5 low-cost things you can do to improve employees’ health

24th November, 2017

Workplace wellness programs are usually seen as the domain of big companies with the budget to commit to such initiatives, but smaller companies can get in on the action too.

It’s generally accepted that happy and healthy employees are productive employees, and there have been some numbers put around the cost of not having a happy and healthy workforce.

But knowing that you should have a happy and healthy workforce and having a happy and healthy workforce are two different things.

Bigger employers (such as MYOB) put together wellness programs – which is great – but smaller employers also want their workers to be as healthy as possible.

So how can you encourage your staff to be the best they can be while you’re trying to manage your business costs?

1. Allow flexible or remote working

This one’s a bit of a no-brainer.

If your staff member can feel a cold coming on, they should probably stay home instead of coming into the office infecting everybody – but that also equals lost productivity, right?

Not if your worker can simply whip out a laptop and crack on with work at home while sipping on the Lemsip.

While having the technical capability to work from home is one thing, it’s also up to you as a leader to press home the point that your workers are encouraged to work from home in that situation.

READ: 5 reasons why employers should embrace flexible working

2. Go outside once in a while

When was the last time you had a team meeting in the park?

With spring and summer now in full swing, there’s never been a better time to think about holding team meetings in the fresh air.

Getting some fresh air and Vitamin D is good for your employees – so think about how you can get out of the office once in a while.

Humans are happier with the sun on their face rather than the dull glare of fluorescent lighting.

3. Encourage face-to-face meetings and communication

Internal communication tools like Slack are great and everything, but the best communication solution since the dawn of time has been humans talking to one another, face to face.

Too often we get stuck behind a desk and fear leaving it will result in lost productivity, but by encouraging your employees to get up and talk to each other you’ll be getting them up and active.

There’ll also be an immediate reduction in passive-aggressive emails sent in the office too if people are more inclined to talk face to face.

4. Look into subsidising flu shots

Flu, aside from being a real drag – and at its worst an actual killer – is responsible for a lot of downtime in the office during the winter months.

A lot of employers will look into a corporate package for a health provider to come into the office and provide flu shots to employees on a certain day.

Certain providers will only come out to your place of business if they can guarantee a certain number of people will get flu shots, and costs can vary – so let your fingers do the walking and do a comparison.

5. Fruit box

A popular fixture in the MYOB offices, a weekly fruit box will give your employees a chance to get some more vitamins into their system, helping them get healthier.

In several surveys, when people are asked why they don’t eat more fruit or vegetables, they remark that it’s because fruit isn’t readily available near them.

Why not give your employees the perfect opportunity to improve their diet by ordering a weekly fruit box?

Again, prices and quantities vary so let your fingers do the walking.

One final piece of advice: keep it going for at least a month so people are well aware of the availability of fruit in the workplace.