October is Healthy Workplace Month. How do I promote health and wellness in my office?
Mai Mowrey - Owner, Scentuals Body Care from Nature
Living in rainy Vancouver, going to work every day can be mentally and physically draining. Every employer faces the challenge of workplace wellness when it comes to employee and company longevity.
Workplace wellness at Scentuals begins with the attitude, culture and mentality of a team. Everyone is accessible and available to work with one another on almost any project. Working together as a team allows your employees to gain trust, foster camaraderie, feel productive and have a sense of belonging. That feeling of group contribution allows for positive momentum to continue over to future tasks. We lean on each other for workplace wellness.
We believe in the importance of the workplace environment. We try to keep influencing factors tuned towards wellness, longevity and productivity. Simple things like playing classical music in the office, keeping community areas clean and encouraging social interaction help maintain a healthy environment.
Our workplace smells like a spa – we diffuse essential oils all day, every day. We mix up the scent depending on the mood, time and occasion: rosemary for focus in the morning, lavender to keep the office calm when there are deadlines and Christmas Memories essential oil to get into the holiday spirit around December for our final push.
We have also been adopting standup desks and we encourage 10-minute breaks or walk-arounds at least twice a day so that employees can unplug.
We understand the importance of workplace wellness in productivity, mentality and longevity of employees’ personal success, which ultimately contributes to the long-term success of the company. We always seek new ways to help maintain this environment.
Peter Twist - Founder, Twist Fitness
The success of your business relies heavily on the culture you establish. Company culture is an influential and fluid entity that represents who you are as a business, what you stand for and, ultimately, how you perform. This is not New Age fluff. This is about getting the most out of your business.
Creating a culture that values health and wellness has been shown to affect the bottom line. As a fitness and wellness franchise, we work with an increasing number of businesses, small and large, seeking specialized wellness programs for their employees. Here are a few ways that any business can promote wellness in the workplace.
•Lunch and learn. Schedule an expert to visit your office to educate about themes such as nutrition, avoiding injury and exercises to stay mobile.
•Set a tone of wellness from the top. Be a healthy role model.
•Make take-home resources available. Health is important at work and at home.
•Outsource half-day, team-building micro-retreats that include gym coaching, classroom engagement and outdoor activity.
•Approach it as a team. Negotiate a special rate and customized menu of services to align groups of employees to visit a qualified external fitness provider.
•Keep it convenient. Select an expert to visit your workplace on a regular basis, making information convenient and keeping the momentum going.
A well-structured corporate health and wellness program need not be expensive or complicated. It should be educational, forward-thinking, fun and empowering. It will likely be one of your simplest investments to accrue several valuable returns on investment and, most importantly, build your greatest asset – your employees.
Nicole Porter - Owner, Shift Wellness and Lifestyle Marketing
As the owner of a wellness marketing agency whose mission is to empower people with the knowledge to live healthier lives, I believe that better health shouldn’t be available only at a premium; it should be available to everyone at any time. Therefore, it is an integral part of our workplace.
At Shift, we are fortunate because we are exposed to wellness products every day. But regardless of your industry, budget or education, wellness can likely play a bigger role at work. And the good news is that, just like improving your own health, it doesn’t cost a lot of money to improve the health of your workplace.
A few ideas to consider:
Create a toxin-free and perfume-free environment. We use 100% natural cleaning products and allow only natural scents (as opposed to conventional perfumes).
Provide a flexible medical plan. Our plan allows employees to spend on options such as fitness, nutrition and alternative medicine.
Educate. We dedicate a lot of time to researching wellness brands and trends, so we educate each other regularly. If you don’t have the time or knowledge to educate, find a company that can. Teaching fitness, nutrition and wellness can have a huge effect on your employees – and their families. Everyone wins.
Consider emotional and mental wellness. This is an expansive topic, but, at minimum, we allow flexible work hours when needed and hold each other accountable for maintaining a positive work environment.
Give your employees purpose. What does that mean to us? It means we have a mission we share with our clients; we are passionate about helping them succeed and, as a result, we love what we do. It gives us purpose, it is our passion and it is a wellness factor that can’t be beat.