The best employees are those who feel engaged and supported in the workplace. That entails more than their sense of value and fulfillment. Healthier employees are happier, which means they’re more productive — and more likely to stick around! That’s why many business owners are looking for ways to help their employees feel great inside and out.

Read on to learn how you can encourage your team to embrace an active lifestyle and reduce their stress.

Eradicate Hustle Culture

As a society, we’ve come to equate “working hard” with “working nonstop.” Thus, rates of burnout are on the rise. A Deloitte survey found that 77 percent of employees had experienced burnout, and 21 percent felt their employer could do more to alleviate it.

Your most passionate employees are at high risk for burnout because they’re more likely to pile on extra work or avoid taking days off. It’s crucial to facilitate boundaries for your team. For example, you could require those who have accrued time off to take it. Create social events or “water cooler” spots where people can connect with their colleagues.

Consider how your company culture might encourage overworking. For example, if you only reward those who exceed quotas, you’re incentivizing people to skip breaks or vacation days. Find different ways to celebrate your team’s accomplishments and honor their contributions.

Encourage Physical Activity

Your employees could be suffering the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, especially if they sit at workstations all day. Repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) include back pain and carpal tunnel syndrome. These both distract your employees from their tasks and limit their ability to exercise or enjoy recreational activities outside of work.

Even 15-30 minutes of moderate physical activity can counteract the strain of extended sitting or repetitive tasks. Benefits include better sleep, a reduced risk of obesity and cardiovascular disease, and less anxiety. Exercise can also strengthen muscles and connective tissues, helping prevent RSIs from happening. Plus, it releases endorphins for a nice mood boost!

To encourage your employees to take some time for their health, make physical fitness accessible in the workplace. Your options include:

  • Bringing in dance, pilates, or yoga instructors for on-site classes
  • Sponsoring memberships to gyms, recreation complexes, dance or yoga studios
  • Creating an onsite rec room with simple workout gear, medicine balls, table tennis, and other fun activities
  • Investing in pleasant walking trails for employees to stroll on their breaks
  • Hosting a step challenge (great for workplaces that tend to be competitive!)

Make sure everyone knows about these activities and amenities. Then, urge them to take advantage! It may be hard for some employees to consider “having fun” or “working out” on the job. Managers and executives should take part in these activities to lead by example.

Empower Your Team to Do Their Best

The importance of mental health in the workplace cannot be overstated. You can help by organizing your team so everyone can best leverage their skills. This allows them to remain in control of their workload, which may reduce their stress.

Of course, mental wellness is more than a lack of stress or depression. People perform their best when they feel motivated and acknowledged. Consider how your company culture might support this — or where you may need to cultivate a more affirming environment. For example, do employees have the knowledge and resources to help each other in a pinch? Is there sufficient camaraderie to balance out any competitiveness?

Again, social events and fitness opportunities can help strengthen your culture — and boost your employees’ holistic health as well!

Offer Mental Health Support

In addition to any healthcare benefits, you can support your employees’ mental wellness with on-demand counseling and mindfulness activities. An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) typically offers basic counseling to help employees process difficult times and relieve stress. Many EAP counselors can also talk through non-work-related problems, since a stressful home life or financial worries can impact one’s workplace happiness.

Especially if you’re trying to eradicate hustle culture, offer programs and amenities to help your employees reduce their stress. One key stressor is that long work hours can make it hard for people to disengage and relax. Mindfulness activities switch neural activity from hyperactive gamma waves (“work mode”) to soothing alpha or theta waves, which happen during creative or educational activities.

Workplace mindfulness training might include:

  • Yoga classes
  • Arts and crafts events
  • A workplace garden
  • Low-pressure “Lunch and Learns”

Support Workplace Wellness with the Active Marion Project

Wellness is more than the absence of illness. Employees who feel motivated, comfortable, and engaged form a stronger team and a happier, healthier workplace. By investing in your employees’ health, you’re investing in your business’s future!

Not sure where to start? Reach out to the Active Marion Project! We can help your workplace participate in steps challenges, and we’ll also work with you to develop a workplace wellness plan. Our variety of community partners can help you offer onsite wellness programs that best suit your team.