Everywhere around us, from our newspapers and magazines to our TV shows, widgets and mailers, people are talking about improving our overall wellness—both mentally and physically. Why then should the workplace, where we spend much of our time, be any different? Incorporating a green health and/or wellness initiative in the workplace can be a great addition to any office and one that can be done easily and painlessly—and potentially save you money in the long run.
Though many dictators might disagree, happy employees are the best employees; and a large part of that happiness is directly correlated with the employee’s bodily and spiritual health. Employees who eat well, exercise regularly and feel generally more fulfilled will time and time again give an exemplary performance in the workplace. While you can’t dictate what your employees eat, you can make available healthier options and alternatives. Do you have a break room that you stock? If so, why not choose to substitute pop, chips and other sugary or fatty products with juice, fruit, yogurt, granola and other healthy alternatives. Everyone needs a little boost during the day and fueling that boost with natural, organic sugars, proteins and carbohydrates will produce a better, more effective boost, satisfying the caloric and metabolic needs of the employee without having the disastrous crash brought on by caffeine, refined sugars and other similar products.
Healthy eating options aren’t just solely relegated to the break room. As stated before, you can’t control what your employees eat, but you can give them options. Incentivize your employees’ meal choices by working with a restaurant that offers healthy cuisine options and see if you can set up a discount partnership. If that doesn’t work, offer an internal system of reward; you can have contests with your employees to see who can eat the best, compiling receipts from healthy restaurants and awarding a winner each week or month.
Fitness is another aspect keen on helping a person’s wellness and many businesses today are offering gym memberships or company discounts towards one. There are even some companies that have begun offering classes in yoga, Pilates, Zumba and other group fitness activities into their office, holding the classes before, after or during the workday—which for many can be a much relished break and give your employees the boost they’ve been looking for. You could also find ways of supplying bonuses to those who bike or walk to work or try coming up with fun company activities outside of the office like charity runs/walks.
Proper wellness extends to the mind as much as it does the body, and while diet and exercise will contribute greatly to their wellness, some employees might also benefit from having a green initiative in the company, a positive cause they can get behind. This could be having a solid recycling program, switching to green methods of communication or eliminating non-biodegradable items from the office like Styrofoam cups and certain printer cartridges.
An employee’s wellness means they are more active, more involved, more fulfilled and therefore better employees. And when you can provide that wellness at your office you find employees more eager or comfortable with being at work and a decrease in absenteeism and sick days—therefore increasing the overall efficiency of the company.
About the Author: Mike Walters has been writing about health and wellness for over a decade. When he isn’t busy writing about the benefits of wellness programs, he spends his free time kayaking and going on walks with his dog Max.