If you want your team of employees to perform to their best, it’s partly your responsibility, as the business owner, to help them be more active in and around the workplace. There are many methods you can implement into your employees daily working lives to help them achieve a higher level of activeness and wellbeing.
It’s also largely been suggested that a more active lifestyle helps with mental wellness, so keep this in mind while assessing the performance of your team.
Healthy UK Businesses
81.5% of workers in the UK agree that regular exercise helps them stay focused at work. Staff productivity is rightfully one of the highest concerns for most bosses in the workplace, so making sure your employees are active enough is a great strategy to look into.
Furthermore, a lack of exercise can have progressively damaging effects on our health, especially when partnered with a bad diet. So, making sure staff members are looking after themselves in all aspects will be better for your business in the long run. By doing so you will have more productive members of staff and a team of people working for you that are highly concentrated on their daily tasks.
How to promote active lifestyles at work
As a boss or manager, there are numerous ways in which you can promote active working lifestyles for your employees. Different methods will suit different office spaces, so be sure to only choose what’s right for you and your business.
Here’s a few suggestions for you to consider:
- Offer flexi-time
All of us have different preferences when it comes to a working routine, you can be an early morning person or more of a night owl. Help your employees to fit in their workout whenever suits them best by offering flexible working hours. This could be as simple as allowing them to start or finish work early to ensure they can fit their planned exercise into their day.
- Encourage staff to take a lunch break
While you can’t expect people to intensely exercise during their lunch break, try to encourage your staff to go out and take a short work rather than just remaining sat at their desk while eating. This will also allow them to get some fresh air which will make them feel fresher and more energised for the second half of their working shift.
- Organise group exercise for your team
Sometimes the thought of going to the gym after a full day at work can feel like too much effort. It’s an option to organise group activities, such as making a work team for a weekly sports event which can incorporate everyone. This will not only give you a chance to work on your fitness or improve your sporting skills, you’ll also be able to socialise with members of staff and build on your relationships with them.
- Offer perks to your staff members
You could offer a number of different perks or schemes to your members of staff to get them more active. Why not consider having a monthly prize draw that rewards someone at the end of each month? The prizes could be as small or big as you like. Anything from a voucher to spend at Sports Direct, to a free gym membership trial, would be efficient. This will show your team that as a boss, you consider health and activeness to be a very important factor for your team.
- Bike to work
A really simple way of getting people to be more active is to encourage them to swap out public transport or cars, for biking to and from work. This will enable them to exercise without having to really think about it. The more they do it, the more comfortable they will be with the routine, hence it becoming second nature to them. A great way to encourage this is to have some bike racks or sheds installed to your office parking, so that staff have somewhere to store their bicycles.
- Offer a strong work-life balance
One of the best approaches you can take to look out for your employees’ wellbeing is to promote a good work-life balance. This could be anything from encouraging your staff to leave on time, to banning emails outside of working hours. So, ensuring your employees aren’t putting in too much overtime can help them to find time in the day to not only to keep fit, but to do other activities that they enjoy as well.
- Employee responsibility
As an employee you shouldn’t be relying on your boss to look after your health and well-being. You need to take responsibility of yourself and decipher how you’ll fit exercise and healthy eating around your typical 9-5 job.
Unlocked have some top tips on how to stay fit while you’re at work. They advise doing the following as much as possible while you’re working:
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Prepare your meals at home, so you can control what you eat.
- Take hourly breaks and stretch or rest your eyes.
- Get up from your desk and go for a quick walk anywhere as often as you can.
- Encourage your office mates to start a tradition of exercising.
Consider your lunch
Packing a healthy lunch to take to work each day will help you in your pursuit of health. This can aid you in getting your five-a-day and allow you to avoid having too many unhealthy snacks during the day time. After all, your work lunch is one of your main meals five days of the week. You should have a mixture of fruit, sandwiches with salad on them, and a multigrain bar for example. This will give you a good balanced meal that can also help to energise you throughout the remainder of the day.
Also, remember to take a water bottle to work with you. Keeping hydrated throughout the day is a great way to ensure you’re looking after your health, and you’ll feel better for it too. Each time you notice your water bottle in the corner of your eye, take a sip from it. The aim should be to drink a full bottle before lunch and another by the time you’re done with work for the day. Consuming this much water will help you to ward off headaches and tiredness, while also boosting your mood and energy levels.
Another thing to think about is throughout the day, make sure you’re sitting up straight in your chair, maintaining strong posture. This will help you to avoid getting pains in your back, which can be a common occurrence for people that work at a desk almost every day of their life.
Stress from running a business
Let’s not forget the directors or the business owners that fund the business. Running a business can be very stressful from sleepless nights to the day to day issues of managing a firm and pushing for growth. Most SME business in the UK are owner manger types, this means the people that own them are on the shop floor working with everyone ones. One of the main worries and courses of stress related health issues for business owners is money worries. The constant worry of paying bill, staff and taxes on time is having an effect on business owners health.
One way of overcoming this issue is to apply for working capital for your business. A merchant cash advance is a product that will advance a lump sum of cash, it is then repaid back over a period of unto 18 months. This product is a perfect fit to allow business owners to over come one of the main issues that stops the company from growing and allows a good nights sleep to stop you worrying about how you are going to pay that next bill.
Getting enough rest
One of the key things that’s often overlooked when trying to achieve a healthy active lifestyle, is getting enough rest. This can be a costly mistake by those that are seeking a healthier way of living and spending too much time doing activities and not getting enough sleep isn’t good for the mind or the body.
If you’re wanting to implement this way of thinking into your office, you could work out an agreement of sorts with your members of staff and get them to come up with a better solution to taking breaks from work. Perhaps they could choose what time they take their breaks each day, that way they can take one when they feel that they need one, rather than interrupting their flow of work just because they need to have a break at a set time.
Get some sleep
Adults should get no less than 7-9 hours of sleep per day. This way they can ensure that they’ll be able to function properly the next day. For obvious reasons this will help you to work better and feel less tired while you’re working. This could in turn motivate you to exercise more after or before going to work each day.
If you allow not getting the right amount of sleep to become a regular occurrence in your life, you’ll be putting your health in a great deal of danger.
The NHS website explains that, “One in 3 of us suffers from poor sleep, with stress, computers and taking work home often blamed. However, the cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus. Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.”
If you want to live a long and healthy life, as well as being able to keep up with your work and exercise routines, make sure you’re getting enough rest and giving your body the chance to relax when it needs to.
The key points
To recap, keep in mind the importance of health at your workplace. Not only for your employees, but for yourself as well. Take any breaks you need throughout the day and support your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of others around you. Fitness is a key component of life and being more physically active can help to keep a concentrated mind whilst working. The healthier your workforce is, the more productive they will be and the same goes for you, the business owner.
Support your workers that choose an active method of transport between work and their homes, and do your best to organise sports activities for you staff in order to keep spirits lifted. Living a healthy and active lifestyle has hugely positive mental effects on us, so encouraging this sort of behaviour is a great thing to do for multiple reasons.