In the first of a series of blogs on the subject, we’re bringing you the lowdown on workplace wellbeing.
We’ve all heard of the wellness movement, seen the reports and have considered downloading the wellbeing apps – but do they offer any benefit to employees?
In short, yes they do. While learning about how great kale is and how you can live a pain-free life without any sugar (we’ll see about that one!) may not lead to increased productivity, there are some things that the workplace can’t do without.
Despite high levels of investment in incentives and rewards, employees are becoming increasingly aware of lapses in their wellbeing offerings and there are a number of things that employers can do which involve little or no actual cost – just simple encouragement.
Dedicate more time to mindfulness
It might sound like we’re away with the fairies, but approaching mindfulness as a company can allow staff to better cope with stressful situations, improve morale, boost energy and increase your staff retention rates.
Mindfulness exercises could include things like meditation and yoga – depending on how interested your staff are – but could also include:
• Encouraging staff to focus on one task at a time
• Spending some ‘switched off’ time during the working day
• Use breaks to reconnect and rebalance – regularly stretch, go for a short walk or take some deep breaths
• Leaving work at the office.
These exercises can keep negativity in check which, in turn, could lower blood pressure, reduce stress, improve the workforce’s relationships and increase productivity. Win-win! (In fact, it’s a win-win-win-win-win… you get the picture!)
Step away from the desk
Yep – that’s right. Make sure staff spend some time during the day away from their desks. Not only will this help break up time spent staring at a screen, but will also stimulate the senses and give your workforce a chance to distance themselves from the tasks at hand to allow for some objectivity.
There are lots of easy ways to do this – offer to do the tea round, go for a walk or eat out at lunch. It’s easy to be tempted to dine al-desko, but this is a bad habit.
Similarly, by simply standing or moving more throughout the day, a number of health concerns can be avoided, including unhealthy blood sugar levels, Type Two diabetes and heart disease, as well as poor muscle tone and posture. Even a walk to the vending machine for a (healthy!) snack can get them moving!
Drink more (water)
It’s essential to ensure that employees are keeping hydrated during the working day. Coffee and tea are diuretics, which increase the need for multiple toilet breaks, but don’t actually help with water absorption. Research shows that even a one to three per cent decrease in hydration can ruin concentration and mental performance – not to mention increase the chances of a pounding headache.
Following these tips should help staff manage their working day, keeping positive mindsets in check and encouraging productivity and happiness at work. However, it’s also just as important for them to take advantage of time off, too. Holidays and breaks – regardless of whether they’re a sun worshipper or city explorer – are one of the best remedies to managing a hectic lifestyle and will leave your workforce feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the days, weeks and months ahead. The Inspire Travel Card can help with this – from one-off gifts or incentives to a full staff benefit scheme, have a look at how versatile it can be, and how it could improve your organisation’s employee retention and engagement rates.
We’d love to hear what keeps your company motivated and mindful in the office – why not set up a taskforce to see what works for your organisation?
Do get in touch and keep an eye out on our LinkedIn page or on Twitter to see more workplace wellbeing tips.