Four ways to boost health and productivity
Simple ways to help employees get the most out of their days
Make it practical for staff to exercise without worrying about putting their looks or hygiene at risk. Photograph: Getty Images
A growing number of companies have begun to recognise that helping employees to maintain their well-being is now a vital component to creating a thriving workplace. Here are some of the most intelligent workplace practices employed today.
1 Facilitate physical fitness
Many studies have found a direct link between physical movement and mental agility.
Companies now offer their employees access to standing desks, onsite gyms and even company bicycles.
It’s a welcome trend. However, as important as offering employees access to workout equipment is, making it practical for them to exercise without worrying about putting their appearance or hygiene at risk is also important.
2 Make healthy eating easy
Not only do healthy foods keep us energised, research indicates that they facilitate higher quality work. Smart companies such as Danone are already taking advantage of this insight by providing employees with free fruit, salads and yogurt at the company cafeteria, while charging more for less healthy alternatives.
Companies without a cafeteria can apply the same thinking to their vending machines, by offering healthy items – and selling them at a discount.
3 Foster mental growth
As humans, we have a psychological need for growing our competence. That applies to all domains in life, but it’s especially true at work. Our engagement peaks when we’re being challenged and acquiring new skills.
Motley Fool, a financial services company, invites workers to purchase any book they want (nonfiction or fiction) at the company’s expense, empowering them to explore new ideas.
4 Pay employees to stop working
Intelligent workplaces recognise that taking time off is not a luxury. It is essential to top performance, an optimistic mindset and full engagement.
For leaders who are genuinely interested in preventing burnout and fostering productivity, there is a useful alternative to unlimited vacations: providing a set number of vacation days and incentivising people to actually use them. – (Copyright Harvard Business Review 2015)
Previously published in The Irish Times.
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