How to promote a culture of wellness in your office

Cultivating a culture of wellness in the office lends itself to a more productive and healthy workplace.

Less time is taken off of work by employees participating in work wellness programs. 28.3 % less time off work to be exact (source: Health Promotion Practitioner Magazine). 

Wellness in the workplace, when done right, promotes an atmosphere of creativity, focus and increased happiness.

Many companies are aware of these enormous benefits and are beginning to implement wellness programs in the workplace, but are they effective?

Following are a list of tips to foster wellness and well-being in the workplace.

Top down role models.  Are you promoting wellness in the workplace, but your leaders are not involved? Leaders must illustrate that they value wellness and work life balance in their own lives if they want to model and promote wellness and work life balance in their employees lives.

Empowered.  Employees must be given the tools to learn to weave stress reducing strategies into their day.  For example learning breath control tools will empower employees to take their health into their own hands. Several techniques can help you turn down your response to stress. Breath focus helps with nearly all of them. -Harvard Health Edu Online. Learn more about Breathe and Work’s stress management workshops here.

Permission based. This ties back to the company leader being a great role model. If employees believe that stretching at their desk or walking at their lunch hour will make them more focused then they need to know they truly have permission to do so. They will feel they have permission when they see their leaders managing their own stress and well-being.  (Check out this fabulous study: Peter Strick at the Veteran Affairs Medical Center of Syracuse, New York, has documented another link. His staff has traced a pathway from the cerebellum back to parts of the brain involved in memory, attention, and spatial perception. Amazingly, the part of the brain that processes movement is the same part of the brain that processes learning. 

More than physical: Well-being is not just ask physical health. Are you address emotional and mental health as well? Visual imagery can assist employees in feeling more confident and prepared for a big meeting. New York City psychologist Daniel Kadish says, “Everyone can use imagery to prepare for all kinds of situations, including public presentations and difficult interactions.”

Convenient:  Many employees have family’s and other responsibilities to attend to after work. How can wellness be cost and time effective for employees? Services that are brought to them is a great way to start. For example twice weekly yoga classes in the office can be brought in during the day to eliminate the issue of time and money constraints. And it’s a win win according to this study: A study conducted by Dr. James E. Stahl and his team at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital found that people who participated in an 8-week yoga and meditation program used 43% fewer medical services than the previous year, saving on average $2,360 per person in emergency room visits alone. This means that such yoga and meditation programs could translate into health care savings of $640 to $25,500 per patient each year!

Consistency: Like anything that we want to stick with we need to turn wellness into a habit. We cannot expect to cultivate a culture of wellness with one wellness workshop or one wellness week per year. Wellness must be on-going, supportive and led by example. In this way we can truly start to gain the multitude of benefits from promoting wellness in the workplace. We will have happier, healthier employees and we will also benefit from tremendous savings in insurance claims and increased profits.

Want more? Email Shawn at shawn@breatheandwork.com or call 602 694 9053 today.

1 Comment on How to promote a culture of wellness in your office

  1. I like the new format. Excellent article and right on target. Keep up the good work.

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