Healthy Mind + Healthy Body = More Productive Workforce Created on 29/07/2011 14:00:00
From birthday cakes to biscuits, bacon sandwiches to bars of chocolate, the modern office space offers us temptation at any opportunity.
For anyone looking to watch their weight, the workplace can be a minefield. A recent report told how many office workers find keeping their waistline under control an uphill battle at work let alone trying to lose a few extra pounds. It even states that amongst office workers, Type 2 Diabetes is on the increase.
But whilst temptation is all around there are options that could lead you and your employees down a very different path…and even small steps can have a positive effect.
Healthy Food Choices
Whilst we all know that certain foods are not so good for us and should be limited, some scientists believe that we are programmed to eat whatever is put in front of us. It therefore follows that promoting healthier choices should have a positive impact. Here are some examples of initiatives that you may consider for your workplace:
If you have an onsite catering service, why not suggest a range of healthier options or a calorie/fat count for pre-prepared food. Ask for salads, healthy snacks or lower fat options. The restaurant at the multi-tenanted office space Langstone Technology Park in Havant provides a range of foods designed to promote a healthier lifestyle from lower fat content, to freshly prepared sushi, to a fresh daily salad bar. It also offers an our of hours healthier vending option to the 3,500 employees based onsite, free cold water facilities and as an added bonus fulfils its environmental credentials with bio-degradable packaging where possible.
Many businesses now offer fruit to employees as standard. This is a healthier option for your staff and in some cases may be the main source of essential vitamins and minerals. Fasset, the facilities management company who manage the south coast business park provide a weekly supply for the team as part of its occupational health initiatives and actively encourage lifestyle choices.
As an employer it is tempting to have employees at their desks for as long as possible but if an active mind is a healthy mind, why not encourage some physical exercise – at whatever level. Options to consider would be incentives to cycle to work, discounted gym membership or as Langstone Technology Park has done and introduce outdoor fitness sessions at your location. This complements the ‘Activ Health’ fitness centre that is also onsite that opens 24/7 on flexible terms with no membership tie-in. Ensure your teams take their entitlement of regular breaks, even discourage eating at desks; and how about introducing an incentive to give up smoking?
Health & Safety Conscious
Your staff are probably one of if not the most important business assets you have, so ensuring they are safe and healthy should be paramount. Obviously what level of support and policy you chose to implement will be determined by what your business is its size etc. but the basic safety of an area to ensure there are no hazards that could cause an accident should be a priority.
For companies involved in say manual work, manufacturing or chemicals then health and safety regulations and requirements are vital and an area where specialist support is probably a worthwhile investment.
For an office based company a basic induction about display screen equipment and the availability of eye test vouchers could make all the difference and show your staff that you have their welfare firmly in your mind.
Managed office space provider Langstone Technology Park, Havant has an Occupational Health centre onsite that companies based there can buy services from for their staff – any many chose this option to further add value to their employment package. At the site there is a nurse and medically trained team to deal with minor incidents and provide first aid.
The nurse can also work alongside human resources to offer assistance in getting staff on long term sickness back in the work place. In addition the occupational health at Langstone offers a range of treatments like Reiki and Reflexology; and hosts wellbeing events throughout the year. They also have a ‘weigh-in’ for anyone looking to shed a few pounds and can offer eating advice – as not everyone has the level of awareness or opportunity to follow one of the more established slimming programmes.
However you chose to support your staff whether it is supporting healthy eating, encouraging exercise or simply working within basic health and safety, this investment shows that you value them. Of course you can only lead a horse to water as they say, but employees who make some healthy choices and embrace your support will undoubtedly feel more motivated.