Wellness is the active process of living a healthier and more fulfilling life. Research suggests that when we feel better physically and mentally, we are more productive. 

Think about a time you’ve had a cold or felt unwell. It’s likely that on these occasions, you didn’t perform to the best of your ability. In most cases, for employees to perform well, they must feel well.

Employees should be encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle and take care of their physical and mental well-being.

Benefits of Employee Wellness Programs

A wellness program can be defined as “a program that helps employees stay healthy or helps them improve their health”.

It ranges from on-site gyms to ideas that help employees stop smoking or lose weight such as healthy eating initiatives. They can be ongoing programs or one-off events or activities.

Employee wellness programs offer five key benefits to organisations.

  1. Improved morale and productivity: Exercise releases endorphins that help boost your mood. People who are happier are more energetic and productive.
  2. Decreased absenteeism: Keeping employees healthier reduces the number of days lost to absenteeism.
  3. Reduced healthcare costs: Research shows that every for dollar employers spent on employee wellness, they saved $3.27 in health costs.
  4. Improve employee health: Healthy employees are more productive.
  5. Improved employee retention: When staff feel valued and have a positive attitude towards work, they are more likely to remain in that company.

Despite these benefits, many companies decide not to offer wellness programs due to the cost or difficulty in implementing.

However, they are increasing in popularity with an estimated 80% of companies having some sort of employee wellness plan in place.

10 Quick Ways to Live a Healthier Lifestyle

  1. Increase exercise.
  2. Make healthier choices.
  3. Avoid white flour, sugar, bread and white rice.
  4. Choose the bright coloured fruit and veg.
  5. Eat more protein such as turkey, chicken, seafood eggs, nuts and seeds.
  6. Eat consciously.
  7. Drink water and avoid sugary drinks.
  8. Snack better.
  9. Eat slower and you will digest your food more fully.
  10. Meditate mindfully.

Source: NCU

Happy Employees are More Productive Employees

Goals

Employees who are happy and healthy perform better at work. A study found that salespeople who are happier sold 37% more than those who were not.

Another study from Psychologist Shawn Achor found that happy employees are 31% more productive.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy way for organisations to make employees happy but they can make their lives easier with a collaborative culture of health and wellness.

You’ve probably heard the saying “healthy body, healthy mind”. Well, there is some truth in that. Physical activity can help you think clearer and perform better.

Some companies encourage employees to be active and healthy with gym memberships and even sleeping pods.

Related: Do naps at work make you more productive?

Meetings on the Go

Walking

Some of the world’s most innovative companies hold meetings on the go to stay productive, focused and creative.

Steve Jobs often brainstormed new concepts with his chief designer by taking a stroll. It’s a simple but effective idea that helped to generate his most creative ideas.

Walking improves cognitive function by increasing blood flow to the parts of the brain that deal with learning and memory.

According to a study by Stanford University, walking boosts creative thinking by 60%.

Another study found that just 12 minutes of walking can increase attentiveness and boost your mood.

So, get outside this lunchtime and you may feel the benefit in the afternoon.

6 Benefits of Walking

  • It boosts your mood even when you’re not expecting it.
  • It enhances creativity, especially when you’re seeking a solution.
  • It sparks connections between brain cells.
  • Walking improves working memory.
  • It yields the right rhythm for thinking.
  • It’s a powerful way to stay in touch with nature.

Source: Forbes

Are you Stressed Out?

Stress meme

Stress is a productivity killer!

According to The American Institute of Stress, stress can cost up to $300 billion in healthcare costs, absenteeism and decreased productivity.

In the UK, work-related stress was the cause of 15.4 million lost working days in 2017 and 2018.

A survey by Cigna found that four out of five employees claimed they were stressed with 15% of respondents saying their stress was unmanageable.

Occasional stress can be useful but constant stress means the body is exposed to cortisol and other stress hormones.

Stress can increase the likelihood of illnesses such as cancer and heart disease as well as mental health problems.

Good stress management is important in the workplace. Take breaks, ask for help and develop good relationships with colleagues.

Creating Relationships for Social Wellness

Organisations can encourage employees to form friendships through social wellness programs that bring people together.

Having a break room where people can interact over lunch or coffee can help to develop relationships.

Outside work activities such as bowling, team sports or yoga can help to reduce stress and strengthen employee relationships.

At Tameday, once a quarter, we like to get together as a team and do something fun as a team outside of work hours.

It’s really easy to organise these outings using Tameday and the discussion thread can be a fun place to share GIFs and photos of the event.

Bowling discussion

Final Thoughts

Whether or not you have a wellness program for employees will depend on your organisational size and budget. But some ideas such as starting a running club don’t cost anything.

Overall, business leaders should be aiming to instil an organisational culture where people are encouraged to look after their physical and mental well-being.

As the studies show, the business will benefit from the employees being more productive and engaged in work whilst employees will feel better and happier.

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Related: What is The Four Burners Theory?