As an entrepreneur in the wellness tourism industry, I am a firm believer in implementing wellness into one’s everyday life. Ever since visiting a Thai wellness facility in 2015, I have been an advocate for embracing a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I am committed to establishing my own wellness facility in Dubai; however, wellness is more than just something one can practice temporarily. It is a way of life and, as such, should encompass every aspect of life.
The average person working a traditional 9-5 job will spend 10.3 years working, or approximately 21% of their total waking hours over a 76-year lifespan. If you’re not careful, you can quickly become a slave to your job, whether you enjoy it or not. Therefore, I believe every company should have an employee wellness program in place. This can look different depending on the company, but every business owner should have their employees’ health and wellness in mind. Workplace wellness programs have been shown to improve employee satisfaction, reduce stress, decrease absences, and increase productivity. Here are some ideas for ways employers can prioritize and implement wellness in the workplace.
- Have time and facilities for exercise- Having on-site facilities allows employees to channel any stress they may be feeling at work into working out. Working out releases endorphins that cause stress, and a happier workplace will result in increased productivity.
- Green-ify the office space- Plants in the office have been proven to increase happiness and productivity.
- Offer healthy food in the cafeteria.
- Distribute a guide to healthy eateries in the area.
- Start a fitness club- Having a running or walking program in place will encourage employees to take an active role in their fitness. Group exercise motivates people to work out more than solo exercise and is also a great way bonding activity to strengthen employee relationships.
- Allow flexible work schedules and telecommuting- Giving employees the freedom to work from home on occasion and practice flexible schedules ensures that they have a balanced lifestyle. In return, this will result in increased productivity.
- Encourage employees to take the stairs- Distribute flyers and post infographic posters reminding employees of the health benefits of taking the stairs versus the elevator.
- Implement a no-smoking policy.
- Start an employee cookbook of healthy recipes.
- Negotiate employee discounts for gym memberships- If you’re unable to accommodate fitness facilities on-site, then see if you can negotiate employee discounts at a local fitness club. One of people’s biggest reservations for joining a gym is that they don’t think they’ll get their money’s worth. This way, employees are still able to make fitness a priority outside of work.