4 things you can do to promote a healthy workplace
It goes without saying that a healthy workforce equals greater efficiency in the workplace and
faster accomplishment of tasks. Even just one sick employee has the potential to slow down work, especially for small businesses where the contribution of a single person is greatly felt.
Maintaining the health of the office favors the employer just as much as the employee. Unfortunately, illnesses are admittedly unavoidable, whether as a result of the Philippines’ extreme and ever changing weather, exhaustion from the infamous commute, or even the stress and overwork that occurs seasonally or regularly in all career fields.
How then, can employers help prevent illness in the workplace and maximize their staff’s work potential? Here are some ways:
1. Set a policy for flexible time and zero work-related contact after office hours
Many healthy workplaces maintain the welfare of their staff by promoting a quality work-life balance that provides them with ample time to balance their priorities, spend time with friends and families, and recover from office-related stresses.
A common way to do this is to adopt, whenever possible, a work schedule that allows employees to arrive in the office anytime between 7-10 AM and to clock out anytime between 5-7 PM, as long as they manage to fulfill the requisite eight hours. Barring scheduled meetings and client calls, employees can therefore organize their schedules to accommodate doctors’ checkups, yoga classes, massages, or even sipping a relaxing glass of wine with friends or colleagues.
A number of workplaces even go the extra mile by strictly implementing a policy banning the contacting of office staff at both the junior level and senior management, whether by phone, email, or instant messenger, on work-related subjects once the set working hours are over.
2. Find ways to provide healthier meal choices
Cafeterias are typical fixtures in most large businesses, government offices, and schools, while small and middle-sized businesses are usually headquartered in buildings with, or close to, large food halls. Food consumed in cafeterias and food halls has a considerable and immediate impact on an office staff’s cholesterol and sugar levels, blood pressure, body weight, and overall physical health.
Employers can therefore take action here by ensuring the availability of healthy meal choices. Discuss the possibility of definitively adding to the menu healthy and affordable options. Bring together other employers to ensure the availability of healthy concessioners in a food hall and reduce the number of fastfood options. Install vending machines that dispense only healthy, guilt-free snacks such as kale or cassava chips, dried fruit, and even yogurt. The possibilities are endless.
3. Fix a set budget for an office “wellness fund”
With fitness becoming increasingly trendy, exercise is now less of a chore and more of a fun activity, allowing employers to hit two birds with one stone by ensuring the health of employees and do teambuilding exercises via enjoyable company-sponsored fitness activities for the whole team.
Fun runs are the recently the most popular among these activities, with companies left and right either organizing their own run, or sponsoring employee participation in big events such as the annual NatGeo Earth Day Run, this last having the advantage of allowing small and medium- sized enterprises to save on logistical and venue costs. It is also relatively affordable to hire instructors for once-a- month office-wide zumba, yoga, spinning, or pilates classes. From here, employers can up the ante by rewarding the staff that finished the 21-kilometre run or who have consistently attended every fitness class sponsored by the office.
4. Provide for comprehensive healthcare coverage
As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure, and nothing ensures office health, productivity, and maximum staff presence in the workplace better than providing the workplace’s staff with the means to stop illnesses in their tracks, prevent their spread, and remedy, contain, or slow down potentially fatal or work-impeding medical problems.
While the costs of healthcare coverage is certainly a concern, many well-known Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs) fortunately now cater to a clientele including individuals
and small businesses, providing health plans that fit a large variety of budgets, tailor-fitted to
clients’ specific needs, so that companies, schools and offices of all fields and sizes can now rest
easy in mind and in pocket, in ensuring that their employees have adequate access to medical
care, and so can better, more comfortably, and more efficiently contribute to the workplace.
Here at Maria Health, we believe that a healthy team means a happy team, and a happy team means a more productive workplace. This is why we’ve partnered with the country’s top healthcare providers, so that you can ensure that your workplace is functioning at its very best.