What’s the deal with workplace wellness?

This post originally appeared on a personal training website. It can be seen here.

Workplace wellness is everywhere nowadays. It’s standard to expect some type of gym or fitness membership, health insurance, and maybe even some free healthy snacks in many jobs - especially with office-based roles.

For good reason. 91% of employees stated that health benefits in a role are important to them. Plus, we’re living in an incredibly fast-paced world, with a multitude of pressures on working people. Not only are we working long hours, but there’s also the rise of the ‘sandwich’ generation who find themselves looking after elderly parents and young children. At the same time, we are nearly always switched on, thanks to smartphones placing our work at our fingertips.

Last year, employees in the UK lost almost 12% of their working hours to absences. Having an employee wellbeing programme has been found to reduce these absences. If you want to have a healthy organisation, you need to have a healthy workforce.

But 1 in 3 people have said that they’re so busy in their workplaces that they struggle to meet NHS health guidelines for activity and diet. There’s clearly a lot of room for improvement when it comes to employee wellness.

Wellness also isn’t just about giving everyone access to a gym. There’s a lot of unusual and unique ways to help keep employees active and healthy.

  • Treadmill desks and encouraging walking meetings can get step counts closer to the recommended 10,000 a day.

  • Shoe brand Timberland has allotments where employees can grow fresh fruit and vegetables.

  • Group exercise classes held on-site can keep staff active and help with team bonding

  • Gamification techniques can encourage employees to hit activity or health targets - either for rewards or just the pleasure of coming out on top!

It’s also important to emphasise that not all health is to do with your physical fitness. A good employee wellbeing programme also needs to cater to mental health.

Improving and maintaining your employees’ health isn’t just a good thing to do in principle, but also has direct impacts on your bottom line. By making your workplace more health-centric, you’ll begin to see happier teams, healthier staff, and a fall in employee stress and absence levels. That’s really a win for everyone, isn’t it?