A healthy work environment is key to job satisfaction but remember “wellness isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Wellness initiatives that are important to one employee might not be as important to another. Every employee’s journey to a healthier lifestyle is unique, and it should be treated as such.” – Forbes
Reasonable accommodation. Employers and employees have to work collaboratively to identify reasonable accommodations (not special treatment) in the workplace for physical as well as mental disabilities. From changing physical workspace and schedule to the use of interpreters or technologically adapted equipment, it can run the gamut.
Work/Life Balance. We now live in a world where technology is available to keep us connected to work around the clock. Work options such as flexible scheduling, hoteling (reservation-based unassigned seating) or telecommuting ought to be implemented if applicable.
Fitness. Offer a gym membership, fitness class or even just an exercise space that encourages employees to become physically active and stay fit. If possible, incentivize employees to access such services.
Supporting Mental Health. More and more employers are promoting the use of mental health days, providing assistance or coverage for therapy or counseling services and encouraging employees to practice self-care.
Focus on Sleep. A 2016 study from RAND Corporation estimated that sleep deprivation costs U.S. employers roughly $411 billion annually.
Expect to see more employers educating employees about the harmful effects of sleep deprivation, and even adding some sleep challenges to their wellness program. Some top companies have already made adjustments to help employees get enough rest by adding on-site nap rooms and sleep pods. Flexible hours can also help employees catch up on some valuable rest.
Healthy Food Options
“A very large body of evidence now exists that suggests diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health,” says Felice Jacka, president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. “A healthy diet is protective and an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression and anxiety.”
- Provide healthy choices for company meetings, parties, and events;
- Provide healthier food options in office cafeterias; and
- Add wholesome food options to vending machines. Healthy vending machines are stocked with nutritious snacks like mixed nuts, dried fruit, fresh veggies, hummus, and healthy drinks. Investing in a healthy vending machine could be a great way to contribute to a healthy workplace culture.
Culture. The number one reason young professionals gave for nominating their business as a Best Place to Work (or Intern) was culture. Most employees thrive under hands-on experience that gives them a seat at the table and a voice. They want to be trusted, respected and appreciated for what they have to offer.
Convenience Perks. Employers who are looking for ways to take some day-to-day stress off their employees.
- Discounts on travel
- Specially organized discounts at local businesses
- Errand services (dry cleaning pickup, taking your vehicle for oil changes, etc.)
- On-site fitness facilities
- Cellphone stipend
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