Top ten tips on promoting wellbeing in the workplace 

Office desk, Laptop on deskHealth risks such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity can all create problems for any employee or staff member in the workplace, and ultimately lead to an unhealthy, unhappy and unproductive environment.

Research from Glassdoor explains how our conception of wellness has to go beyond traditional health measures, to embrace employee wellness and engagement by helping and supporting work-life balance.

In line with Nutrition and Hydration Week (16th – 20th March), Marshall’s Mill has collated ten top tips for promoting nutrition, hydration and wellbeing during working hours, regardless of where your employees are currently based.

Set a hydration challenge

Water is vital for our bodies. Not only does dehydration cause excessive loss of water and salts from the body, which allows our muscles to function properly, but it also affects our productivity at work. Being 3-4% dehydrated can lower your work performance by approximately 25-50%. Dehydration causes dizziness, light-headedness and tiredness – all adding to loss of productivity.

Combat this with a Hydration Challenge during the 9-5, giving employees their own reusable water bottle and challenging them to drink at least one litre per day throughout the week.

Encourage balance

A balanced day at work equals a more productive workday. According to research by CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personal Development) which explores trends and practices in well-being in UK workplaces, multi-tasking decreases productivity.

Employees who are constantly switching from answering the phone, checking emails and other tasks can build up higher stress levels and become less productive  – therefore it’s important to encourage employees to focus on a single task rather than multi-task.

Go healthy for lunch

There are many different restaurants, bars and cafes across Yorkshire offering healthy eating as well as vegan and vegetarian options. Marshall’s Mill has a range of  different eateries offering healthy choices for lunch and regularly arranges healthy food pop-ups for its tenants to enjoy.

Do you find employees snacking on crisps, biscuits and chocolates throughout the day? Allow your employees to take a full hour’s lunch and grab a healthy lunch. Whether this is paid for by the company or the employees, the opportunity will be a chance for employees to eat healthier, alleviating the 3pm slump.

Plant-based foods improve mood and productivity, so offering a selection of fruit, vegetables, nuts or more once a week is a nice alternative treat.

Cut down on caffeine

According to health expert, Janae Brown (ARNP) from UnityPoint Health, “Caffeine is a stimulant, so it can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which can impact your overall health”. Brown also advises that a healthy adult shouldn’t have any more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day. Short-term effects of too many caffeinated drinks can include trouble sleeping (insomnia), feeling jittery, anxiety and restlessness. Help employees cut down by offering decaf options in communal kitchen spaces.

Find a healthy recipe book

There are many different cookbooks that can help you keep healthy while at work. For example, The Leeds & West Yorkshire Cookbook is a delicious recipe book that also tells you relevant, fun stories around Leeds and Yorkshire.

If your team don’t want to eat out for lunch every day, or are working from home and at risk of raiding the snack cupboard, make sure they are aware of healthier and more nutritious alternatives. Swap the snacks for fruits and vegetables – even bring a bit of hummus to dip  carrot sticks into.

Create flexible working hours

Flexibility can allow employees to structure their day to suit their lifestyle and strengths at work. Some people may work better earlier in the mornings than later in the day and vice versa.

With a significant amount of the UK workforce currently working remotely, it is the perfect opportunity to trial flexible working, focusing on the quality and effectiveness on employee’s work, which could potentially lead to better outcomes and results, as well as improving your employees work-life balance.

Plan exercise or yoga

Did you know that 54% of yoga practitioners report that yoga helps them release tension? This will help employees de-stress and balance their emotions ready for work. Research in Australia found that employees who walked 10,000 steps a day, and exercised in the gym three times a week, tended to be more productive than those who only walked 10,000 steps a day. Encourage employees to leave the office or home environment to get some fresh air, even for 20 minutes, will have a significant impact on their mood and mental health.

Training and development

Training and development opportunities add value to both the workplace and the individuals. As well as improving employees’ skills, it allows employees to gain personal achievements whilst exposing them to new and interesting learning environments -counteracting any negative stressful pressures they could be feeling.

Implementing in-house training courses can be time-consuming, if this is not possible there are plenty of external courses available across Leeds and Yorkshire. Marshall’s Mill is keen to help and support its tenants and local businesses and frequently hold skills development events.

Implement a new type of meeting

Meetings can sometimes seem boring, unproductive and don’t get much engagement from employees. Instead of hosting all of your meetings inside a dark room lacking natural light, if possible, take a walking meeting. Take a walk outside around the building – as well as the change to surroundings encouraging a fresh perspective, it also keeps employees healthy and motivated.

Organise a social wellness event

Likely causes of stress at work can include tight deadlines, lack of support or workload pressures – among other factors such as mental health; anxiety and depression. In order to keep a positive and productive company your employees need to be happy and healthy.

One-way to do this is to hold company wellness day at work. This can include cooking classes, stress management sessions, puppy days, staff surveys and much more. Wellness days offer a comprehensive, strategically designed investment in employees’ mental, physical and social health benefiting both yourself, your employees and your business.

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