Encouraging healthy employees

Life is hard enough without making it any harder, right? Here are six ways to make employees’ work lives that little bit easier and more productive.

  1. Let them work from home once in a while. The longer the commute, the more stressful it is. Long commutes are associated with higher divorce rates, higher weight, reduced fitness, all predictors of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers. None of which encourages productivity.
  2. Make sure peoples’ workstations and chairs are set up ergonomically to reduce stress and strain on the joints, which leads to back pain and other problems.
  3. Most of us sit for more hours a day than we sleep and sitting for long periods can lead to some cancers, diabetes, heart disease, and blood clots. So encourage walking meetings to get the blood circulating and even encourage creativity.
  4. Budget allowing, set up a few standing work stations. Standing is healthier than sitting because it takes more energy and gets your internal organs working.
  5. Be a caring boss. Know what makes each employee tick and assign work to their areas of interest. Support people with honest, helpful feedback, both constructive and positive. Make sure everyone knows how their work contributes to the team as a whole and to the organisation.
  6. Don’t encourage the ‘unpaid overtime syndrome’. No one should feel compelled to put in extra hours as a way of showing their commitment to their job.

Discussion questions

Which of these ideas can you put to use right now? What other tips do you have for making employees’ working lives easier and more productive?