5 Healthy Practices for a Productive and Happy Team


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The CDC Foundation states that employers lose $1,685 per employee due to absenteeism, which is defined as the frequent planned or unplanned absence of a staff member. In the US that totals up to around $255 billion solely due to absenteeism.


The number one reason for employee absenteeism are minor illnesses, and not soon after follows mental health being the third biggest reason.


Is there any way for employers to help keep their employees healthy? Well, many companies, like Google According to a study done by the University of California in 2017, they found that employees that participated in the studies wellness program given by their company increased worker productivity by over 5%, which is roughly equivalent to adding one additional day of productive work per month.


How can you encourage your employees to be healthier?



Health and Wellness Programs


One way to encourage employees to become healthier would be by implementing a health and wellness program. This program may take a few months in order to research, plan, and implement, but can help your business save thousands of dollars. SHRM, an HR virtual group, posted an article giving detailed instructions on implementing a health and wellness program.


One company that has implemented a successful health and wellness program is Google. Their program is based on a triad of happiness, health, and life balance. One option that they offer are free, healthy lunches, on-site gyms and physicians, which gives employees easily accessible options to better their health while at work. Google offers all employees, even contractors and temporary employees, medical insurance, including dental and vision coverage, if needed. Google’s programs aim to create a good health and work-life balance, which many attribute to their success.

Another company that has implemented a successful health and wellness program, specifically regarding mental health, would be Asana. One benefit that they offer to their employees is free therapy through Modern Health, which gives access to professional help that is consistent. Along with free therapy, Asana offers employees executive coaching for personal development in bettering themselves and their wellbeing. The company offers a healthy lifestyle program called Live Well, where they offer a number of different options to encourage a healthy lifestyle during the workweek such as: yoga, monthly nutritional advice, exercise boot camps, and recipe ideas. According to Comparably, Asana is in the top 5% for employee retention compared to the hundreds of other companies rated on their website.



Allow Access to a Discounted Gym


А study done in 2008 by UK-based researchers found that when given access to a gym and used it, that more than 200 employees were more productive during the day at work and felt more satisfied in their job.

If having an on-site gym at your office is not an option, try contacting local fitness gyms and see if there is a discounted deal that you can arrange for your employees.



Choose the Right Office Design


The way that your office is designed can play a big role in employee health and productivity as well. Choosing designs such as a biophilic design or a flexible office space, are known to increase employee health. An article put out by AllWork, a business to business service in New York City, describes how office designs can positively affect the health of your employees.

60% of employees today find it difficult to focus in the workplace due to the work environment. The right office space design can help fix this. A flexible office space, which we go into more detail in our Office Design Trends 2022 post, which can be found here, is one of the easiest ways to get your employees moving during the work day. Using this office design allows your employees to get up and move more, because typically employees move around different tables and areas of the office with this design.

This design also allows for quiet rooms to be designated, which can be useful in increasing productivity and keeping your employees healthier. Quiet rooms are beneficial to an office space because it allows for stress relief. Workplace stress increases risks for high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and stroke, which leads to higher rates of absenteeism and lower rates of production. As well as stress relief, it allows for a room that allows for all outside noise to be stopped so that, if a staff member needs to be totally distraction free, it gives them a place to do that.



Provide Healthy Food Options


If your office provides a vending machine that offers snacks such as chips or candy bars, or offers sodas, think about switching those items out with healthier options. These healthier options could include premade salads or premade sandwiches, or even protein bars.



Encourage Employees to Walk or Bike to Work if Able Encourage your employees to walk or ride their bike to work if they live close enough to your office. If your employees use public transportation to work, encourage them to get off one or two stops earlier, and walk the rest of the way if possible.


Or, if your employees drive to work, encourage them to park farther away than they normally would, and walk from them. These little changes in the way that your employees get to work will allow them to exercise a little bit more during the day.



Conclusion


This blog post has listed many ways that your company can assist in keeping your employees healthy, happy, and more productive. Does it seem like your employees are constantly taking sick days or mental health days? Does your company have anything that encourages your staff to live a healthier lifestyle? How are you able to support your employees?


You can have the best and most consistent customers in the world, but if your employees are not producing well because they are not healthy, physically or mentally, you have nothing to give to your customers.


It can be easy to blame lower productivity on external factors, but it is vital to look at the internal factors for productivity and see what changes can help your employees to be more productive.


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