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7 Health Initiatives at Work that Boost Productivity

written by Vidya Sury November 12, 2017
7 Health Initiatives at Work that Boost Productivity

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When employees miss time at work, productivity for that business suffers.  Therefore, companies have a vested interest in minimizing the number of days lost to illness.  This is especially true for preventable illnesses.  Companies that have a long-term view of employee retention are well-advised to make employee health (mind and body) one of their top priorities.

Two key elements of keeping employees productive at work involve maintaining mind and body health.  A comprehensive wellness guide for businesses of all types (manual labor, office intensive and everything in between) gives these businesses a firm foundation for promoting both physical and mental health.

Promoting Physical Health

While a lot of companies embrace the ‘lose weight, exercise regularly, cut back on junk food and limit alcohol intake’ mantra for the physical health of their employees, many of these employees just shrug these ‘suggestions’ off.  Instead, many forward-thinking companies provide their employees with yearly health assessments.

Yearly health assessments

These assessments include simple things like blood pressure and weight monitoring.  They also include more in-depth items like blood work to monitor cholesterol levels, glucose (for diabetics) and triglycerides.  Couple those with a yearly questionnaire about stress levels and lifestyle changes and you have a program that helps employees nip long-term health issues BEFORE they become problematic (and costlier).

Discounts on health insurance premiums

To help companies encourage employee participation in a program like this, employers will often offer a discount on their health insurance premiums as an incentive to ‘buy-in’.  This means that everyone has a vested interest in maintaining employee health.

Active space in the office

Other workplace ideas to promote physical health and boost productivity include creating office spaces dedicated to some active space.  Some offices have rooms dedicated for yoga; some have ping-pong tables (or something similar).  Larger companies can have a dedicated fitness center.

Smaller offices/companies without facilities dedicated to physical health can promote physical health by creating internal fitness competitions like step challenges.

Things to help relax your mind

Mental health

Proper mental health is perhaps even more important to employee productivity than physical health. Companies that provide adequate access and training on mental health issues experience lower employee absenteeism, added productivity and happier employees.

Stress identification

Stress identification and alleviation programs are also becoming a popular way for companies to boost productivity at work. Several companies are giving their employees education to identify mental health issues and providing access to treatments while maintaining confidentiality.

Meditation and mindfulness courses

Other forward-thinking policies also encourage employees to participate in meditation and mindfulness courses.  These courses help employees to renew (mentally and spiritually), relax and sharpen their focus.  These courses also help extend employee attention spans so they’re more productive when performing challenging tasks.  Given all the distractions of modern society which hampers our performance on the task at hand and diminishes our productivity, programs to resharpen our focus will be worth their weight in gold (literally).

Mental health day

Some companies have adjusted their sick leave policy to allow an employee to take a ‘mental health day’.  This type of sick day is one where the employee doesn’t have to justify their absence with a doctor’s note or a sick child—they just take a day off because they just needed one day—not a vacation, just a day, to mentally reset.

Companies looking to boost the productivity of their employees need to focus on improving employee mental and physical health.  Alleviating stress in and out of the job is perhaps the best thing a company can do to improve employee production.

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