So far in our monthly Platinum wellbeing feature, we have covered subjects such as what areas to focus on, how to pull a plan together and how to manage the issue of mental health and wellbeing at work.
In this month’s issue, our aim is to show you how easy it is to begin a programme with 15 simple, low cost and easy to implement ideas.
First things first, look for people in the team who will help you drive consistency. Choose someone (or a number of people) who are passionate about ‘being well’ and would be interested in helping to spread the message at work and help others. Maybe you could reward them for doing so with an extra day or two of holiday?
12 easy ideas
In an earlier edition, we discussed the key areas of wellness and identified the following areas through the Key Pillars of Wellbeing (issue 57). Please note that the area of mental health is not included in this issue, as the topic was covered in detail last month.
We really are what we eat – our workforce will perform better if they eat well.
1It’s easy to identify healthy dining options within a short distance from the office, and then use your staff notice boards to highlight who and where they are.
2 If there is no catering on site, there are good healthy snack box and vending machine specialists who can provide healthy alternatives to sugary / fatty drinks and snacks. One of our favourites is www.healthynibbles.co.uk
3 Fresh fruit boxes in the break rooms – this is a well-used but very effective way of encouraging employees to eat heathy snacks. BUT many companies fall foul of buying poor quality produce which then sits and goes rotten. Our tip is buy less, but more often and of higher quality with a longer shelf life.
The more we move, the better we are – fact.
4 Promote cycle to work schemes and provide a safe area for cyclists to store their bikes. The scheme can be complicated with tax, so try www.cyclescheme.co.uk – they make it easy!
5 Negotiate discounts with local gyms, or use an insurance provider like Vitality who provide massive discounts with selected gym chains. Most importantly, encourage employees to take advantage; it might be worth thinking about flexible working hours to allow employees to attend in no-peak working hours.
6 Try a walking meeting. As crazy as it sounds, conducting a meeting while taking a walk can lead to greater focus, less distraction and quicker decision making. Steve Jobs was a massive fan and used walking meetings as part of his daily schedule.
Creating a healthy and inclusive environment has massive productivity benefits.
7 Use a health calendar to make sure you stay abreast of topical campaigns. The NHS provide an excellent and free service which highlights the dates and content of the main wellbeing campaigns through the year. Go to www.nhsemployers.org for more details.
8 Form an inclusive lunchtime ‘activity club’. It might be as easy as arranging a weekly walk, to encourage a better sense of community amongst the teams at work. Just half an hour of normal paced walking will cover 3000 steps and typically burn up to 150 calories.
9 Standing desks. Did you know standing burns on average 0.7 calories per minute more than sitting? A typical worker would burn 30,000 calories over the course of a year, the equivalent of running ten marathons in a year! Check out fellow Platinum magazine contributors Posturite, they’re offering a 20% discount on certain ergonomic products – go to www.posturite.co.uk.
Technology can play a pivotal role in embedding the long term benefits of wellness at work.
10 Wearable technology. According to a survey by GlobalData in 2018, more than 40% of adults own a wearable tech device such as a FitBit or Apple Watch. However, only a fraction of companies offer the use of wearable technology to encourage wellbeing. Their use can help to motivate increased activity, like moving away from desks, and can also help users to monitor the physical signs of stress alongside apps that are designed to support mental health issues.
11 Flexible working. Technology solutions can significantly reduce the stress caused by having to put long hours in at the office. Video calling, file sharing, and instant messaging can help employees to work smarter. The ViiSana team loves Zoom and PowWowNow for video calling, ZoHo for file sharing and instant messaging – with great results.
12 Virtual GP services is one of the fastest growing technology driven wellness initiatives. The services offer virtual GP consultations, most often via a mobile phone or webcam. The speed of services means that most users are more likely to take active care of their health, as opposed to being put off by long waiting times. This can lead to a significant reduction in both absenteeism and presenteeism.
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