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5 surprising things you can do for a healthier and happier workforce

Workplace wellbeing day is happening on March 31st so we thought we’d put together some easy and some surprising wins to help you and your staff make the most of it.

1 – Colour things up

Take every opportunity to add splashes of colour into the workspace, paint feature walls, hang some art or bring the outdoors indoors with plants and flowers. It not only helps to brighten up a room, it can help your staff in unexpected ways. Yellow helps the creative juices flow, green helps reduce stress and promote calmness, while blue encourages focus.

2 – Office games

We all know the saying that goes, “Laughter is the best medicine.” What better way to test it than with some fun team building activities? They’re a great way to get your team working together and laughing together.

This doesn’t mean you have to cart everyone away to the nearest adventure centre for group orienteering or survival weekends. Start small with some fun and ‘zero cost’ problem solving games like this one – The Shrinking Vessel: Use a rope, blanket, or tape to mark a space on the floor. Get your group (or a set of smaller teams) to stand in that space. Then gradually shrink the space, so the team must think fast and work together to keep everyone within the shrinking boundaries.

3 – Sit down stand up

There are lots of HR requirements when it comes to encouraging your staff to sit down at their desk; such as proper chairs, desk height and screen level. But just as important is encouraging your staff to stand up.

It’s never a good idea to stay seated for too long, so encourage your staff to take regular stand up breaks. A quick stretch of the legs and back is not only better for their posture, recent studies show it can also improve productivity at work too. That’s a win-win.

4 – Power Naps

Making a small room or rooms available to staff to book power naps is an emerging feature in the modern workplace. Power-napping has been proven to have positive productivity benefits for staff. It captures the benefits of the first two stages in the sleep cycle which take place in the first twenty minutes of sleep.

As well as making you feel more rested and alert, a power nap can help the brain rid itself of unnecessary information stored in short-term memory, and can also improve muscle memory. 20 minutes is ideal for most people but if you don’t have much time, a two to five-minute nap, called a “nano-nap” can help too.

And finally…

5 – Permission to switch off

There’s always a deadline to meet, a call to take and an email that needs a reply. The feeling you need to ‘complete’ the working day is a big factor in work related stress. Encourage your staff to have a more balanced approach to their workload, deal with the important stuff and leave the rest until tomorrow. As an employer, try to lead by example, avoid sending work related texts or emails after hours and don’t expect an immediate reply when you do. Give your staff permission to switch off their work phones when they are on holiday or if it’s getting late.