How to improve health and well-being in the workplace

  • Well-being
  • By Aleks Szymanski
  • Published on June 12

Creating a healthy and thriving work environment is vital for both employee well-being and productivity, while it can help reduce absenteeism, boost morale, and develop a positive workplace culture. 

There are a number of useful strategies for improving health and well-being in the workplace, including:

Promote physical health

Encourage regular exercise

Employers can provide on-site fitness facilities for staff, or offer discounted memberships to local gyms. You can also organize group exercise sessions, such as yoga, Pilates, or lunchtime walking clubs. Employees should also be encouraged to take short, regular breaks to stretch and move around - reducing the risks associated with prolonged sitting.

Healthy eating options

“You are what you eat” as the old saying goes, so be sure to offer healthy snacks in the office, such as fruits, nuts, and yogurt. In addition, provide nutritious meals in the company cafeteria or offer healthy catering options for meetings and events. Businesses can even go the extra mile by educating employees about the benefits of a balanced diet through workshops, and information sessions.

Ergonomic workstations

Look after workers’ posture by investing in ergonomic office furniture, such as adjustable chairs, standing desks, and keyboard trays; this will also help reduce the risk of musculoskeletal problems. Plus, regularly assess workstations to ensure they meet ergonomic standards and make any adjustments if necessary. 

Support mental health

Mental health awareness

As we have discussed previously, employers can raise awareness about mental health issues through workshops, seminars, and training sessions. It’s important to create a workplace culture where employees feel comfortable discussing mental health concerns without fear of stigma.

Access to mental health resources

Employers should also provide access to mental health professionals, such as counselors or therapists, either on-site or through an employee assistance program (EAP). Offering mental health days, allowing employees to take time off to focus on their mental well-being without using their regular leave, is another way to support staff.

Stress management programs

Anxiety in the workplace can be further combatted by implementing stress management programs that include mindfulness training, meditation sessions, and relaxation techniques. Companies should encourage a healthy work-life balance by promoting flexible working hours, as well as remote working options.

Foster a positive work environment

Create a supportive culture

Encourage open communication and feedback between employees and management, while recognizing and rewarding employee achievements, both big and small, to boost morale and motivation. The workforce can also be brought closer together through team-building activities, social events, and group projects, which will all help to build a sense of community. 

Work-life balance

Again, this is something Workarma is passionate about (and we've previously discussed). Promoting flexible working arrangements, such as flexible hours, compressed workweeks, and telecommuting, will help staff manage their personal and professional lives. Monitoring workloads and redistributing is also vital when ensuring employees aren’t overworked.

Positive physical environment

Create an office and/or workspace that is pleasant, and inviting, with plenty of natural light, plants, and comfortable seating areas. At the same time, ensure the workplace is clean, well-maintained, and conducive to productivity.

Encourage personal and professional development

Continuous learning

Look to offer training and development programs to help employees acquire new skills and advance in their careers. Plus, whenever possible, provide opportunities for employees to attend conferences, workshops, and seminars relevant to their roles.

Career advancement opportunities

Create clear career paths and provide regular feedback and performance reviews. Furthermore, encourage employees to set and pursue their personal and professional goals, while offering support and resources to help them achieve these aspirations.

Mentorship programs

Establish mentorship programs where senior employees can provide guidance and support to newer or less experienced colleagues. Encouraging knowledge sharing and collaboration across different teams and departments is another way to help with employees’ personal and professional development.

Implement policies that support well-being

Health benefits

Companies should offer comprehensive health insurance plans that cover a range of medical services, including mental health care. This is in addition to exercise benefits such as gym memberships, wellness programs, and health coaching. 

Flexible leave

Employers should implement flexible leave policies that allow staff to take time off for medical appointments, family emergencies, or personal matters without penalty. It’s also worth considering unlimited or generous paid time off (PTO) to help employees manage their work-life balance.

Inclusive workplace policies

Finally, businesses must ensure that workplace policies support diversity, and inclusion. Equally, address any form of discrimination or harassment promptly, and effectively. Doing so will help create a safe, and respectful, workplace for all employees. 

Prioritizing health and wellness in the workplace is crucial for employees and employers alike. By implementing these strategies, organizations can enhance employee well-being, and productivity. After all, any investment in the health of employees is also an investment in the success of the business.