Employee wellness isn’t just a buzzword. In fact, employee wellness programs have been linked to increased productivity and reduced absenteeism, as well as decreased healthcare and worker compensation costs for employers. More than that, when you bring wellness into the workplace, you signal to your employees that you care about their health and well-being, and that makes recruiting and retaining talent a lot easier.
4 Ways Small Businesses can Incorporate Wellness at the Office
Promote Physical Activity
Not every company can afford an on-site gym, but if your business is located in an office park, it’s possible that one of the other tenants is a personal trainer or fitness center, and they may be willing to offer your employees a special discount. For instance, companies at The Lakeside Office Park near Boston, actually have access to two fitness centers: The Core of Wellness and Fitness Balanced.
Even if you don’t have access to a gym, you can still promote physical activity at work by hiring a yoga instructor and offering classes in a conference room once a week, or hosting CrossFit classes on the banks of Lake Quannapowitt during the warmer months.
Encourage Healthy Behaviors
Consider providing your employees with an annual allowance for fitness memberships or wellness services, such as massage therapy and acupuncture. You may even be able to negotiate this as part of your health insurance program.
For example, some health insurance plans will reimburse employees for a portion of their gym membership, provided they check in at the facility a minimum number of times throughout the year, and other plans include a wellness debit card with a balance that can be used for the purchase of vitamins, acupuncture appointments and massage.
It’s also a good idea to designate your office as a smoke-free environment, and offer smoking cessation programs to employees, free-of-charge.
To establish a culture of wellness, allow your employees to exercise independence over their schedules without being micromanaged. Whether that means working from home, taking longer lunches, or shifting their 8 hour day to start earlier or later, a flexible work day allows employees to put their well-being first.
Not only does flexibility decrease employee burnout and stress, but employees feel more supported and trusted, and studies have shown that flex employees are more productive, get sick less often, work longer hours, and are generally happier than those held to more rigid schedules.
Office plants enhance the appearance of your workspace, but they can also help clean the air and reduce stress and illness. In fact, plants actually lessen the spread of germs and viruses, and many studies have proven that employees in offices where plants are present tend to use fewer sick days than those who work in plant-free environments.
The best plants for the office are generally easy-to-care-for and require minimal natural light. Consider spider plants, snake plants, pothos plants, cacti and succulents.
More Tips for Boston Area Small Businesses
When it comes to employee wellness, small changes can make a big impact. For more ways to improve office morale, and attract and retain good employees, check out these tips for small businesses in the Boston area.