Top Inexpensive Ideas for Employers
to Increase Health and Wellness at the Office
Our Holiday Gift to You……….
(Please note, they are in no particular order, Happy Holidays!)
Health and Well-Being
1. Promote drinking more water. Water is essential for cell health and for the entire human body to function. Have access to clean, remineralized water whenever possible. For extra fun, have some fruits or vegetables on hand to infuse your water. Red Studio Principal Architect Antonio Santini loves to add lemon and frozen cherries to his water!
2. Take a breath and stretch it out. This one sounds a little strange, but think about it, breathing deeply induces relaxation and can be a powerful tool to regain focus and attention to the task at hand. This goes hand-in-hand with stretching. So many of us maintain a hunched posture when sitting at our desks, that it is actually difficult to take in deep breaths. In our office, we installed some exercise rings and have had a trainer in to coach our team on simple, effective ways to stretch at work. We find this opens us up our bodies and encourages deep breathing.
3. Get moving. Start a walking group at lunch or encourage walking meetings. Principal Denise Santini, who recently received her WELL AP certification, makes a goal of achieving 30 minutes of physical activity five times a week.
4. Free address and seat variety. This will help your team to change their daily habits and combats boredom and complacency in the office while empowering individuals with choices and control of their immediate environment. Feel like getting some daylight, take a seat near the window; need some heads-down time, find a quiet, lounge spot in the corner; you get the idea.
5. Access to fresh and healthy snacks. You know that one person in the office, the one who has the dish of candy conveniently on their desk tempting everyone? Why not try having a dish of fruits and/or vegetables in a central location so your team has the option to munch on something healthy instead. We keep a bowl of seasonal fruit on the cafe counter.
6. Colour, plants and music. Who doesn’t love a little ambiance? Colour theory can be a powerful tool when creating a space, and it is known that colours such as red and yellow are energizing colours whereas blue and green help to generate and retain memories. The addition of even a few plants can significantly increase productivity by connecting employees with the feeling of being closer to nature. Music is known to help employees be more emerged in their work, and can offer an easy escape while you tend to those less enjoyable tasks.
7. Rethink the smoke break. This one comes from the mind of Red Studio Principal Denise Santini. “If we could just rethink the smoke break, but replace the smoking with something healthier, it would be great!” bear with us here, our anecdotal experience is that taking social breaks with co-workers builds healthy relationships with each other. Many smokers talk of the shared experience of smoking, citing the relationships they build with other smokers as an aspect of the pleasure of smoking. We are all for taking regular short breaks to engage with each other and talk shop about things other than work. It’s good for the soul.
8. It’s about family. Further to the last point, we believe one of the most valuable things you can do to increase the health and wellness of your team is to foster a sense of team and family. This can translate from small to large operations, if there is a simple commitment to the belief that spending time with one another is a good thing. Implement a culture where team members have lunch together, or a weekly coffee mixer. There are dozens of examples of successful companies that have made a commitment to simple team building activities that see greater levels of staff retention and wellness. For us, it is Team Lunches and Smoothie Mondays.
9. Shut it down. Do not check emails outside of work hours – in fact institute an email ban after business hours. Research out of the University of Pennsylvania states that checking emails outside of business hours was the most-cited cause of employee exhaustion in a study.“Organizational expectations can steal employee resources even when actual time is not required because employees cannot fully separate from work,” authors wrote. We believe in balancing one’s work and one’s personal life, and we hope it is something you will incorporate into your business culture.
10. Positive reinforcement. We think that the best way to encourage great work, is to recognize and celebrate great work. At your next meeting, why not try starting off with a MVP from the last week. Highlight a particular team member’s work, make someone feel valued. It doesn’t have to be a highly time consuming portion of meetings, but you will be surprised at how much the continued gesture will be appreciated.
Happy Holidays from our Red Studio team to yours, and we hope you have a very healthy and wellness-focused new year!