Every business is aware of the need to safeguard the health and wellbeing of their workforce, but this does not only extend to their safety in the workplace.
There are far more ways in which companies can help to promote and maintain health among their workforce, which ranges from their physical wellbeing to their mental health.
Ensuring that your staff are both happy and healthy can lead to increased productivity and also have a positive effect on your own wellbeing.1 Leading by example with these simple yet effective practices can help to instil this culture of healthiness.
Provide the right tools
Regardless of the sector or building you work in, giving staff a place to carry out cooking and food preparation tasks such as a kitchenette is important. However, it is equally important to provide a break-out area with tables and comfortable chairs where they can enjoy their lunch without feeling the need to sit at their desks to eat. Not only is this more hygienic, but it will also feel more like an actual break, free from the temptation to read and reply to emails while eating a sandwich.
By taking the time out of your own day to sit in the break-out area to eat lunch, you can help to show staff that it is fine to take some downtime during the working day, and even take the opportunity to talk about non-work matters in a comfortable environment.
Providing fruit for your staff can boost productivity and wellbeing.2 Not only is it a good healthy snack instead of crisps or chocolate, you are also helping them to save them some money!
The right equipment for the job
Giving staff a comfortable working environment has a direct impact on productivity, with studies showing that workstations with optimum desk size and heights, the right chair with adjustable features and even the placement of the monitor and keyboard can all help to boost staff productivity.3
It is also important to ensure that all staff are as comfortable as possible while at their workstation, as the wrong desks, chairs and other equipment can affect posture and even lead to long-term health problems if not addressed.
Our blog looking at the importance of ergonomics to staff health details some of the approaches organisations can take to help safeguard their staff, but in general it is useful to canvass the opinions of staff and make any necessary additions or amendments to make sure they are comfortable for every minute of their working day.
Although it is important to ensure the health of employees when they are in the office, it is also possible to contribute to their wellbeing while they are out of the office.
Offering staff job-related perks such as gym memberships, car parking and childcare vouchers can prove effective at boosting happiness and retention, as well as being an attractive perk when recruiting.4 Rather than having tiered benefits, opening these up to employees at all levels can help to increase motivation throughout the organisation.
To provide a more long-term benefit, an employer can also offer staff the option of a health care cash plan, which can help them afford the costs of maintaining their health.
An employer-paid cash plan gives employees tax free cash back towards the costs of everyday health care, including dental treatment and charges, contact lenses, glasses, physiotherapy and much more.
Sovereign Health Care’s Asset cash plan plays an important role in helping organisations to meet duty of care requirements as it includes an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) and personal accident cover as standard. Plus with three levels of cover, Asset also gives both employers and staff the option to mix and match cover to suit their personal and business needs.
Employees are an organisation’s greatest asset, so ensuring their physical and mental health helps them to be in the best possible condition to perform on a daily basis, and can instil a culture of positivity and wellbeing and help to foster a more productive workplace.
To find out more about Sovereign Health Care and its range of cash plans for businesses, visit www.sovereignhealthcare.co.uk/business
1 Personnel today http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/evidence-healthy-staff-increase-productivity/
2 Facilities Management Journal http://www.fmj.co.uk/fruit-at-work-boosts-productivity-energy-and-wellbeing-study-finds/
3 Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering http://www.usc.edu/dept/ise/caie/Checked%20Papers%20%5bruhi%2012th%20sept%5d/word%20format%20papers/REGISTRATION%20PAID%20PAPERS%20FOR%20PROCEEDINGS/pdf/92%2015%20AN%20EXPERIMENTAL%20STUDY%20ON%20ASSEMBLY%20WORKSTATION%20CONSIDERING%20ERGONOMICALLY%20ISSUES.pdf
4 CIPD http://www2.cipd.co.uk/NR/rdonlyres/DCCE94D7-781A-485A-A702-6DAAB5EA7B27/0/whthapwbwrk.pdf