It’s that time of year when everyone is coming up with ways to better themselves – to get healthy, to exercise more, to be happier, and kinder.
According to research from YouGov, the most popular New Year’s resolutions this year include:
• Eat better
• Exercise more
• Spend less
• Improved self-care
• Read more
• Learn a skill.
It’s not surprising that so many health and wellbeing resolutions top the lists, following Christmas and New Year’s celebration which can lead to a little over-indulgence.
But why is it that when the next New Year rolls around, so many of us find ourselves making the same old promises to ourselves?
The fact of the matter is, good intentions are one thing, but sticking it out is quite another. Here are some ways employers can help encourage staff to stand firm on their health and wellbeing resolutions this year.
Employers have the opportunity to raise awareness about healthy eating by making sure there are leaflets and materials accessible – perhaps in the kitchen. They can also offer free fruit, or health vending machines.
If a company has a culture of lots of work lunches, it might be advisable at the start of the year at least to select healthier restaurants – the last thing someone on a health kick wants is the temptation to pop out for pizza on a break.
If there’s room in the budget for such perks, discounted membership to gyms and fitness classes can be one way of motivating employees to get some exercise. Alternatively, businesses can organise sports teams or fun runs as a cheaper way to get everyone involved.
Sometimes, employees may not feel that they have enough time to commit to exercise – in this case, some might find flexible working or working from home useful. The time gained by ditching a commute could be used to burn calories at the gym, or they could get down to the gym at off-peak hours.
Employers can encourage self-care by keeping staff educated about what this means – getting enough sleep, learning to switch off and not constantly checking emails, learning how to cope with stress and anxiety.
Introducing a policy of switching off devices and not replying to work-related messages after work hours can be a good start here.
In addition, there are plenty of gadgets and apps to help monitor sleep quality and heart rates, and even to help people learn how to mediate and relax.
Happier employees are more likely to give their all at work and help foster a positive working environment for everyone.
There are plenty of ways employers can lend a helping hand – you never know, it might be the difference between a healthier 2018, and setting the same goals again next New Year’s Eve.
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