07 Sep Wellness at the Workplace for Holistic Productivity
In today’s fast-paced and demanding professional world, the pursuit of productivity often takes centre stage. Companies and employees alike are constantly seeking ways to optimise output and achieve higher levels of efficiency. However, a crucial component of sustainable productivity that is often overlooked is employee wellness. To truly excel in the workplace, it’s essential to prioritise not only traditional metrics of productivity but also the holistic well-being of employees.
This article explores the significance of wellness in the workplace and its role in fostering holistic productivity. So, without further ado, let’s open Pandora’s box to a world where productivity and wellness coincide with general company acceleration. Besides, who would want to put these positives back into the box? Certainly not your employees! And your metrics will reap the benefits too!
The Wellness-Productivity Connection
Wellness and productivity are interconnected in ways that are both intuitive and scientifically substantiated. When employees are physically and mentally stable, they are better equipped to handle the challenges and demands of their jobs. Here is how wellness positively impacts the workforce:
1. Physical Wellness
A healthy body is the foundation of productivity. Employees who engage in regular physical activity and maintain a balanced diet are more energetic and less susceptible to illness. Exercise has been continuously shown to improve concentration, cognitive function, and interestingly, creativity.
2. Mental Health
Mental health is a critical component of overall well-being. High levels of stress, anxiety, or depression can severely hamper an employee’s ability to perform optimally. Employers should create a supportive environment where employees can openly discuss mental health concerns and access resources like counselling or mindfulness programs.
3. Work-Life Balance
Balancing work and personal life is essential for employee satisfaction and productivity. Companies can support work-life balance by offering flexible schedules, remote work options, and paid time off. When employees feel they have control over their time, they are more likely to be engaged and efficient at work.
Strategies for Promoting Wellness in the Workplace
When understanding the importance of wellness in boosting productivity, we need to explore the strategies that need implementation. This is known as wellness initiatives in the workplace. According to a study conducted in 2008 by Healthways and Gallup, elevated health risks and poor behaviours are predictors of poor productivity. The study ultimately concluded that employee health and presenteeism increased when employees were exposed to wellness programs.
1. Wellness Programs
Many organisations have introduced wellness programs. This includes fitness classes, healthy eating initiatives, and stress management workshops. These programs not only improve employee health but also foster a sense of community within the workplace.
2. Ergonomic Workspaces
Investing in ergonomic office furniture and equipment can reduce physical discomfort and repetitive strain injuries. Comfortable employees are more likely to stay focused and productive throughout the day.
3. Mental Health Support
Offering access to mental health resources, such as counselling services or employee assistance programs can help employees manage stress and mental health challenges effectively.
4. Encourage Breaks and Mindfulness
Encourage employees to take regular breaks and practice mindfulness techniques like meditation or deep breathing. These practices can help reduce stress and enhance concentration.
5. Flexibility and Remote Work
Consider offering flexible work schedules and remote work options for your employees. Allowing them to better manage their work-life balance ultimately reduces burnout and improves overall well-being.
Physical Wellness in the Workplace
Physical wellness equates to more productivity using maintaining focus and positivity (exercise is synonymous with Endorphins at this point). But more than this, physical well-being also extends to eating habits, and as the saying goes, we are what we eat. So, let’s look at how office employees can make the best of themselves throughout the workday.
1. Eating Habits in the Workplace
Image: Eat This Not That, 2020
In high-stress work environments, office employees tend to develop bad eating habits. This includes indulging in sugary drinks, sweets and fast food. It could either be caused by stress, lack of time, or repetitive work responsibilities. So, for employees who struggle with cravings, it is advised to wait between 10-15 minutes for the cravings to pass.
How can one distract oneself from nagging cravings? Well, in a study conducted by Plymouth University’s Cognition Institute, it was found that participants who played Tetris experienced a 24% drop in cravings once they started playing the game. The idea is to momentarily distract yourself before getting back to work.
However, if you are not too keen on playing games, a study conducted by Wheeling Jesuit University in 2007 found that inhaling a peppermint scent every two hours helped people defuse cravings more efficiently. Even rubbing toothpaste onto your gums as soon as you experience cravings can help to curb them completely.
Otherwise, you could snack on walnuts. Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre in Boston found that eating shelled walnuts in the morning can help reduce cravings. Hopefully, with these tips, you can curve your cravings and beat the sugar slump.
2. Exercise in the Workplace
Image: Kristen Jakobitz, 2023
More commonly known as office desk workouts, exercising in the office is an attainable goal to set. There is an array of exercises that one could practice at the office desk. This includes setting a timer to move every 30 minutes, even if it’s just to take a stroll around the office. Moreover, when it comes to movement, employees should try to avoid the elevator and rather opt for taking the stairs.
If there are no stairs, maybe consider investing in a mini exercise bike that could easily be placed under any desk. This gives employees a few extra minutes of physical activity. For the arms and chest, consider buying affordable resistance bands to indulge in exercises that circulate blood throughout the arms.
Alternatively, one could invest in a gadget called the Arms and Chest Toner, known to strengthen the upper body with simple movements. When it comes to core strength, one could opt to use a ball chair instead of a traditional chair. This concept is known as active seating. Active seating improves balance and core strength and is extremely inconspicuous.
If bouncy balls sound a bit off-putting, then try to purchase a wobble cushion which is essentially the same as a bouncing ball but less eye-catching. It sits as a cushion on one’s office chair and no one even knows it’s there! It improves posture, engages core muscles and ultimately builds strength through balance.
Measuring the Success of Wellness in the Workplace
Image: Life Without Barriers, 2023
To ensure the success of workplace wellness initiatives, it’s essential to measure their impact on productivity. Employee surveys, absenteeism rates, and performance metrics can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of wellness programs.
The concept of holistic productivity acknowledges that employees are not just machines designed solely for output. Their well-being and state of mind play a vital role in positive productivity outcomes.
By fostering a workplace culture that values and promotes wellness, employers can create an environment where employees thrive personally and professionally in equal measure. In the end, the result is not simply increased productivity but also happier, healthier, and more engaged employees who contribute significantly to the success of their organisations. Do not hesitate to contact us today to learn more.