Benovate’s Expert Blogger
By: Meghan Hatalla
Benovate’s Expert Blogger
Workplace wellness can–and should–be more than just an afterthought…
In addition to improving productivity, unique well-being initiatives can be a recruitment tool for talent. Of course, the standard wellness ideas–offering breakfast, flexible work environment, onsite fitness classes, etc–achieve these things as well. But offering employees something completely different sets certain organizations apart. Here at Benovate, we’re doing some things, like offering walking stations and growing our own vegetables in a nearby community garden.
Here are some of the best out-of-the-box employee wellness initiatives from Benefits Pro. It might be advantageous to do a test run with some of these before baking them into a corporate wellness policy!
5 Out-of-the-Box Ways to Improve Employee Well-being:
1. Bring in the Dogs
Reports show that dogs both help employees relax and incentivize them to work harder. They also tend to inspire more trust between team members, generating more effective collaboration.
As great as dogs are, be mindful of employees with allergies, sensitivities, or a dislike of animals. And if you’re not sold on opening your office space up to the animals, consider bringing in therapy dogs or partnering with a rescue for “dog days.”
2. Onsite Chair Massages
Sitting–and even using standing workstations–for multiple hours a day can have dramatic effects on the body. So much so that the new common refrain is “Sitting is the new smoking” when it comes to effects on health. Help alleviate the pain by offering chair massages, whether your employees are sitting, standing, or somewhere in between. Massages, of course, relax muscles and the mind. They can do wonders in improving long-term health.
3. Replace the Light Bulbs
Surprised? You might already be aware of the studies emerging around blue light (emitted by smartphones) and its detrimental effects on our eyes and ability to sleep soundly. But artificial light, particularly fluorescent and other low-grade lighting typically found in offices, is also not great for long-term health. As part of a corporate wellness initiative, consider replacing lighting with natural light sources where available, or using softer lights that can mimic the brightness of the outdoors.
4. Host an Onsite CSA Exchange or Farmers Market
Access plays a huge part in health. After all, it’s easier to motivate yourself to hit the gym if it’s a short distance from your house or work, right? And the same goes for healthy food options.
Make it easy for employees to choose fresh fruit over french fries by having local vendors selling their produce and other products at your organization. Or look into hosting a CSA (community-supported agriculture–typically, someone signs up and pays a predetermined amount in exchange for weekly or bi-weekly grocery delivery of whatever is fresh in the garden at the time). And–if you’re really into this idea–create a newsletter highlight what’s in season and recipes for preparation.
5. Redesign for Activities
If it’s not convenient to take the stairs, how likely is it someone will go out of their way to use the stairs? That’s the thought behind new ideas on workplace design. Create space in inspire movement, not prohibit it. Add to that green walls that filter the air, sleep pods, and other employee well-being improvements built into the very fabric of the work-space.
Support Employee Health & Well-being
Redefining workplace wellness in unconventional ways is a great way to get employees to inadvertently *opt-in* to these initiatives. Design an environment that supports health and well-being, and you’ll get employees who don’t have to make decisions between their health and their work.