It’s a simple fact - when employees are feeling their best, they will be working their best.
In the past, workplace wellness was just seen as something that an “extra friendly” boss might consider, but that image is quickly changing. According to studies done on productivity at work, the numbers don’t lie: it’s estimated that Canadian businesses lose $16.6 million annually due to poor employee health. With big guns like Asana, Google and Microsoft investing in nap rooms, free massages and community bikes, it is apparent that there is a clear link between wellbeing and productivity.
Looking at the big picture, wellness is a win-win: your employees are happier, and they are adding more value to your company.
So, how do you create a healthy workspace?
Here are our top tips for encouraging employee health.
1) Focus on Prevention
Being proactive before illnesses occur is both cheaper and more effective than treating them as they come. The problem is, you can’t just tell your staff to drink some electrolytes or take a multivitamin.
What you can do is optimize your office space with immune-boosting properties. You can do this by building a natural balance in your environment with probiotic cleaning. The good bacteria, similar to those found in yogurt and kombucha, play a key role in overall health by helping to aid digestion, prevent skin problems, and stimulate the immune system's function.
Bringing probiotics into your workspace may lead to fewer sick days, fewer costs related to absenteeism, and more cheerful staff who feel confident that their employers care.
2) Enable Healthy Eating
You hired your employees for their bold and brilliant minds - so it’s important to keep them nourished! While busy workers can tend to skip lunch or grab whatever is fast and ready, it’s better to slow down and make sure your staff are getting the fuel that they need to succeed.
When stocking the office cupboard, switch the chips to veggie crackers, chocolate chip cookies to oatmeal raisin, and candy to fresh fruit. Research shows that the more fruits and vegetables people consume (up to 7 portions), the happier, more engaged, and more creative they tend to be.
Other ways to advocate for healthy eating include choosing local farm-to-table restaurants for company events, providing fresh filtered water and having cooking appliances so that staff can eat a homemade lunch at the office.
3) Get Up and Moving
It’s easy for staff to get stuck at their desks, especially with deadlines quickly approaching and bonuses on the line. However, fitting a little exercise into the timetable has a plethora of cognitive benefits such as improved concentration, a sharper memory, enhanced creativity and faster learning. Also, it’ll help employees look and feel their best while letting off some steam!
There are many simple and inexpensive ways to inspire staff to be more active. Try offering subsidized fitness center memberships, creating an informal staff sports team, going ice skating or hiking as team building events, or giving incentives to staff who walk or bike to work (fun fact: this also helps to make your office more sustainable!).
4) Keep it Clean
Your workspace should be a sanctuary for learning, building, and getting things done. With the increasing fear of office-related illnesses such as COVID-19, it can be hard for staff to focus on what really matters.
Traditional sanitization processes are always going to be necessary, but with so many moving parts in your office, it can still be easy for dangerous pathogens to spread on chemically-stripped desks, chairs, laptops and floors. Consider using Origen Clean, a non-toxic product that colonizes on clean surfaces and prevents bad bacteria from having any area to grow. It also eats away dirty biofilm, leaving your environment optimized for up to 5 days after application.
5) Get Friendly
The last step to creating a healthy workspace is to build relationships with your staff. Getting creative with your team-building activities entices staff to hang out outside of office hours, building trust, respect and understanding between them.
Do you want your team to become better collaborators? Try a spooky escape room. Want them to be more connected? A board game can help, with everyone contributing their skills to achieve a common goal. There are plenty of virtual games available to bring groups together as well if desired. Trying to improve group morale? Give the game “two truths and a lie” a try. Getting a better sense of what employees have done in the past can unlock a new level of understanding between teams.
These activities may seem irrelevant when it comes to your bottom line, but strengthening the bonds between your staff and improving their moods is imperative to their performance. If you show your staff that you care about their wellbeing, they will care more about you. Paying attention to workplace wellness will help you and your company thrive and be the happiest and healthiest that you can be.
Ensure Your Building Is Healthy & Balanced
At Origen Clean, we believe all buildings should be balanced. That's why we've put together a free e-book with our top 10 tips to help keep your staff, customers, and stakeholders healthier over time. Find out more on how to ensure the most optimized environment for your business, leading to greater longevity, wellness and prosperity.
Written by: Irma Curiel
• Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Worker productivity measures. From: https://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/model/evaluation/productivity.html
• Taylor, J. and Mitchell, D., (2007). The Wonder Of Probiotics. New York: St. Martin's Press, pp.18,19. From: https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=zVhoMzE95bkC&oi=fnd&pg=PR9&dq=cleaning+probiotics+workplace&ots=xLJl67bLga&sig=A_zUEBeO1VAYye6x_vl_qlBN2zs&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false
• Ron Friedman. (2014). Regular exercise is part of your job. Harvard Business Review. Frim: https://hbr.org/2014/10/regular-exercise-is-part-of-your-job
• The 6Q Blog. (2020). 57 great ways to encourage better employee health. From: https://inside.6q.io/57-great-ways-to-encourage-better-employee-health/
• Jerome M. Adams. (2019). The value of worker well-being. SAGE journals. From: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0033354919878434
• Ron Friedman. (2014). What you eat affects your productivity. Harvard Business Review. From: https://hbr.org/2014/10/what-you-eat-affects-your-productivity
• Conner TS, Brookie KL, Richardson AC, Polak MA. On carrots and curiosity: eating fruit and vegetables is associated with greater flourishing in daily life. Br J Health Psychol. 2015 May;20(2):413-27. From: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25080035/