6 Changes Businesses Can Make For a Healthier Workplace in the New Year

Published January 5th, 2020 - 12:09 GMT
Healthier Workplaces for the New Year? Companies Can Use These 6 Tips
Healthier team members can deliver higher productivity. (Shutterstock)

On average, most full-time employees spend eight hours a day at their offices, which means they spend more than 2,000 hours a year in the same spot, mostly sitting, staring at screens, answering phone calls and typing. After a few years of living through this routine, many employees report back and neck pain, eye damage, in addition to weight gain.

Having a healthy workspace that maintains employees' physical and mental health can have a crucial impact on their overall capacity and loyalty. In the new year, businesses and managers are encouraged to make significant changes in their workplaces in order to create a healthier environment that can boost employee productivity and satisfaction. 

1. Healthy Meals

With very short lunch breaks and limited delivery options, most workers resort to ordering food from fast-food chains that sell huge portions for cheaper prices. This can obviously have long-term negative health effects.

To change this, companies can offer to share the cost of daily meal plans with higher nutritional value at affordable prices. Alternatively they can offer healthy meals on a daily basis. Either of these options can pay off  when healthier employees end up taking fewer sick leaves and become part of more energetic teams. 

2. On-site Gym

Having an on-site gym in the office, or at least in the building, will help employees work out more regularly, which will contribute to a healthier workforce. Granting workers short gym breaks during work hours will help them re-energize and keep their productivity high during all hours of the day.

Exercise breaks help employees' physical and mental health as they are given the chance to be more active, take their eyes off screens, and relieve stress and alleviate joint pain. Having a few minutes to work out in the office can also be a good window to socialize with one another.

In smaller companies, workers will appreciate free or shared-cost gym classes in near-by recreation centers.

3. Physiotherapy

Ever since Google introduced massage sessions in the workplace, the trend has been spreading around big companies globally. Including physiotherapy as part of employee medical insurance coverage is not only a privilege, but can also be a solution for work-related ailments the result from long hours  of screen time.

If insurance coverage is not an option, companies can share the cost of reduced-price sessions or hire a massage therapist to come in a few times a month. 

4. Flexible Schedules

Offering workers flexible schedules has also been a growing trend around the world, with businesses shifting their focus from the number of hours employees spend in the office to the actual output they deliver.

More people express their desire to work in companies with flexible hours since it helps them have a better life-work balance and allows them more time to spend with family and friends.

Employees who don't have to spend eight hours a day in offices report more job satisfaction and less stress.

5. Comfortable Workspace 

Workers spend most days sitting at their desks, which is why investing in comfortable chairs is crucial for companies that want healthier, happier team members. Additionally, sunshine and nature play a major role in workers' mental health and motivation. 

6. Smoke-Free Offices

Despite smoking being banned in public spaces across most countries, many employees still report that their co-workers smoke within their offices. Company owners and managers need to pay more attention to ensure more strict implementation of these laws, in order to maintain healthier workplaces.

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