indoor and outdoor activities to encourage them to adhere to a healthy lifestyle. Even better, create a separate space offering games and refreshments. Staff members can congregate there during breaks to socialize while playing or enjoying a cup of coffee.
Celebrate small events at work, such as birthdays and company anniversaries. All will come to know one another in this way.
Plan annual retreats in some nice destinations where you take your workforce. This can be a fun trip for them where they can enjoy and improve their social networking abilities.
Introduce a platform for appreciation and recognition, such as Vantage Circle. This platform can help employees express their appreciation for one another's achievements. It will further raise morale and cultivate a positive workplace culture.
Take your team to lunch or hold lunch and learn sessions and see them discuss various topics over a delicious meal. Potlucks are also a great way to bring out their inner social butterfly.
6. Financial Wellness
Financial wellness is how meaningfully you balance your economic life, based on your financial health. With the rise in stress levels today due to the workload and busy schedules, people are still working to attain that financial security. Because, at the end of the day, being financially secure leads to a good quality of life.
And that is our end goal. But financial stress is a real thing. As per PWC's 2021 Financial Wellness survey, it has increased since the pandemic as people are struggling with expenses and losing out on jobs.
However, the spectrum of financial wellness is vast and varies from generation to generation. For the millennials, financial wellness is getting a well-paid job to fund their lifestyle. Whereas for Generation X, it means providing a sense of security and freedom to the family.
In other words, money can actually buy happiness. And organizations that ensure financial well-being for their employees derive benefits too. Their well-being policies can help in employee retention and productivity.
Ways to ensure financial wellness in the workplace-
Offer financial wellness training to employees. You can hold one-on-one meetings with financial consultants. They can talk your staff into making thoughtful decisions about monetary matters.
Invite a well-known speaker to financial education seminars. Discuss budgeting, retirement planning, and asset allocation with them. Through these make them mindful of their expenses.
Connect your employees with financial advisors. The advisors can offer them useful advice on financial decisions, like saving and investing.
Provide your employees with car discounts and home insurance to support their finances.
Increase your employees' financial knowledge by giving out opportunities to free courses. The courses can be on topics of financial planning and debt management.
Host financial challenges, which include tasks beyond conventional programs. Set a goal for expenses and savings and assign rewards against them to keep employees interested in the challenge. E.g., monthly savings goal or setting a limited expense amount for the next month.
Start paying employees based on their performance. That way, they are financially content. Employees develop a sense of loyalty when they are content, which further increases productivity.
Build an interest-free loan structure that employees can leverage in times of emergencies. There should be funds allocated for financial assistance.
7. Environmental Wellness
Environmental wellness means being at peace with our natural surroundings. The physical surroundings we live in have much influence on our wellness. And thus, coexisting happily with our planet and community is the first step toward environmental wellness.
Our environment affects us in more ways than we know. Breathing fresh air, working in a clean environment, or being around nature - all contribute to our well-being status. Similarly, our actions affect the environment too in several ways in the form of man-made waste and global warming. So, it is a give-and-take process.
Environmental wellness considers improving the state of personal well-being and our planet. From air quality to temperature, everything. However, being environmentally well does not just mean planting trees. It means limiting ourselves to damaging the natural resources at our disposal and preserving them.
All in all, it is more about feeling a sense of compassion and empathy towards our flora and fauna. And that feeling of respect brings along the need to practice healthy habits for self and the environment.
Being environmentally well is about creating a caring connection with the environment. The cleaner the environment, the healthier we are and away from all kinds of diseases. Now, our workplaces are our immediate surroundings where we spend half our lives. Therefore, a healthy work environment becomes necessary for the smooth functioning of our minds and bodies.
Ways to ensure environmental wellness in the workplace-
Carry out a thorough environmental wellness assessment for all your employees. And know where you stand regarding ecological well-being. Go into minute details like looking at the comfort regarding air quality, lighting, and ergonomics or the presence of indoor plants in the office. Pay attention to the conservation of resources like energy and water. Also, take note of the level of consumption concerning office supplies.
Conduct environmental wellness activities such as recycling programs or cleaning programs. You can involve employees in various tasks of recycling materials and cleaning their workspaces. You can give out rewards to the ones who do the tasks with precision.
Engage your workforce in challenges like the 30 days No Plastic Use challenge. This one-month challenge can continue until you turn your entire office into a plastic-less area.
Take out cleanliness or a plantation drive. You can motivate your employees to choose a public place where they can collectively do a garbage clean-up or tree planting session.
Allocate rewards for employees who can come up with interesting ideas for improving the work environment.
Host workshops and seminars to raise awareness of the importance of environmental wellness. And ensure the engagement rate is 100%.
Build the office with proper ventilation where natural light enters and reaches the workspaces.
Fill the workplace with indoor plants in each corner and encourage your staff to bring small plants to keep on their desks.
8. Occupational Wellness
Occupational wellness is the feeling of contentment one derives from their professional life. It implies living life with a fulfilling job that brings you joy while enabling you to manage workplace stressors easily. Being occupationally well is important and very difficult. Because many people in today's world are unsatisfied with their career choices.
In the current competitive world, we often end up making wrong decisions and ending up in jobs we are not happy with. And unfulfilling jobs negatively impact health and lead to developing chronic illnesses in the long run.
Thus, before going forward with your career path, it is crucial to do thorough research and discover your interest areas. Only then will you be exposed to various options, truly content, and discover your skills. Occupational wellness allows you to balance work and leisure while being financially stable.
And such a lifestyle comes with plenty of health benefits. Because when you enjoy your work and take pride in it, you attain a positive lifestyle that contributes to your overall well-being. Furthermore, workplace happiness leads to workplace productivity.
Stress and workload are inevitable in the current work scenario. Still, if you love your job, you cope with these issues with little hassle. Also, rather have that optimistic outlook and focus on having peace within. Such an attitude is also a mandate for your mental and emotional wellness.
Ways to ensure occupational wellness in the workplace-
Introduce training programs in various domains and make them accessible to all employees. Let them explore and determine if they are willing to switch and are interested in another role.
Be sure to convey the company's mission and vision during interviews. Give the interviewee a clear idea, helping them decide whether it aligns with their values.
Develop a flexible work environment for employees to prevent them from feeling suffocated. And motivate them to work at ease. Too much pressure can often lead to burnout.
Offer yearly promotions based on merit to encourage employees to work hard, be dedicated, and love their work.
Appreciate and reward employees for their hard work and accomplishments. Show them you acknowledge and recognize their efforts and earn yourself employee loyalty.
Assign new tasks to your workforce which are out of their domain and see how they go about it. Allow them to explore and discover their hidden skills, adding to personal growth and development.
Allow them to attend meetings and conferences. You can help them understand the industry better and grow professionally.
