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Posted by on in Best Practices

How to Maintain Your Employees’ Health for Everyone’s Well-Being

b2ap3_thumbnail_employee_health_400.jpgIt isn’t often that one hears it discussed in the office, but the human body is an incredible piece of technology. Since your employees are so key to your business’ success, you’d benefit from doing everything you could to help your employees to take good care of their physical health.

We’ve gone ahead and assembled some helpful workplace habits and policies that will be good for your employees’ overall wellness.

Healthy Foods in the Office
There’s no denying that the presence of snacks in the office is seen as a major workplace benefit in the eyes of many employees. This is advantageous to you, the employer, as you can cultivate a positive feeling in the office just by having something available. However, by choosing one snack over the other, you can influence greater changes that you might not have considered connected before.

For instance, it is a general fact that the snacks that are more readily made available aren’t exactly the healthiest ones out there, and the few healthier options that exist tend to be much pricier than the cheap and easy alternatives. However, consider the environment you cultivate in your office by doing so - and how much less frequently healthy people tend to be out of the office, using sick time.

While there is no harm in offering a few “convenience” snacks, try to also encourage your employees to make healthier choices. They’ll feel better, and will therefore be more productive.

Promote Water Sipping
Dehydration is a much more serious problem than most people realize, to the point that even a mild case (as in, dehydrated by one percent) of it has been recorded as decreasing productivity by a full 12 percent, causing reduced alertness and concentration. Once you reach three-or-four percent, productivity drops by 25 percent. What’s worse, many people are chronically dehydrated. This means that their bodies have just gotten used to it, so they don’t feel as thirsty as they should. Try to encourage that your employees drink plenty of water, however you can.

Encourage Movement Whenever Possible
While plenty of studies have shown it, did we ever really need scientific support to convince us that sitting on our backsides all day isn’t exactly great for us? Unfortunately, a lot of the work that goes on in the traditional office is done at a desk.

However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t solutions that can expand on those capabilities. Convertible sit-to-stand desks and desktop mounts have grown to be very popular, allowing users to alternate between sitting and standing throughout their workday. It may not seem like much, but it can add up to quite the difference in your user productivity. Try purchasing one to allow a few of your users a chance to try it before committing the expense of outfitting the whole office with them.

Get Some Greenery
Plants have long been a staple in office decoration, and often can have benefits that greatly outweigh the maintenance that they require. As a matter of fact, certain plants have been shown to have particular properties that make them ideal for offices that face certain limitations or would like to accomplish something greater with their greenery.

For example, there are many varieties of the pothos hanging plant that can do quite well in an office environment (as attested to the fact that they are often considered the quintessential office plant). Not only do these plants do their best in the middling light conditions of many offices, they don’t need as much water as you’d imagine, and they have been shown to improve air quality levels. Just be careful if you have a pet-friendly office, as pothos are toxic to our four-legged friends.

Much of the same can be said of the Peace Lily or the ZZ plant (short for Zamioculcas zamiifolia): they are well-suited to the low-light environment in the workplace. Again, be careful with any pets around the illness-inducing Peace Lily.

If you happen to have access to a window, you might also consider adding some cacti, an aloe plant, or a Jade Plant to your office garden. These hardy plants need little more than light to flourish.

Set an Example
As the employer, it is your responsibility to set the precedent for office health, so make sure to do your best to encourage your employees to utilize the sick leave you make available to them. While this may seem to be detrimental to your office’s productivity, the supportive environment these policies create will only help you retain your most valuable employees and encourage them to accomplish more while they are there.

It is also important to remember that health covers more than just how a body feels and functions. Mental health issues are a very real part of today’s work environment, so you need to be sure that your employees maintain that aspect of their well-being as well. If possible, do your best to address mental health needs in your insurance policies, and don’t be afraid to give an employee who is having a rough time a bit of a break.

By doing everything you reasonably can to keep your employees healthy and happy, you are investing in your most important resource… your human ones. Symmetry Managed Services can help you maintain the technology that these human resources need to accomplish their work as well. Call us at (888) 995-1660 for more information.

Symmetry Managed Services CEO Dan Tracy has spent the past 15 years providing technology consulting to small and mid size businesses.

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