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Enhancing Employee Health and Wellbeing in the Office

Your employees are your company’s biggest asset. So it is important to look after them and help them in any way you can

Your employees are your company’s biggest asset. So it is important to look after them and help them in any way you can. Happy, healthy employees are more productive, remain with the company longer, and are more willing to go over and above the call of duty.

A study by the O.C. Tanner Institute, which surveyed 2,363 full-­time employees in the US, Australia, Canada, the UK, and Germany, found that employees with poor well­being self reported that they are only working at 64% of their maximum output. Clearly, poor wellbeing can be costly to a company, so it pays to build a happy, healthy workforce.

So what strategies can you implement to ensure you are making the most of your most precious resource? Here are some suggestions…

1. Get Physical

Exercise is hugely important to both physical and mental health. Those who exercise are not only stronger, leaner and have more energy –  they are also happier and more able to focus. 

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Not all companies have the financial resources to subsidise gym membership, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incentivise physical activity at work. The Cycle to Work scheme, for example, is popular with employers and staff; employers can loan cycles and cyclists’ safety equipment to employees as a tax-free benefit. You could try setting up a company sports team to play evening a week and encourage the team to enter into fun runs.

Choosing to rent office space close to good public transport networks gives staff the opportunity for a short walk on their way to and from the office. An office near a gym makes it easy for them to work out before or after work or during their lunch break.

You could also look out for office space to let which offers changing and shower facilities on site, so employees know they can cycle or jog to work without having to sit around all sweaty for the rest of the day.

At Needspace? Earlsfield, our offices are within walking distance of several gyms and fitness studios, as well as Earlsfield train station. What’s more, we offer on-site shower facilities for the use of all staff in the building.

2. Clean Eating for Employee Wellbeing

It can be easy to fall into a rut when it comes to eating healthily. Why not make it a little easier for your employees to say no to sweets and snacks by providing a bowl of fruit, freshly replenished regularly. Don’t forget that a water cooler is important to ensure your staff remain hydrated throughout the working day. And whilst many people rely on a nice strong coffee to start the day, make sure there are plenty of other options for them to choose from, such as green tea and herbal infusions, that won’t give them a caffeine crash before midday. 

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If you have a kitchen in your office, you might consider investing in a juicer so your staff can enjoy healthy smoothies to keep their vitamin levels up. At Needspace? Earlsfield, we offer communal kitchen facilities where staff can meet for a bite to eat or a chat while the kettle boils.

3. Let Them Relax

You may be keen to get the most productivity out of your staff as possible, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that means chaining them to their desks in silence. In fact, it’s better for employee wellbeing and health for them to stop for a chat with colleagues and to get up and walk around regularly.

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Talking with one another is an important aspect of team-building. A bonded team works better together, so – within reason – allow them to have a bit of a laugh and to take a few minutes to hang out away from their own desks.

Relaxation can take many forms, not just social. Meditation and mindfulness strategies are renowned for having a massive effect of improving happiness and productivity levels. Why not consider bringing in a professional to hold a seminar or training session?

Staff should also be aware that there are both healthy and unhealthy ways to relax, and whilst many of us enjoy a drink from time to time, alcohol is not the best way to chill out. And smoking is, obviously, the absolute worst. While it’s not necessarily your place to dictate how much or how often your staff drink or smoke, you could try things like Dry January or Stoptober to try and get them to see the benefit of cutting down.

4. Care About Employee Mental Health

Exercise, eating well and learning to relax are all important for good mental health, but it isn’t always enough. A good way to gauge employees’ happiness is to send round regular anonymous polls or surveys for staff to fill in. The results will tell you what’s going right and what might need improvement in the workplace environment.

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Perhaps there are tensions between individuals that need addressing, underlying problems in the unspoken company culture, or areas where you can adjust things to help people feel happier in general. You won’t know unless you ask, and the anonymity of polls and surveys is a good way to do this without individuals drawing attention to themselves.

Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. So take the time to have regular, relaxed catch-ups with individual employees to see how they are getting on and to see if there is anything on their minds. If you feel it could be beneficial, look into subsidising counselling sessions. Remember, it’s not necessarily the workplace that will be stressing staff out; everyone has a life outside the office and if there are things going on at home that may be affecting their wellbeing, it’s important to be prepared to help.

Whether your company has budget to spare or not, there is always something you can do to create a happy, healthy work environment for all your staff. And we hope these tips have given you some ideas of how to get started. A lot of employee wellbeing comes down to the physical environment as well, don’t forget.

At Needspace?, you will have free rein to create the ideal workspace for all your employees in the heart of buzzing Earlsfield, perfectly located between Wimbledon and central London. To learn more about how we can help you find the perfect office space for your staff, get in touch with our friendly team today – and join our happy family!


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