Adopt a positive work environment by holding wellness activities. That way, you can build camaraderie among your employees. That way, they would feel a sense of belonging and develop a kind of affection toward their work.
Please provide employees with health screenings to ensure their good health or gym memberships for them to be active and fit.
9. Cultural Wellness
Cultural wellness means accepting and celebrating various cultures interacting with one another. The act of getting along with each other regardless of gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation and acknowledging cultural identities establishes the state of cultural wellness.
Workplaces are filled with people from all backgrounds and cultures, thus bringing out diversity. And this diversity needs to be cherished.
So when we bond with each other, removing cultural barriers, we are heading towards being culturally well. Building a company culture as such is necessary for a peaceful workplace.
When employees form a connection among themselves, there is more unity and teamwork. It leads to an efficient and healthy working culture. Employees feel valued and respected in similar work environments.
Ways to ensure cultural wellness in the workplace-
Celebrate different festivals and occasions in the workplace. Engage all your employees to promote workplace diversity.
Introduce policies centered around diversity in the workplace.
Conduct fun activities like cultural quizzes to learn more about the different cultures.
Host wellness challenges for employees to participate in groups, giving them more chances to bond well.
Section 6: DREYMSS- The Seven Ways To Wellness
Wellness /ˈwɛlnəs/noun: the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal.
Now that we've covered the what's and why's of having a corporate wellness program, it's time to get introduced to the "hows."
Wellness is not just a program to be implemented; wellness is in itself a way of living. In hindsight, most corporate wellness programs only recognize the physical component of health.
While this certainly is better than nothing. Employers that emphasize physical health positively impact their employees' overall well-being.
Thankfully, today's bosses know how important it is to approach employee wellness as multifaceted.
Wellness generally consists of 7 aspects, namely -
Drinking: Even mild dehydration can greatly decrease energy levels. Which then leads to major reductions in cognitive brain performance and memory.
Running: Increased indulgence in regular cardio helps to increase the blood and oxygen flow throughout the body. It shows a visibly increased heart muscle rate and improved cholesterol rate.
Eating: You are what you eat. A healthy, nutritious diet acts as medicine- to maintain, prevent, and treat disease.
Yoga: Yoga uses physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation to improve overall health.
Meditation: Helps to elevate positive mood and outlook. Also helps in enhancing self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns, and even increased pain tolerance.
Strength: Regular exercise can help build self-confidence and boost immunity. It will also protect you from health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure.
Sleep: Healthy sleep can help your body regulate better blood sugar levels. It will keep your immune system functioning properly and improve your heart health by decreasing stress.
In a nutshell,
Drinking + Running + Eating + Yoga + Meditation + Strength + Sleep = Overall Wellness
"Think of water as a nutrient your body needs that is present in liquids, plain water, and foods. These are essential daily to replace the large amounts of water lost daily." - Joan Koelemay
Around 60% of the human body is made up of water.
More than three-quarters (77%) of employees did not think they consumed enough water daily to meet their health needs. - Quench Survey.
Benefits of Drinking Water
- Increased Brainpower:
The crucial benefit of drinking more water is increased brainpower. Since our brain is made of 73% water, drinking water helps us to think, focus, concentrate, and stay alert. As a result, your energy levels also improve.
- Promotes Healthy Weight Management:
Water aids in the removal of fat by-products and also helps you feel fuller. Not only does this act as a natural appetite suppressant, but it can also improve your metabolism.
Also, you're less likely to gain weight when you drink a couple of glasses of water before a meal rather than eating a basket of bread.
- Boosts Immunity:
A water guzzler is less likely to get sick. And who wouldn't rather feel healthy the majority of the time? Drinking plenty of water helps fight against flu, cancer, and other ailments like heart attacks.
- Flushes Out Toxins:
Gets rid of waste through sweat and urination, reducing kidney stones and UTIs risk.
- Prevents Cramps & Sprains:
Proper hydration helps keep joints lubricated and muscles more elastic. It then results in less joint pain and better functioning of bones.
- Helps with Headaches:
Dehydration is one of the most common leads of headaches. Research says that migraine and other forms of headaches often imply that you are low on water intake.
- Smooth Bowel Movements:
Constipation is often seen as a common yet serious problem. Irregular bowel movements characterize it. It would help if you took ample fluid as a treatment.
How Can You Encourage It?
- Ensure Accessibility:
Review floor designs to ensure water supplies are close to workspaces. It was in light of employees' complaints that they don't have enough time to get water during the day.
- Ensure Quality and Taste:
Provide fresh, filtered, great-tasting water that doesn't run out. Installing water coolers, large plastic jugs, and individual water bottles within easy reach.
Encourage employees to get up, move, and drink water during the day. It will promote a healthy and positive workplace culture.
- Create a Trend:
Make hydration a habit and lead by example. Humans are generally more inclined to do a particular thing when they see others doing it too.
Keep advocating the benefits of drinking water and guzzle down some regularly. You can use some fitness-savvy employees' help to encourage their peers to stay hydrated.
The real purpose of running isn't to win a race, and it's to test the limits of the human heart.
– Bill Bowerman, Co-founder, Nike, Inc.
According to various studies, running for just 30 minutes 5 times a week helps mitigate
- Type 2 diabetes,
- Heart diseases
- Stabilize blood pressure
- Keep unwanted health conditions at bay
Benefits of Running
Running has multiple health benefits-
- Weight Management:
Today's sedentary lifestyle is highly responsible for the growing number of obese employees. Yet, by encouraging running, you can help your employees lose weight .
Every 5-minute run or walk at a pace of 10-min/mile burns about 45 calories. The same carried out for 30 minutes daily can help them stay in perfect shape, eventually making them feel good and happy about themselves.
- Improves Cardio Health:
Nothing can beat a person having a healthy heart. Running impacts the heart, making it more active and burning unnecessary calories.
Also, it makes the arteries expand and contract as much as thrice the amount compared to a person sitting idle, keeping the blood pressure low. Thus, mitigating the risk of various heart-related diseases.
- Muscle and Bone Strength:
As we age, our muscle and bone strength decreases. Employees, too, fall prey to this since most modern-day work involves sitting at a desk all day without much physical activity. However, running as a habit can reduce this risk and help retain muscle and bone strength for a long time.
- Stress Reliever:
Running gives one much me time, which is necessary to rejuvenate themselves. Moreover, the feeling of being healthier than your colleagues also contributes to reducing stress.
Also, running releases many "feel-good hormones" known as endorphins within the body to reduce the feeling of pain. The same hormone is also responsible for slowing the aging process. It also boosts the immune system and relieves stress and anxiety.
- Gives you Better Sleep:
Exercise and sleep go hand in hand. Running makes you exhausted, which in turn improves sleep quality. The more you run, the more sound your sleep is.
- Immunity Booster:
Running has both positive and negative impacts on immunity. Modest exercise is great for immunity, and extreme exercise temporarily reduces it. So, not overdoing it is the key. Just run and decrease the risk of infection.
