The average worker will likely bring in an extra-large fatty latte, purchase chips from a vending machine and imbibe a can of Coca-Cola every workday. Not to mention they’ll be sitting at their desk for several hours at a time in a sedentary state. This isn’t a healthy diet or behavior.
Should an office intervene by offering fresh fruit and vegetables and perhaps an exercise area for staff members? If they want to have a healthy, productive and happy workforce then perhaps companies should start considering incorporating this into their business models to improve the bottom line and retain the best employees.
This isn’t just an opinion from a writer. Studies have previously highlighted the benefits of this workplace investment. According to research from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO), Brigham Young University and the Center for Health Research at Healthways, workers who consumed healthy meals and exercised on a regular basis had higher productivity levels and lower employee absenteeism than those who ate junk food and led a life of atrophy.
The report noted that employees who eat healthy food throughout their entire workday were 25 percent more likely to have higher job performance. Indeed, those who had a minimum of five servings of fruit and vegetables four times a week saw a 20 percent increase in their productivity.
In addition, employees who exercised at least half-an-hour three times a week saw an enhanced job performance of 15 percent.
Offices also noticed a significant decrease in employee absenteeism of 27 percent.
Remember, sugary soda or candy bars may offer a short-term burst of energy, but as the day goes by then the employees will turn into exhausted creatures that can barely function at their desks. Sugary, processed food and beverages don’t provide the sustained period of energy needed for a standard eight-hour day.
If a business wants to have projects completed well, assignments handed in on time and a staff that is always energetic then they can start by providing a healthy environment equipped with vegetables, fruits and exercise areas. But how does a business even initiate this venture?
3 Ways to Improve Empoyee Health
At the start of the day, ensure that the lunchroom is filled with nutrient-rich food options that are either left inside the refrigerator or catered each workday. Forget adding a snack machine to the lunchroom, invest in a crisper and an area for better food items.
A few minutes every couple of hours, encourage everyone in the office to stop what they’re doing and begin to exercise. This can either be stretching, walking on the spot or performing squats. The other option is to have a designated area with exercise equipment (weights, balls, trampoline, treadmill, etc.).
If your team members are eating well and exercising in their own time then reward them. This can be easily tracked through mobile applications and electronic gadgets. If they come to work Monday morning and have walked 5,000 steps over the weekend then provide that employee with a gift card or an afternoon off in a month’s time.
Similar to investing in new technology, allocating one to five percent of the office budget for the staff can increase productivity and thus overall revenues. This is a smart investment and a signal that your brand and business model are keeping up with the ever-changing times.
Does your business offer this guide of scheme to employees? Does it make them more effective? Your thoughts and comments below please...