Over the last few years, the wheels have fallen off the traditional work train, with companies and employees looking to embrace (finally) a new paradigm for wellness.
We’re no longer pushing overtime, over-stressed, overloaded work plates, and we’re now looking for a sweet spot with balance. We have more access than ever to health plans, mental health care, and the prioritization of workplace wellness (thankfully) because let’s face it, burn-out just isn’t the vibe.
So what can a healthy, happy workplace look like, and why should businesses care?
We’re lining up the goods …
What is Workplace Wellness?
It should come as no surprise (as employees ourselves) that happy, de-stressed, healthy people perform better in the workplace and not just for the benefit of the business, but for the benefit of the entire office: elevating teamwork, balancing office morale, and feeling more satisfied and positive about their roles.
When we look at wellness in the workplace, it’s more than just a solid lunch break and a handful of sick days; workplace wellness refers to the holistic implementation of health-promoting activities, company policies, and programs that support and maintain healthy workplace standards. This may include:
- health education
- personal time off
- mental health support
- stress management techniques
- fitness programs
- and healthcare memberships
How Employee Wellness Positively Impacts Your Business
By taking care of workplace wellness, not only are we promoting a healthier, more balanced lifestyle, but we’re also promoting productivity, balance, lower stress, and increased success all around.
Here are a few key important impacts of taking care of employee wellness:
Increased Office Morale:
Lower stress and better health lead to positive mental attitudes about life and work, leading to a more positive lifestyle overall. Increased positivity in the workplace is truly infectious and helps to build a positive workplace overall.
Nearly 70% of employees that are a part of wellness programs report increased job satisfaction post-enrolment. Studies show that happy employees are:
Studies show that exercising regularly (at regular intervals – consistently), quitting smoking, and conscious eating dramatically increase ‘presenteeism.’ Employees who are more present at work (because they feel so damn good) have increased productivity, efficiency, and reduced distractions.
Improve Employee Retention:
When potential employees are on the hunt for a new role, 87% say they consider employee wellness programs as a major deciding factor. Wellness program components like gym memberships, alternative care, and mental health support help to solidify employee retention and support long-term loyalty.
It’s simple – healthier people have fewer sick days and fewer sick days mean a decrease in absenteeism. A whopping 52% of employees even admit that employee wellness programs have ultimately reduced their number of sick days per year.
How to Prioritize Wellness in Your Workday
With wellness programs coming into play, people are finding far more support in the workplace and far more encouragement to take care of themselves first and foremost.
But outside of programs, gyms, and better healthcare, there are a few simple changes you can make to your every day in order to maximize your wellness in the workplace:
1. Get up and move
Sitting for 8+ hours a day goes against our human nature. Movement increases circulation, oxygenation of the body, cognitive function, focus, mental clarity, AND mood.
Add in movement before work (even 10-15 minutes will do) and set a timer at work that reminds you to get up, stretch and move for a few minutes every hour.
2. Peripheral Vision
Staring at a screen, straight ahead, all day isn’t natural either.
Taking screen breaks regularly to look around the room and move your eyes peripherally (side-to-side) for 20 seconds every hour can help improve vision, clarity, and memory.
Using horizontal eye movements forces your left and right hemispheres to connect and interact for a moment, strengthening memory and helping bring instant motivation and fresh thoughts.
3. Drink Your Water
Not only is your body made of water, but so is your brain.
Keeping your body, muscles, and brain hydrated throughout the day helps to improve brain and heart function and increases healthy circulation. Decreasing dehydration helps to increase the brain’s gray matter, which ultimately improves cognitive function. Studies even show a 14% increase in productivity with increased hydration.
So get it in!
4. Screens Off for Better Sleep
Getting better sleep is one of the quickest ways to improve your health + wellness, decrease stress, and improve your mood overall.
And the best way to improve your sleep is to have better hormone synthesis …, and the best way to do that is to decrease your exposure to blue light before bed.
Lowering your exposure to artificial light at least two hours before bed can improve your sleep and wake cycles and regulate your sleep hormones (melatonin) and your wake-up and focus hormones (serotonin).
Looking for more ways to improve your workplace health + wellness?
We’ve got the arsenal ready over at StellaPop!