- Reduces Cancer Risk:
People who run regularly have less chance of developing cancer. Besides, even if you have cancer, Running can help reduce the mortality rate and side effects from the difficult treatments in the phase. Running protects your body from developing diabetes too.
How can you Encourage your Employees to embrace Running?
- Organize in-house Health runs and Marathons:
Organizing workplace marathons is one feasible way to introduce running to your employees. It also helps to ignite the inner sportsmanship within the employees. Thus, boosting their morale which reflects increased productivity.
- Incentivize their Efforts:
Rewarding your employees for embracing the path toward a healthy life will motivate them to stay on track for a long time.
Furthermore, it'll also improve their image towards their employers, who are ready to go to the extent to ensure their good health.
- Convey the Benefits:
No one will embrace any habit or Work for a cause until they know its benefits. Similarly, convey the benefits of running as part of their daily routine to the employees. Once they realize the good side of this, there's no looking back from then.
"Let Food Be Thy Medicine, Thy Medicine Shall Be Thy Food" – Hippocrates
As the saying goes," We are what we eat." eating healthy is the foremost precaution one can take for various health-related issues that may arise at any time. However, maintaining a healthy diet could be quite challenging. Especially for the employees working under a tight schedule having a nutritious meal is more like a dream in today's date.
According to WHO, 80% of heart disease, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes cases could be prevented by adopting a healthy diet.
Benefits of Healthy Eating
- Enhanced Immunity:
A nutritious meal is the most important key to achieving better immunity against many chronic diseases. Meals complimented with vegetables are great sources of dietary fiber and multivitamins.
- Improved Metabolism:
Protein-rich meals help in improving the body's metabolism rate. It also directly impacts one's effort to lose weight while retaining energy for daily work.
- Better Mood:
Enjoying healthy meals can spike up a person's daily energy level making them feel good. Light meals without much carbs and fats grant a person more flexibility.
- Healthy Heart:
High blood pressure can almost be seen in every nook and corner, often leading to heart attack, heart failure, and stroke. Healthy Eating has a good role as eating habits like fibrous food keep the heart healthy and fit.
- Boosts Memory:
A healthy diet is also responsible for brain health. Nutritious food helps maintain cognition and fight against cognitive decline and dementia.
- Weight Loss:
A healthy diet has everything to do with weight gain and loss. The more calories you intake, your body will start taking an unhealthy shape accordingly. So maintain a good diet with food rich in fiber and lean proteins as they are essential in maintaining a low weight.
- Keeps Bones and Teeth Strong:
A healthy diet always includes food rich in calcium and magnesium, further strengthening bones and teeth. Healthy bones prevent bone issues later in life, such as osteoporosis.
How can you Encourage your Employees to embrace Healthy Eating?
The option of healthy snacks in the kitchen:
One best way to instill healthy eating habits within your employees would be to give them an option of nutritious snacks. It will allow the employees to choose and taste a variety of healthy food items.
- Encouraging Healthy Potlucks:
Potlucks are a very effective way of improving workplace camaraderie. It can be used again to implement healthy employee food habits. Here, you can switch fatty and junk meals by bringing healthy food for lunch. Organizing such potlucks will also impact the food choices your employees make.
- Subsidized Health Foods:
Subsidizing healthy food items would lure the employees to go for them instead of regular junk meals. It'll also develop a positive image of you as an employer, taking measures to ensure your employees are healthy.
If you think of Yoga as simply being "some form of eastern exercise," you couldn't be farther from the truth.
Derived from the Sanskrit word "Yuji," meaning union, Yoga is an ancient practice that brings together mind and body.
Patanjali, author of the classic yoga text, the Yoga Sutra, defined Yoga as the quieting of the fluctuations of the mind.
"The purpose of yoga is to build strength, awareness, and harmony in both the mind and body." -Natalie Nevins, DO, a board-certified osteopathic family physician and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor in Hollywood, California.
As more and more people discover the benefits of Yoga, the 3,000-year-old practice is increasingly finding its way into the workplace. The demand for corporate yoga has created whole squadrons of yoga teachers who specialize in office settings.
Yoga has many scientifically proven benefits, which include:
- Reduced muscle pain
- Improved quality of life
- Flexibility and strength.
With all the benefits of Yoga for office workers, Yoga can be a crucial component of your workplace wellness program.
Benefits Of Yoga
- Reduced Back Pain:
One of the main reasons many people take up yoga is back pain. It is one of the most common workplace complaints about people with desk jobs.
The argument is supported by a 2012 British study that was published in the journal Occupational Medicine. It included data from an eight-week study with participants from a government workplace.
It divided the participants into two groups. One group was encouraged to do yoga for a week, and the other group was allowed to continue their usual lifestyle.
The study showed that the yoga group reported less back pain, lower stress, and greater self-assurance. By comparison, the group which didn't partake in Yoga reported more hostility, sadness, stress, and back pain.
- Lower Burnout Rates:
A study study shows that nurses who practiced Yoga once a week for eleven weeks saw a significant decrease in the symptoms of burnout.
The benefits were enough self-care, less exhaustion, and increased empathy when in contact with patients.
- Less Absenteeism:
Yoga at the workplace reduces absenteeism from sickness or other physical problems. It, in return, boosts company morale and improves employee communication skills.
- Calm Temperament:
Yoga relaxes the body and calms the mind. People who practice Yoga have more endurance capacity. It also makes them think more rationally, thereby enhancing their productivity levels.
- Stress Relief:
After long hours of Work, Yoga does a great deal of good to relieve the stress-filled mind. It helps reduce cortisol, the stress hormone, thus creating an everyday situation for the mind.
- Improves Focus:
A stressful work life can often put a pause on your brain and stop it from functioning logically. To combat that, Yoga helps clear your mind and freshen it up.
- Increases Flexibility:
Flexibility leads to reduced joint pain and low blood pressure. Yoga does make one flexible. It further helps with improving posture and preventing injuries.
How Can You Encourage It?
To the newcomer, yoga can be a bit intimidating. You should consider incorporating yoga challenges as part of your corporate wellness program. You can use these strategies to ensure the offering is accessible, fun, and adaptable to your employees.
- Consider the Environment:
As with all corporate wellness programs, pay attention to the fact that it's happening in the workplace. Make sure your marketing efforts eliminate the stereotypes of yoga. You can introduce a variety of practical classes for a workplace setting.
For example, some sessions should be short, and employees should be able to do those classes in work clothes.
- Remove Prerequisites:
To help employees become more comfortable with yoga in the workplace, emphasizing that they don't need special skills.
Workplace yoga doesn't require athletic strength, flexibility, and meditation experience. All those are just some side benefits that one may receive along the way.
