With all that has 2020 has dealt us, employee health has never been more of a hot topic. It was reported in August that only 34% of white-collar workers returned to the office after months of working from home, meaning the workplace has radically changed, and looks set to stay that way.
However, we all know the negative impact that can working from home can have on our health: increased stress and anxiety due to lack of social contact, weight gain due to increased snacking, and a slump in physical fitness as we all stay home more often. As a boss or manager, it’s crucially important to look out for the wellbeing of your employees. To help, we’ve come up with 5 ways to encourage better physical fitness in your staff.
Encourage lunchtime walks
It can be all too tempting to ram your lunch down your throat as you’re peering over your emails, but this is an unhealthy habit to get into. Studies have found that work productivity increases after 30 minutes of fresh air outdoors, so encourage your employees to take some air and go for a walk at lunchtime.
Introduce a wellbeing hour
If you’re feeling extra generous, why not introduce a wellbeing hour into your company’s working pattern? A wellbeing hour can be offered on a daily or weekly basis, it’s separate to a lunch break, and it’s designed to give your employees extra time to pursue things that increase their health. It may be that they choose a bike ride, do some yoga, or even go for a swim. This measure will definitely help to boost morale too – an added bonus.
It may be that you want to implement a serious health programme within your organisation, encouraging and tracking real change. To do this, it’s wise to invest in incentives for taking part. Perhaps you could purchase your employees a pedometer as a welcome gift for joining the programme, and gift things like high quality tracksuits (try the ones from Gym King)when they reach certain fitness milestones.
Hold walking meetings
If you are back in the office, face-to-face meetings aren’t currently recommended. So, take the opportunity to encourage walking meetings – where a couple of members of staff head outside for a brisk, socially-distanced walk while they talk through a project or an idea? The open air does everyone some good and helps to increase productivity. It’s a nice little break away from the office, too.
Ask the experts
You might find that your employees don’t take your health and fitness mission quite as seriously as you’d like but trust us when we say that they’ll listen to the experts! If you have a COVID-secure space, pay for a yoga instructor, a fitness coach, or even a healthy lifestyle chef, to come in and give demonstrations. This is guaranteed to inspire your employees and call them to action, as well as being a fun, team-building activity too.