Long gone are the days when hitting the gym during lunch break or going for a walk were a taboo. Work-life balance is what it is all about. Only healthy employees can be creative, productive and happy employees.
Looking at the increasing obesity and sedentary lifestyle of today’s population, the amount of time spent sitting at a (inadequate) desk in home office, physical activity and being a healthy lifestyle have become more important than ever, both for physical and mental health. Exercising should be part of every day (working) life.
What is in it for the employer?
The current most serious health problems of today’s population give an idea of medical costs employers are facing:
- high blood pressure
- chronic fatigue
- chronic stress
- burn out or depression
What are the benefits?
- healthier employees → less sick leave
- higher productivity
- higher employee satisfaction
- less turnover and more employee engagement
- positive company image → attractive workplace
Below are some guidelines that a corporate wellness programs can follow to create efficient, long-term results and increase employee wellbeing, create loyalty to the company, a win-win situation.
1.Practical, accessible and flexible
Due to limited time, any activity offered should be practical and accessible for everyone. Ideally activities should take place during lunch, right before or after work or be doable from home or be integrated in the daily working routine (such as walking meetings or standing desks).
Corporate wellness is a very wide field with many different aspects. Sports and workout is clearly one of them, but the list is so much longer than that. While some love a classic workout, others may prefer going for a walk, playing an instrument, meditating, the list is endless. Programs and measures should hence imperatively vary and provide choices. Healthy meals or snacks or weekly massages are other possibilities to improve your employees work life quality. Now let’s not forget mental health. Coaching sessions and career consultations should be as much part of the program as physical activities.
Any measures, classes, programs offered should be voluntary, something employees look forward to and don’t feel like it’s an obligation.
Lead by example!
Programs should be authentic, apply to all levels, starting with the CEO leading by example. Avoid scheduling meetings over lunch at least on two days during the week, so employees actually have the possibility to be active.
The market provides many different fitness and health apps. Use them and make new technologies your asset.
- home office and flexible working hours
- in-house or online personal trainer
- standing desks or treadmill desks
- in-house or online classes
- healthy snacks
- coaching workshops (smoking cessation, personal development, anxiety & time management, healthy cooking, etc.) → some of these can be done as a team building activity
- walking meetings