- Educate Employees on the Benefits of Yoga:
Address all the advantages to your employees. If not all, you educate them about things like achieving better posture while sitting at a desk gaining better focus
breathing techniques to manage stress.
- Make Office Yoga Accessible:
Throw out any notions that your workplace yoga initiatives must mirror a typical boutique studio setting. Yoga doesn't even have to be on the mat; Yoga can be instructions on taking deep breaths after sitting in a long meeting.
Another option is to gamify the initial experience by encouraging managers to engage their teams in a competition to get people in the door. The fun helps lessen the intimidation. Once people start participating, instructors can bring more awareness about Yoga.
"The goal of meditation is not to get rid of thoughts or emotions. The goal is to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions and learn how to move through them without getting stuck." – Dr. P. Goldin
Brilliant things tend to happen when you have a calm mind.
Today, the focus has become a scarce commodity in the modern workplace. Office distraction can be any form: relentless emails, gossip, or non-stop client meetings. There's no shortage of things to steal your attention besides actual work.
Thus, finding peace of mind amongst this constant draw of distractions has almost become impossible to achieve.
Aside from reduced stress and productivity, many other benefits come from a meditation program. Regular meditation practice helps to open creative doorways in the brain.
With increased focus, problem-solving skills get more creative, and new ideas enter the mind more freely. Many people believe that Steve Jobs coming up with new and innovative ideas for Apple resulted from regular meditation practice.
Benefits Of Meditation
- Improved Focus:
Practicing mindfulness and meditation improves our ability to sustain attention and decrease distractions. A study from Harvard found that a meditation program led to changes in brain regions.
- Improved Mood:
The consistent practice of mindfulness in the workplace through meditation can help in lifting your employees' mood. It includes reducing severe depression and anxiety.
Meditation reduces anxiety and depression. It can instead increase patience and positivity among patients. Daily practice can help to carry this optimism into the workplace and boost satisfaction.
- Meditation = Less Stress:
Stress has been linked to various medical problems like heart disease, anxiety, and depression.
A study from Stanford University shows practicing mindfulness meditation reduces stress-related symptoms. It also reported an increased sense of control in their lives. For instance, mindfulness meditation can produce a 30% reduction in symptoms of stress among those with a serious illness.
- Develops Self-Awareness:
Meditation helps you strongly know and understand yourself, which will further help you grow into your best self.
- Increases Attention Span:
Meditation for even 10 minutes daily will help you to develop your attention span and good memory. In other words, meditation increases the strength and endurance of your attention.
- Fights Addictions:
The mental capacity you will develop through meditation is beyond comparison. Meditation can bring a certain level of self-control and awareness. Which in turn can help fight against addictive behaviors.
- Improves Sleep:
Insomnia is found in every household these days. Mindfulness programs are the best to address such a problem. Meditation gives one sound sleep and reduces insomnia severity.
How Can You Encourage It?
- Encourage Staff To Use Short Mindful Exercises:
Get staff members to kick-start their day with the right mental attitude. Starting the day with mindful exercise can relax and re-energize employees to face the challenges ahead.
A great way to do this is with a breathing exercise. It takes 10 minutes and involves closing your eyes, sitting upright, and relaxing.
This simple exercise can help staff members to start the day with the right mental attitude. They will be more focused and able to concentrate on the job.
- Introduce A Quiet Space:
Not all employees will be into meditation, though, and they can utilize the quiet space for some time. Provide them an opportunity to refocus without the distraction of emails, phones, or office chatter.
Some businesses have found it helpful to include nature photos and relaxing music that has a calming influence in the room.
"Sleep is the golden chain that ties health and our bodies together." – Thomas Dekker
Having a good sleep is one of the major parts of the puzzle for a healthy life. Proper sleep ensures better concentration and stress relief. It also improves immune function and tissue rebuild time. But, hectic work schedules often disrupt an employee's normal sleep cycle.
These poor sleeping cycles are responsible for various physical and mental health issues. Issues such as depression and anxiety, as well as it also leads to stress giving rise to stroke and other heart diseases.
Benefits of Proper Sleep
- Better Brain Function:
Sleeping is directly linked to our brain function. Just like our body, the brain requires rest too. Perfect sleep ensures normal brain functioning and mitigates the risk of various mental illnesses due to lack of sleep.
- Lower Stress Level:
Good sleep can help lower stress levels. Maintaining a good sleeping pattern can help lower stress levels. It reduces the chances of chronic heart disease.
- Muscle Repair:
We may rest while we sleep, but our body actively repairs damaged tissues and cells. Cells produce a high amount of protein molecules which are the important blocks for muscle repair during sleep.
- Makes One More Attentive:
Perfect sleep adds fuel to our body by re-energizing it for the next day. Repeating the same tasks can ensure a good sleep every night. Thus, making one feel fresh and energetic every day.
- Weight loss:
Getting quality sleep is crucial for weight management, as poor sleep leads to weight gain and is one of the strongest risk factors for obesity.
- Prevents Diabetes:
Poor sleeping habits adversely affect blood sugar levels. People sleeping below 6 hours are likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
- Decreases Inflammation:
Inflammatory bowel diseases are sometimes common when your sleep cycle is not uniform. There is long-term inflammation of the digestive tract linked to poor sleep.
How to Ensure a Good Night's Sleep?
- "No-Work at Home" Policy:
Employees bearing excess workload often take their incomplete work at their dinner table or bed at home. It disrupts their normal sleep schedule hampering their overall health.
As an employer, to keep a check on this, you can implement a "No-Work at Home Policy. It will allow your employees to re-energize themselves for the next day after a good sleep.
- Discourage Consumption of Excess Caffeine:
Drinking excess coffee during work hours at the office can sometimes lead to sleep deprivation at night. It is because caffeine blocks adenosine, a substance that induces sleep.
Encouraging employees to avoid coffee in the late afternoon or evening will help them maintain their normal body clock.
- Provide Free Counselling to deal with Sleep Deprivation and Stress:
Sleep deprivation can cause a lot of chaos within a person, which they may not be able to convey.
The causes of sleep deprivation may be many, and finding out the root of it is the only way to heal it. One of the ways to help your employees deal with sleep deprivation is to provide them with free counseling. Thus, ensure they get the best remedy to get their sleep cycle back on track.
"Training gives us an outlet for suppressed energies created by stress and thus tones the spirit just as exercise conditions the body." – Arnold Schwarzenegger
Strength is the basic physiological trait that enables us to push ourselves. It helps us to achieve maximum endurance capability.
We all need strength to survive and thrive. The more strength we have, the more agile and competent we are. And with this fact, strength training is essential for keeping our muscle mass and skeletal health intact, which tend to degrade as we age.
Another reason for strength degradation is the sedentary lifestyle. It is something that is highly observed in the modern-day workforce.
One of the main causes of many employee health difficulties is a lack of physical activity and insufficient time for exercise.
