Thanks to long hours in the office followed by constant connectivity at home, the line between work and personal life is becoming more and more blurry. Many companies are taking note and finding ways to help employees create healthier habits — both in their work and personal lives. The good news is, there are a lot of really positive changes you can make in the culture of your company to increase mental and physical wellness.
Chances are, you’ve heard of Google’s bicycle conference meetings which were created to boost engagement in meetings. But before you drop everything to invest in a 7-way bicycle, we’ve put together a few other ways you can incorporate a culture of wellness in the office.
Because exercise positively affects the levels of mood-enhancing neurotransmitters in the brain, consider taking your meeting on the road. Before you ditch the conference room, there are a few ways to plan for success. First of all, make sure you have a destination or path in mind. Keep these moving meetings small so everyone can be heard — three people max. And note that a Stanford study found that walking meetings are best for creative brainstorming rather than decision making. So why not get moving, get creative, and get a little bit of a happiness boost in the process?
Offer Healthy Food Options
While stress eating junk food may be a temporary stress relief, poor eating habits during the day can lead to short-term fatigue and long-term health concerns. So ditch the donuts and bagels and provide energy-enhancing snacks in your break room. Consider a fruit bowl, individual bags of nuts or trail mix, and even a veggie platter or individual bags of carrots in the fridge for the people who crave a crunch.
Encourage your teammates to take movement breaks throughout the day. For some, this will provide an opportunity for social engagement. For others it will give them some time alone to move and recharge. You can set the standard by stretching together before sitting for a meeting. You can also encourage everyone to set an alarm a few times a day to take a five- to 15-minute break. Whether they want to do a mini workout in their career gear without breaking a sweat, or they want to clock a longer workout at lunch, feeling like this time away from work is encouraged rather than frowned upon is the first step to success.
Offer Employees Fitness Options
Getting to a gym requires a high investment for employees — think time and money — so exercise often falls to the bottom of people’s to-do list. Employers who find a way to help employees get regular exercise will see a workforce with improved physical and emotional wellbeing. So consider offering a regular, on-site group fitness class (maybe you even have an employee who could teach it). Or, find a way to incentivize your team to use a fitness app. This allows for the most cost savings for the company and the most flexibility for employees. (Obviously we’re a tiny bit biased, but we can’t help but think Gixo is the perfect option.)
Yes, office life is busy, but leading the cultural change to wellness is something that you can feel really good about — and your team will too. In fact, people tend to adopt the habits of people they spend time with. So by leading the way and making a few simple adjustments, you can help inspire your entire company to be more active.