Whether you’re looking to attract or retain your best employees, it’s important that your company makes it a priority to cultivate a healthy workplace. More and more people expect their company to offer some sort of wellness initiative; and an increasing number of companies are seeing the impact those wellness initiatives can have not only on employee morale but on overall company success. You don’t need to spend a fortune to promote a healthy work environment, either. In fact, creating a healthy workplace can pay for itself over time. How? It turns out that healthy employees are more productive, less expensive, and better brand ambassadors. Let’s delve into each of these segments and then discuss four simple ways to create a healthier workplace today.

Increased Productivity

Reduced sick time means your employees are physically in the office more often, and while they’re at work they also get more done. Studies show that healthier workers are more productive, but you don’t need a study to see that employees who get better sleep, eat well, exercise, and stress less are able to think more clearly and better manage their workload. Encouraging your employees to lead active lives and take breaks to de-stress helps them approach their work with a healthier, more balanced attitude.

Lowered Expenses

Above all, healthy employees are cheaper to keep around. Healthier employees take fewer sick days, for one, meaning they cost the company less in lost hours. Healthier employees also mean lowered healthcare costs—more than 60% of employers in a recent survey agree that their wellness initiatives have reduced their organizations’ healthcare costs overall.

Better Brand Ambassadors

Healthier employees have more positive attitudes and are ultimately able to be better ambassadors for your brand. Think about it: who would you rather have representing your company culture? A burnt out, stressed employee who feels like they can barely exercise let alone take time off? Or a happy, well-adjusted employee who knows their company values their health and wellness?

It’s clear to see the value of prioritizing a healthy work environment for the well-being of your employees as well as your bottom line. So what are some ways you can get started?

4 Simple Ways To Make Your Workplace Healthier

You can’t control what your employees do when they leave the office, but since the average person spends a third of their life at work, prioritizing health and wellness at work can lend itself to your employees leading healthier lives overall. As stated above, implementing these changes doesn’t need to be costly or complicated. Here are four simple initiatives to get you started.

  1. Offer Fitness Incentives

Most office workers spend the majority of their day sitting at a desk. To encourage employees to get more activity both during the workday and outside of it, many companies offer fitness incentives by partnering with nearby health clubs. Gyms will typically offer healthcare incentives for people who visit a certain number of times per month, as well as give discounts to companies who refer a large amount of their employees. Offering fitness incentives like gym discounts or reduced health insurance costs can encourage your employees to stay active, and active employees are statistically more productive. A study from PeopleKeep found that “employees who exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week are 15 percent more likely to have higher job performance.”

  1. Stand Up For Health

You’ve likely seen the studies declaring sitting “the new smoking” in terms of its health detriments—and for good reason. Being sedentary for too much of the day can have devastating health consequences. Look no further than this article on the dangers of sitting from the Washington Post to sum up some of the worst consequences of prolonged sitting: high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, muscular degeneration, and slowed brain function. Not exactly a recipe for health, is it? It’s easy to see how offering your employees the option of a standing desk can benefit their health and make your company more productive and successful.

  1. Offer healthy snacks and prioritize nutritious company meals

Nutrition is central to optimal health. While you can’t control what your employees eat at home, within the office it’s important to consider special dietary concerns and offer healthy options when catering lunch in, for example. Consider ordering from health-conscious restaurants and offering nutritious snacks in the communal area. Swap out vending machines full of candy bars and sodas for health snacks like fresh fruit or granola bars. Simple offerings like this show your employees that you value their wellness and encourage them to fuel up and maintain their focus with more nutritious options.

  1. Encourage stress-relief breaks

Ask yourself this: does your company encourage employees to take breaks? Or is it an unwritten rule that everyone eats lunch at their desk each day? If your employees don’t feel like they can take breaks to clear their mind or stretch their legs, you’re reinforcing a culture that can lead to burn-out. Even stepping away from your desk for a few moments can help refresh your mind and relieve stress, allowing you to approach problems with a new perspective and handle your workload better. Encourage your employees to step away from problems when they need a break. You can even go as far as creating a designated “wellness” room with soft lighting, a cozy chair, and some essential oils, or offering on-site yoga classes once a month over lunch. Let your employees know that you value their health—your investments in their wellness will pay for themselves!

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