Benefits of Strength Training
- Ensure Strong and Lasting Skeletal Health:
Strength training stresses the bones and helps increase bone density. Thereby mitigating the risks of health problems like osteoporosis. Moreover, it also increases the stamina level of the individual.
- Weight Management:
Unbalanced body weight is one of the prime reasons behind many chronic illnesses. Strength training, on the other hand, helps burn more calories and cut down excess weight by increasing the rate of metabolism.
- Mitigates the risk of various Chronic Diseases:
Strength training is crucial in mitigating the risk of many chronic illnesses. It checks the various motor functions and facilitates smooth blood flow throughout the body. It helps reduce the risks associated with diseases like stroke, backache, diabetes, arthritis, and many more.
- Increased Bone Density:
Regular strength training increases mineral bone density. It also reduces the risk of arthritis and osteoporosis.
- Reduces risk of Injury:
Strength training improves connective tissues, strengthens ligaments, and boosts motor performance. It leads to a low risk of injury.
- Boosts Mood and Energy Levels:
Strength training raises endorphin levels which lifts energy levels and enhances your mood. And it further helps in building confidence and elevates self-esteem.
- Induces Balance and Flexibility:
Weight lifting leads to working the joints through motion, keeping one strong and flexible, and ending with better balance as you age.
How Can You Encourage It?
- Encourage "Walk Breaks" Between Work:
Physiological health issues arise mostly due to the lack of body movement. And today's workforce is the worst hit due to the passive way of work. As a responsible employer, you can mitigate this issue to a certain extent by encouraging your employees to "get up and move for good.
To ensure." this, you can also introduce step challenge within the organization.
Encouraging your employees to take short walk breaks in between their work not helps them deal with their fatigue. But it also allows their bodies to stretch the vital muscles and ensure smooth motor functions.
- Introducing fun Wellness Challenges:
Workplace wellness challenge ideas like office fitness challenges and office weight loss challenges are great ways to promote physical activity and fitness among your employees.
Such challenges can encourage employees to adopt healthy habits to become fitter and stronger.
- Providing in-house Health Care Facilities:
Most workplaces now provide their employees with in-house healthcare facilities. Some install yoga rooms, gyms, or meditation rooms. Such arrangements from the employers' end are a good way to lure employees into adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Another option is to provide your employees with sponsored or subsidized gym memberships.
- Using Corporate Wellness Application:
Everything is now available at our fingertips, which goes the same for our health.
Using a corporate wellness application like that of Vantage Fit allows employers to run multiple wellness challenges over some time.
Moreover, it lets employers incentivize employees who can achieve their health goals at the end of every challenge. This way, it benefits both the employee and employers. Employers can track their employees' health progress over time. Incentivization motivates employees to take up challenges. It engages them in healthy competition and complete challenges to earn rewards.
Section 7: How To Encourage Workplace Wellness
American Institute of Stress report suggests that an estimated 75–90% of visits to primary care physicians are for stress-related conditions. Studies confirm that occupational intimidations and fears are most Americans' ultimate stress sources. Approximately 40% of American workers say that their jobs are very stressful.
According to United Health, 75% of workers are interested in having corporate wellness programs. Again, another 59% of those who have one credited it with helping them live healthier lives.
There are plenty of practices with which employers can help employees mitigate stress and anxiety at work. They can do it while promoting importance of workplace wellness. But here are the top 30 ways to encourage workplace wellness.
1. Health Ambassador
You will always find a health enthusiast at work who can be inspiring for the rest. Such employees can act as role models for all the others and encourage them to lead healthy lives. You can assign them the title of "Health Ambassador" and let them be the face of good health in the organization.
2. Gym Memberships
Building an in-house gym might not be cost-effective. The cost of maintenance and hiring a professional to take sessions can be pretty steep. But, you can opt for a better alternative i.e., partnering up with a nearby gym. You can provide your employees with subsidized memberships.
3. Health Articles And Newsletters
Awareness is the greatest agent for change.
Starting health campaigns in the organization takes a lot of effort in the beginning. And for the most, the main challenge here is motivating the employees to take a closer look at their health.
But, you can send health articles and newsletters as part of your wellness promotion activities. It can help you spread awareness about the costs of an unhealthy lifestyle.
4. Healthy Snacks
When it comes to in-office perks, many companies assume the big, splashy amenities matter most. But studies suggest that there's a much more manageable prerequisite.
It's so simple that it's easy to overlook: healthy office snacks.
First, there's the fact that what your employees eat affects their performance. The Harvard Business Review says, "Food directly impacts our cognitive performance."
A bad decision at the vending machine can derail a day's worth of productivity. Healthier snack options can provide sustained energy for high performance throughout the day.
Also, consider that snacks impact one's diet (and, thus, health) more than any other meal category. A study of more than 200 adults in a worksite wellness program found that snacking choices at work affected the quality of one's diet and BMI. The healthier the snacking choices, the better the participants' diet and health.
5. Ergonomic Office Equipment
According to obesity researcher James Levine, "chairs are lethal." In his study, he found that a sedentary lifestyle is harmful to your health. It slows down your metabolism and promotes fat accumulation. But if you stand up while you work, you'll decrease your risk of obesity. Active workstations will improve while also keeping them in shape.
Invest in office equipment that encourages movement. Standing, stationary bike, and treadmill desks are not always effective. They don't always burn as many calories as some would have you believe.
Still, they do encourage workers to walk around the office more than if they were sitting and can increase your employees' productivity for tasks that don't require a lot of fine motor skills.
A more workable and relatively cheaper option is to invest in standing desks.
6. Time Off For Exercise
No matter how "healthy" your office workstations are, they will never come close to the beneficial effects of exercise.
To give your employees the full effect of exercise, allow them to take an hour off every day as Cliff Bar does. Even 30 minutes of exercise in a day will rejuvenate your employees, and they will come back refreshed, healthier, and more focused.
A recent study found that reduced work hours and exercise didn't hinder productivity. Instead, the productivity remained the same or higher even when employees are allowed to exercise than those with no exercise. There was no loss in work ethic. Furthermore, employees who exercise were found to be more fit and productive.
7. Set Reminders
A study was conducted on employees to test the effects of a 30-minutes long morning exercise routine vs. 5-minute walks throughout the day. It found that both types of exercise improved energy levels. But the five-minute walks showed some more benefits. Participants reported improved moods, decreased levels of fatigue, and reduced food cravings.
Encourage your employees to get up and move around for 5- minutes every hour. Ask them to practice some easy-to-do office exercises at their desk itself. Remind them to eat healthily and reach for that water bottle every once in a while.
In this process, it is unthinkable to go up to each employee and coax them to do something for themselves.
What you can do is set up some form of online reminders like using a corporate health platform.
You can also set up posters in and around the office to motivate your employees.
