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How to Cultivate a Healthy Workplace (and Improve Employee Engagement)

Lack of productivity in the workplace? You're not alone—learn how you can boost productivity and revenue.

6 min read

Is keeping your employees happy and healthy top of mind for your small business?

It should be!

If you still believe that salary and benefits are the be all end all of an employee's satisfaction (and well-being), then you're sadly mistaken.

There are research and stats that show it's time for employers to kick it up a notch by cultivating a healthy workplace.

Not only will this benefit your employees, but it'll also benefit the company. That's because a healthy workplace paves the way for higher productivity.

How do you do this, you ask?

It's not as hard (or expensive) as you think.

Let's take a look.

Allow Your Employees to Disconnect (and Take More Vacations)

About 61% of the workforce in America is burned out from work. And this has everything to do with the inability to disconnect from work and relax while at home.

Smartphones and tablets have given us enhanced connectivity to the world. But it comes at a cost. If you're pinging employees after-hours, then they're never officially "off."

This is problematic for their health because it takes away from their time to unwind.

In the past, people could clock out, go home and enjoy their families and favorite pastimes. But the internet and mobile devices make this impossible to do.

So reward your employees by not emailing or texting them after they leave the office. And allow them to take more vacation time so they can come back with fresh minds and ready to work.

And so they won't have to use up all of their sick days just to catch a break.

Offer a Wellness Program to Employees

Employees spend about a third of their lives working full-time for employers. So it makes sense for the company to be proactive in ensuring their well-being.

In Canada, 60% of employees feel companies have some responsibility in ensuring the good health of their workers.

The best way to do your part is to offer a wellness program. There are different ways you can implement this cost-effectively.

For instance, you can make healthier lunches and snacks, offer incentives for quitting smoking or provide yoga classes.

Do a vote to see what your workers would like to see in your wellness program.

Turn Your Workspace Into a Pet-Friendly Zone

How many of your employees have a pet? Chances are, more than a handful.

While you want to avoid allowing certain species and sizes into the workplace, you can allow smaller pets like cats, dogs, fish and gerbils.

About 80% of employees state that having pets nearby makes them feel happy, relaxed and sociable at work. If you can capture this in your work environment, then you'll have teams of thriving people.

How to Cultivate a Healthy Workplace

Offer Access to a Gym (On-Site or Off-Site)

About 77% of workers say they'd work out more if there were a gym they could use during work hours. And that makes sense.

Most people get off work and don't have any energy or momentum left to work out. So this makes it impossible for your employees to maintain or improve their fitness.

If money allows, take a room in your building and add exercise equipment. You don't have to go crazy -- add things like a Bowflex machine, Ab Glider, treadmill and recumbent bike.

One or two of each should suffice, depending on the size of your workforce. Another option is to offer to pay for a membership at a local fitness studio.

Replace Workstations with Standup Desks

Have you ever heard of sitting disease? It's as ominous as it sounds and is more prominent than you'd like to admit.

Sitting disease is the term used for people struggling with sedentary lifestyles. Not only does sitting at a desk for long hours promote laziness, but it also impairs your health.

Some will even coin sitting as the new smoking.

This increases the odds of your workers getting chronic health problems, like diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. Not to mention the damage to the spine and wrists due to poor postures and office setup.

To counter this, you can add standup desks. This will help to keep workers from slouching and promote the muscles and organs to be engaged throughout the work day.

Color Your Walls Bright Colors

You have 83% of American workers dealing with work-related stress. We already covered several methods you can use to help reduce it (vacation time, disconnecting after work, wellness programs, etc.).

But this can often lead to depression, which is one of the top three workplace problems.

So what can you do to make your environment promote happiness?

Well, you can try painting your walls with brighter colors.

One, in particular, is blue.

One study shows that blue-green can boost productivity and increase calmness (compared to white or red rooms). Blue helps workers to focus and get work completed.

healthy workplace tips

Hire Leaders Who Are Cheerful & Positive

One of the top reasons employees quit their jobs is due to poor management. We find that 57% of workers leave a company because of their boss.

This is telling because it demonstrates the importance of choosing the right leaders.

So what do workers hate about their bosses?

It normally comes down to things like:

  • Micro-managing tasks
  • Not recognizing achievements
  • Not giving raises or promotions
  • Not providing constructive feedback
  • Showing disrespect and unprofessionalism
  • Lack of empathy

And the list goes on.

You can combat this by hiring leaders who are cheerful, positive and have a great team spirit. Be sure to establish your workplace culture to ensure workers and managers are aligned with it.

Turn Your Workplace into a Healthy Space

The happiness of your employees can spell the success (or disaster) of your workplace. So it's definitely not something you want to ignore.

A healthy workspace could help you to lower costs (fewer absences) and boost revenue (better productivity). It's something you needed in your strategy yesterday.

Thankfully, it's not too late.

Try some of these methods to see what works for you and your workers.

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