Business leaders need to work hard to change perceptions – recent research by mental health charity Mind found that nearly seven in ten bosses believe stress, anxiety or depression are not valid excuses for taking time off.
Building a work culture that takes the health of its team members seriously is fundamental to forming a modern professional environment.
Here are five simple but effective ways to support and improve the health of the individual and the team as a whole.
(1) A grand day out
When summer comes around, a trip to the local park for rounders and a picnic is a wonderful change of pace and scenery that can bring team members closer together.
(2) Working out, working better
Increasingly, HR teams and business leaders are expected to make an offer of benefits and perks to employees. Subsidised gym membership with a local leisure centre can help to motivate and engage colleagues in looking after their health. A pre- or post-work gym visit is an excellent method for motivation and getting the brain and the body working together.
Looking for something simpler and less costly? The gym isn’t for everyone. Ten thousand steps per day is widely advised to be a key part of a healthy lifestyle, so why not set up an office-wide pedometer competition? Keep track of your monthly scores and award prizes for the most ground covered and the most improved.
(3) Rewarding great work
It might seem simple, but a swift post-work pint can do the world of good for allowing your team a little light relief at the end of the busy day.
If workloads are high but deadlines are being met, be sure to reward your team for their hard work. A quarterly night out or meal is a lovely landmark for people to look forward to, and while ordering a fruit box or a weekly group lunch may feel like a small gesture, but they all add up to a more motivated and contented team.
(4) Clubs and groups
Creating special interest groups in the workplace is a great way for colleagues to bond and build better connections.
Whether it’s a lunchtime running club or yoga, or even a Friday afternoon book group, consider your workplace culture and find the interests to match your team. Colleagues with things in common will work better and communicate more effectively.
(5) Organising your office
Clutter can have a big impact on productivity and mood in the workplace. If your office is liable to the occasional mountain of paperwork, a monthly decluttering session can support a more efficient approach to work.
But don’t stop there: a healthy workplace is one that is oriented for purpose and built around the work that you do. Comfy, flexible meeting spaces and lots of natural light throughout. If it’s possible to reconfigure your space for the better, don’t hesitate!
What are the most effective wellbeing policies in your company?
Jamie Ross is a project manager for Better Extreme.
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