8. In-House Library and Courseware
Employee wellness is not limited to physical wellness. Employees have to bear a lot of mental stress in their day-to-day work life. Thus, it becomes important to address employee mental well-being issues. Having an in-house library is one of the ways to help out your employees here. Reading a good book has a positive impact on a person's brain.
Encourage reading amongst your employees during their free time. Also, you can help your employees with various in-house courses to learn. This will help them let go of their mental stress at the workplace. Moreover, it helps them expand their knowledge and vocabulary and improve memory retention.
9. Monday Meditation
The most feasible way to bring about employee wellness.
Everyone hates Mondays, and your employees are no different. To help them get on the right track, you can organize meditation sessions at the beginning of every week. Meditation helps bring tranquillity to one's thoughts.
You can help your employees to start their week by practicing meditation at work. It will help them stay focused. Moreover, meditation comes with its own set of benefits. It helps to control anxiety, brings self-awareness, boosts one's attentiveness, and more.
10. Smoke Cessation Campaign
Smoking has become a very common habit among professionals around the world. And the most obvious reason cited by many for this is the ever-growing work stress. Everyone knows that smoking can cause various chronic heart and lung diseases. It has become very important to curb this.
However, implementing a smoke cessation campaign at the workplace can help mitigate this issue to a certain extent, if not the whole. You can reach out to the employees with ways to recede smoking. You can incentivize their efforts to leave smoking too. You can declare "no-smoking" zones in and around the workplace. It will help the employees achieve better stamina and reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases.
11. Work Breaks
Working longer hours at a go harms an employee's body. These include backaches, headaches, muscle cramps, and eye strains. As You can encourage your employees to take breaks at regular intervals. It is important to unwind and relax from work for better balance and health.
Such breaks help employees eliminate the stress that accumulates during work. Also, these small breaks for either drinking water or stretching vital body parts has their own benefits. It helps them rehydrate and maintain normal blood circulation. Thus, making the employee feel rejuvenated.
12. Pace Up With the Senior
Every change in the workplace should begin from the top level. Most of the time, employees look up to their seniors for motivation. Embracing workplace wellness ideologies for a healthy work environment is no exceptional. You should lead by example. Motivating the employees by challenging them to pace up with their seniors will create healthy competition. It will lead to the effective implementation of various workplace wellness ideas put in place.
Moreover, it also helps to break boundaries and create a more transparent workplace. Hence, helping employees learn more and excel in their careers.
13. Games and Other Activities
Indoor and outdoor games can be a great addition to your workplace wellness. Indoor games like chess and checkers can help relieve employees of mental stress. Having a space for outdoor activities will let employees test their physical endurance.
14. Let It Be Green
A clean and green campus helps to create a cool and calm environment. Plants filter out unnecessary gases, which positively impact employees' productivity. They give them a feeling of freshness. Small plants around office spaces also help create a healthy work environment. Also, it make the office landscape look good and vibrant.
15. Hosting a Virtual Wellness Retreat
A virtual retreat can be a great way to bring all your employees together and celebrate wellness. You can arrange a full-day retreat by holding online yoga classes and nutrition sessions by top-level experts. And make your employees experience all things wellness from their comfortable couches.
16. Celebrating Fitness Friday
Friday is almost the weekend, making it the best day to try wellness activity in the office. One day a week is enough for the employees to freshen their minds through fitness activities. That Friday can act like a getaway from work towards healthy living, and not too much.
17. Health Fair
Health fairs in the workplace can be great way to encourage employee wellness. Plan a health fair where you invite experts to promote their health services. They can further discuss the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Besides, fun-filled wellness activities will implant enthusiasm and excitement among the employees.
18. Employee Survey
Implementing wellness programs in the workplace is possible if your employees enjoy them. You have to know what programs keep the workforce engaged. Due to this, it is better to do a basic employee survey for their feedback. Once you get the insights, it becomes easier to put them in place.
19. Walking Meetings
Meetings are pretty much tiring. So try to make them fun by introducing the concept of walking meetings at times. As you know, walking is a great form of exercise and meetings are mandatory. Combine the two and get yourself a healthy workforce.
20. Stairs instead of Elevators
Climbing stairs every day is great for fitness. If your office is on the 5th floor, there are no chance employees will take the stairs. Elevators do make it easy and less exhausting. But you can put a note on the elevator door asking employees to take the stairs instead and make it more healthy.
21. Workout Passes
Offering an hour to your employees every day for a workout can be a key to motivating them. Amid all work stress, what else does anybody require if they get a chance to do something for their health?
All you need to do is create workout passes and distribute them to your employee. They can take some time out from their hectic schedules for minimal workout sessions. A little flexibility kick is what they deserve to get some exercise.
22. Fitness Challenges and Contests
When there are contests and challenges, there should be prizes. And when there are prizes, no one lets the opportunity slide. Employees will get a lot out of walking, running, and cycling challenges. Fun attached with fitness- employees will be thrilled and already. These types of challenges bring the entire office on board.
Conducting sleep , water, and nutrition challenges can incentivize crucial lifestyle change. It is effective especially when you attach rewards to them . The contests can be one week or 8 weeks long. The goal of the challenge should be simple. To push the workers to enter the fitness challenges. Get the competition out, and everyone will come around.
23. Promote Walking and Cycling
As discussed, walking is a great way to start a healthy lifestyle. Although it is obvious to be running late for work in the morning amidst all the rush. Employees either commute by public transport or private. However, as an employer, you can seek to change that and ask your employees to start walking to the office. You can ask those living nearby to commute either by walking or cycling.
24. Lunch and Learn
A lunch and learn proves to be an excellent way to develop health consciousness in the employees. A lunch and learn involves all employees having a lunch where they can share each other's fitness activities and get inspired. Even in an informal atmosphere, there is a lot to learn. The employees can motivate each other to maintain good health. Collaborate and learn to drive each other towards development.
25. Wellness Application
Technology has taken over the current world. There are plenty of wellness applications out there in the market. These employee well-being tools can come in handy if you want to promote healthy living at work. You can hold several wellness activities on these applications' virtual platforms. Employee engagement is the key factor that you need to keep in mind.
The best part of these apps is their ability to sync and keep track of all physical activities. You can track health assessments, heart rate , step tracker, and every other health activity of your employees. It further helps to make employees and employers aware of their health. Also, employee participation increases through gamification and fitness rewards. So, launch a wellness application to see the change and how they works towards leading a healthy life.
26. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness practices at the workplace have become more popular than ever. It can includes breathwork, cultivating positive thinking and emotions, meditation, and many more.
Incorporating mindfulness meditation into employees' routines will help them become productive at work. You can do it. By encouraging employees to take a 10-15 minutes break between work.
To perform mindfulness at work, one can skip sitting on their yoga mats and take the asana position. They can sit in their chairs, in a cozy corner, or if there is a window or balcony and take deep breaths. Look outside and at any other natural object in the office and focus on it.
