Setting your workplace environment up for health is one of the keys to delivering an impactful and meaningful wellness program. Doing so not only shows you support employees’ healthy choices, but it also helps makes it easier for employees to make better choices.
Think of it this way, employees are bombarded with choices every day, fast food or salad, couch or treadmill. If you have an environment where the automatic choice - the easiest choice - is the healthy one, employees will be more likely to pick it. And when employees are focused on healthier habits, it leads to all those benefits businesses are looking for – increased productivity, better retention rates and an overall better culture.
Here are 12 simple ways you can start building health into your employees’ everyday environment:
Revamp your break room
1. Offer healthy alternatives in vending machines
Does your workplace have vending machines? Work with your vendor to see what they have available for a healthier food strategy. KONOP, a food service and vending company offers vending machines to companies with a red light, green light, yellow light concept. This labels the food based off their nutritional value, helping educate employees on their choices.
2. Use an honor system box
A great budget friendly option is to use an honor system box to help buy the product. PAi, a retirement consulting firm, successfully uses this concept. Every week the person who manages the food shops for apples, oranges and other fruit assortments. Then it’s placed in the breakroom next to an honor system box, asking employees to throw in a few bucks, they usually breakeven, or are only a few dollars short to supplying the next weeks produce.
3. Work with a food delivery service
Festival foods- a Midwest local grocer, offers the option of delivering healthy food options right to your office. Talk with your local grocer to see what healthy initiatives they offer. There are also online delivery options that companies like Kimberly Clark use, including: Fruit Guys and The Fruit Cube.
4. Build a healthy pantry
A local architectural firm built their own healthy wooden pantry filled with fruit, granola bar, nuts, and a cooler filled with healthy drink choices like juice, Gatorade, vitamin water and more.
5. Use the farmers market
Buy fruit & veggies from the Farmers market to support your local community. Make a small sign to highlight that these treats were farmed from local farmers, and purchased at your nearby market.
6. Provide easy access to fresh, cold water
Make sure that there are multiple stations, even outside your breakroom when applicable. Isagenix, a health and wellness company, encouraged employees to drink more water by giving everyone a personalized, company branded, thermos water bottle to help keep water cold.
Make space conducive to getting active
7. Designate workout space
Create dedicate space for working out. It doesn’t need to be a full gym to be effective. One company we work with offers a space that includes a TV and mats. Employees can bring in their own DVD workout videos, or pick from the bodyweight, yoga library available.
8. Offer onsite classes
At myInertia, we brought in a yoga instructor once a week for a lunch & yoga series. We simply pushed the conference tables aside and offered everyone who attended a yoga mat. We’ve also offered boot camp classes that featured 12 bodyweight training stations centered around strength training and used a tabata timer app.
9. Mark out an indoor walking path
A great free option that encourages people to move. One hospital system made an indoor walking path in their basement hallways for the winter months. The signs posted every 1/10th of a mile and indicated how far each loop would take you. Another option would be to mark step counts, Fitbit offers a reminder every hour to move for 250 steps. Mark out a path in your employees can walk in the office to achieve that.
10. Make sure the stairwells accessible
When was the last time you give your stairs a refresh? A fresh coat of paint and new lighting can make it more inviting for employees to pick this healthier alternative.
Give them the tools to get active
11. Standing desk options
One company, makes a varidesk a new employee onboarding gift. If you don’t have the budget to get standing options for each employee, get creative. We dedicate two cubicles to standing options, using an old treadmill for a walking option. You could go a step further and provide a second monitor for employees to plug into, along with phone and laptop charging options.
12. Under desk cyclers
The under-desk cyclers are a more affordable option to add movement to your employees’ day. On a tight budget? Consider the library book concept, lending them out to employees.
Do you have any ideas you’ve implemented that aren’t listed above? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!
Healthy environment is just one of the ways you can deliver meaningful wellness to your population. Download our wellness program checklist to view the other 6 strategies you need in place to deliver a results-driven wellness program.