Besides providing visual relaxation and mind, it will enhance their well-being . And stay well.
27. Flexible Work Hours
Flexible working hours are the need of the century. Work culture is evolving with time, and so are employees and their skills.
Flexible working hours allow employees to start and finish their day when they want. Employees can come to work earlier and leave earlier, and vice versa, than the defined time.
It will encourage employees to take time to practice health and wellness activities. And indulge themselves in productive hobbies. Again, employees today prefer a great work environment with flexible schedules. One which can keep their mental and spiritual health issues at bay.
28. Corporate Yoga
Corporate Yoga falls under corporate wellness. It guides employees in simple yoga postures or techniques. It can be either stretches, breathing techniques, or introspection exercises.
Corporate Yoga enhances the workplace's mental, physical, spiritual, and intellectual well-being. It further saves healthcare costs and making corporate wellness more fun.
Here are a few corporate yoga postures -
2 minutes of Shoulder Rolls
1-minute Open Chest Stretch
30 secs to 1-minute Neck Stretch
2 minutes Chair Twist
1-2 minutes Reverse Prayer Pose
2 minutes Twisted Arm
A quality yoga regime allows employees to de-stress and regain focus on their work. Backaches, neck pain, muscle stiffness, and joint issues are common in working long hours.
Corporate Yoga asana reassures reduced physical pain, stress and anxiety, absenteeism. It also helps to increase productivity and work motivation.
29. Group Outings
Team outings serve as an ice breaker between new and old members. It helps the employees de-stress and chill.
Expedition and exploration activities among teammates can rejuvenate their minds, body, and soul. They increase employee productivity and enthusiasm for work.
Organizing an outdoor event once a month reflects a strong company culture. It shows a culture where employee happiness is prioritized. Corporate outings plans are a fabulous way to pamper your employees. It is also a great way to create a great company culture and reach great heights.
30. Practicing Gratitude
Gratitude is one of the best way to uplift corporate wellness. You can do it by encouraging the practice of recognizing teammates and co-workers. Care, compassion, and gratefulness are essential in the workplace.
Practicing gratitude will leverage workplace culture and the working environment. It will boost the office's spiritual wellness, employee morale, and mental well-being.
Showing gratitude, practicing gratitude challenge , appreciating, and acknowledging employees will alter the employee experience. Today, it is crucial to transform traditional working experiences. it is important to install better approaches to keep a healthy workforce.
Section 8: Major Companies Using Workplace Wellness Programs and Plans
It's hard to balance work and wellness. At some companies, though, it's a little easier, thanks to the awesome corporate wellness programs they offer.
Organic lunches, gym memberships, 24/7 access to a physician, in-office massages, yoga classes, and much more. It's all about wellness in today's work world.
Here are some companies that rank wellness alongside success and invest in employee wellness benefits
Microsoft designed the Living Well Health Center and Pharmacy for comprehensive care. Employees can visit the doctor and get other health services on the Redmond, Washington, campus.
Microsoft offers generous paid parental leave to its employees. Yet, it also requires that Microsoft suppliers offer their employees paid parental leave for a minimum of 12 weeks, up to $1,000 per week.
Employees are encouraged to look after their wellness with a full health package. And that includes physician house calls, paid gym memberships, and on-campus perks, including a spa and sports fields.
Apple is a huge corporation, boasting its 100,000-square-foot wellness center. Its Cupertino facility has a wellness center where the waiting time is reportedly just 5 minutes. Here all Apple employees can avail of services from general health to dental care.
A green campus itself creates an environment of wellness all around it. Committed to its stand on conserving the environment, Apple has planted almost 9000 trees in and around its campus. The trees planted are all drought-tolerant.
Apple's revived Parental Leave Scheme allows its employees to take more weeks off. Employees can take 4 weeks off before delivery and up to 14 weeks post-delivery. Non-birth parents can also avail of parental leaves for as many as 6 weeks.
Draper introduced its employee wellness program back in the year 2006 with the inclusion of an on-site health clinic. It partnered with the Henry County Memorial Hospital for employee healthcare services. Moreover, the in-house healthcare services are also extended to an employee's family for a minimal co-pay.
Draper achieved its goal of smoke cessation among its employees. It educated them about the adverse effects and provided them with free medication.
The company has implemented various fun activities to drive its employees towards wellness. It has introduced incentivization programs like "Dump your Plump" and "Walk to Hawaii ." The company incentivizes its employees' efforts to embrace a healthy lifestyle with gifts and paid trips.
Google is well-known among millennials for its employee health and corporate wellness programs. This credit goes to its on-site gyms and various other wellness facilities.
Its unique corporate wellness programs ensure everything. From nutritious meals to healthcare, they are within the employees' easy reach. Keeping in mind the need to keep an employee's social life intact.
The IT giant allows its employees to take paid voluntary leaves. This is again complemented by the company's will to match the donation made by its employees.
The company also considers its employees' desire to learn and excel. Googlers can offer courses like guitar, professional development, languages, and singing on campus. It also allows the employees to pursue higher education and resume their jobs after returning.
Whole Foods Market
Whole foods acknowledge their employees' mental and physical health issues. They provide health services to assist their Team Members on their paths to wellness and happiness. They expect everyone to arrive at work feeling motivated and inspired.
They have a "Total Health Immersion" Program for their employees. They send chosen Team Members to a week-long health retreat to build and sustain healthy lifestyle changes. If they join, they cover their travel and even 50% of their spouse's expenses. The program comprises a range of one-of-a-kind, intense health and wellness activities.
Whole foods also have a Team Member Assistance Plan (TMAP), which is a free and private service. TMAP offers counseling and assistance for various personal and interpersonal problems. We give Team Members and their families 24/7 access to licensed, specialized physicians through TMAP.
When it comes to employee engagement, Pinterest is changing the game. In 2020, the firm established the "Pinside Out," an internal Pinspiration group in human resources. This group was solely created to hold wellness-focused activities.
It also offers workers employee assistance programs to address mental health challenges.
Pinside Out invites health professionals, experts, and outside speakers to discuss various subjects. Ranging from how to survive the holidays with family to comprehending intersectional feminism. Pinterest workers have also volunteered their time and knowledge to others. They provide virtual sessions such as meditation workshops.
GoodRx believes workplace wellness programs show that a firm values its employees' well-being. Furthermore, wellness benefits facilitate lower stress and increased productivity.
The company provides flexible work schedules and generous parental leave. They have also built a vibrant cultural atmosphere by hosting volunteers in the local community. They even partner with non-profit organizations and have an unlimited vacation policy.
At GoodRx, they provide free access to Sibly, an app that connects you with mental health help. They also offer a gym stipend and weekly yoga/meditation lessons.
Asana specializes in work management software recognizing the significance of employee health. Their objective is to help their employees "work harder and better." They want people to give their all alongside naps.
Yes, Asana is a company where sleeping on the job is openly encouraged at times. Besides the greenery, natural light, and healthy cuisine, their offices have designated "sleep rooms."
Asana has even focused on employee happiness with daily yoga classes and complimentary gym memberships for all staff.
Just do it! Of course, Nike provides some exceptional employee wellness initiatives.
Nike places a strong focus on physical fitness. You can find weight rooms, yoga studios, an indoor basketball court, and a turf field on their 200-acre property. Besides, there is a cross-training room, a rock-climbing wall, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool for their staff.
So there you have it! Installing an Olympic-sized swimming pool in the office is all it takes to initiate a solid employee wellness program.
Accenture is concerned with its workers' minds as well as their bodies. They provide EAPs and support for concerns like stress, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety.
Employees are also provided with Teladoc services. These services allow them to ask a physician for any health risk assessment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
About fitness, Accenture has a revolutionary wellness program. It enables workers to establish health goals and pays them for participating in healthy activities. This also accounts for financial health.
The firm also gives special rates and discounts for gyms and fitness facilities. Also, an online fitness program is conducted that allows staff to work out whenever they want.
In an article by Huffington Post, workplace culture expert Timothy Stenovec recognized Netflix's employee policy as contributing to the company's success.
What was their central idea? New parents can take unlimited time off and up to a year of paid time off.
It's all about ensuring staff can accomplish their jobs without being concerned about what's happening at home. Sometimes an employee can face a difficult circumstance at home, like a family emergency or anything unexpected. During such times, they can take time off with a minimal warning and without any questions asked.
It is the epitome of flexible working, ensuring a good work/life balance for every staff member.
At Intuit, you can get your "om" on. The company's "Fit for Life" program reimburses employees for meditation and mindfulness workshops. Employees are rewarded for stress-reduction activities like walking, breathing exercises, or peaceful music.
Employees can write "mindful moment" advice on the conference rooms' whiteboards and on the company's website.
Expedia's UK headquarters was reportedly called "the happiest workplace in London."
Employees are entitled to a Wellness Allowance. It is worth between £400 and £1,200 and is intended to be used on fitness-related things. Running shoes, skis, a new tennis racket, a gym membership - whatever you want! The argument is that it is up to the employees to decide. And employees are more likely to support the wellness program if they have the flexibility to select.
Employees who stay may expect a travel stipend of £6,000 to £10,000. Also, if you remain with Expedia for more than a year, they will pay for your vacation. Staff retention is strong at this travel firm, as one might assume.
SAS has a bright and open office architecture. With many windows, colorful interiors, and displays of original artwork.
The world headquarters in North Carolina contains an on-site recreation and exercise center and a health care center. The software firm also provides instructional seminars to help staff stay on track with their goals. SAS also provides subsidized on-site childcare for full-time employees who are parents.
Unilever addresses mental health in several ways. Unilever has built a culture where employees feel comfortable seeking help when required. Also, they are not stigmatized for the same. The company provides in-person mindfulness sessions and management training on mental health concerns.
Furthermore, the corporation developed an app called Click well Unilever Wellbeing App. It offers employees health information and emergency support whenever needed.
They have also introduced an 'On-the-job' learning program powered by Flex. It is an internal talent AI-driven marketplace tool that helps match talent to the right opportunity. This allows employees to join new projects alongside their current roles. Unilever is also family-friendly, enabling employees to manage work and commitments simultaneously.
RingCentral, a leading (cloud) communications firm, recognizes the need to unplug to recharge. That's why RingCentral provides its staff with paid time off, and this scheme is called "CaRing Days."
CaRing Days give employees an extra paid holiday and an extended weekend off every quarter. RingCentral introduced "CaRing Days" to match significant awareness days, such as Earth Day and World Mental Health Day. They do this so that individuals who want to volunteer on their days off can do so.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher Scientific recognizes that mental health is a part of overall well-being. And that employees are best supported when they can unite to build a community of care.
The firm established a paid time-off donation program to enable co-workers to assist others in need. Thermo Fisher Scientific provides its workers with several "health and happiness" advantages. These include wellness programs, exercise rewards, and flexible work arrangements.
ClearSale provides "personal improvement" workshops for team members every week. Some topics include the significance of work/life balance, dealing with unpleasant emotions, and an in-depth look at things. The topics discussed are mostly that team members may be interested in learning. They invite specialists to speak at these seminars and have discovered that they inspire their employees.
ClearSale has not scheduled as many in-person cultural activities since the Covid-19 outbreak. So they have supplemented this by offering team members fascinating interests, like Yoga, Zumba, musical skill, and so on. They also host online sessions or performances for their co-workers.
This allows the team members to participate in an entertaining wellness program. By doing so, they can also learn about the personal lives of other colleagues. It's a great bonding exercise.
Rapid7's fundamental principles are the belief that supports and inspires them forward. Bring You is one of them. Their benefits and wellness programs are available to help employees and their family members. The programs are designed to motivate employees to bring their best versions to work every day.
"Learn to Live" and Care.com are two examples of wellness programs they provide. Learn to Live is a free, confidential online resource that offers interactive programs. These programs are mostly focused on combating stress, worry, anxiety, and depression.
Whereas Care.com provides a variety of webinars on topics such as elder care, how to support our children during the pandemic, and so on.
CSAA Insurance Group
At CSAA, employees participating in several wellness programs can result in up to $700 in workplace wellness contributions to a Health Savings Account or Health Reimbursement Arrangement.
Also, employees and their family members can access comprehensive mental health coverage. That includes up to ten free therapy sessions for each issue.
CSAA believes offering worksite wellness programs benefit the organization throughout the employee's career. These programs can assist in increasing recruitment and employee retention.
When done correctly, wellness programs may also lower health risks, resulting in cost savings.
Employers should provide their employees with the best healthcare and wellness programs.
So, why not invest in one that provides both?
In this guide, you can read about the importance of a corporate wellness program and how it benefits a company in tangible and intangible ways. Also, you can now be familiar with the whats and hows of corporate wellness programs. In addition, you will know its significance and how to apply it to your workplace.
This guide will also introduce you to DREYMSS - "The seven ways of wellness you can try to incorporate in our workplace. Aside from that, you will be well-versed in encouraging your employees to lead healthy lives. We conclude by introducing other health-based companies that emphasize employee well-being.
You will have a successful program if you give them that! Launching baselines and KPIs as part of a wellness campaign is important.
A company can track participation rates, health task completion rates, and cost savings through these. Employers also need to reward their employees with monetary or non-monetary rewards.
The Vantage Fit guide inspires action around corporate wellness. Also, it includes information to organize corporate wellness activities. It also lets you award your employees for any big or small achievements. In conclusion, a successful corporate wellness program is a circumstance where everyone benefits.