Green zoning your workplace is a simple strategy to implement policies that help your staff to improve their health during the workday. I thought I would bring you 8 simple tips that you can use in your company to green zone your corporate environment:
1. Remove the vending machines or stock them healthily: Vending machines are often the go to for many when they are tired and hungry for a snack. What you put in to these machines will directly affect your health. Look for healthy snacks such as nuts and in terms of fluid go for water all day long.
2. A healthy canteen: Staying with the food in the workplace, now it’s time to take a look at the canteen. Canteens of old were full of chips with high calorie low nutrient meals. This is no longer good enough; meals should be full of nutrients, colour and low glycemic carbs. Chips should be relegated to one day a week and salad bar options should be introduced. Combine this with informative posters and education with calories on menu boards.
3. Run regular initiatives and challenges: The best corporate wellbeing programmes have constant challenges to keep staff focused and motivated. These programmes can include team step counts, weight loss, couch to 5k, 5 a side soccer to name but a few. They not only help your staff to get healthy but also to work as part of a team too, completing a task together and getting a reward from the company when they achieve that goal.
4. Desk health: One of the simplest ways to improve employee health is to look at how they sit at their desk. Standing desks are becoming more and more popular, with desk adaptors for sale making it simple and cheap to change your desk. Standing more during the day is actually crucial for your health and can make a big difference to your daily metabolic burn and help strengthen the muscles in the body too. Swiss balls are also great ways to improve desk health too, sitting on a swiss ball helps your core to work all during the day. I have also seen treadmill desks in Ireland now too, with clients clocking up 6-10 miles a day while working away at their computers.
5. Use the stairs: Where there is a lift there is a stairs. Why not encourage your staff to use the stairs instead during the day. You will be amazed at how beneficial this change can be, for something so simple. Using the stairs helps to work your muscles and your lungs and while it may be tough in the beginning, it will get easier as you get fitter.
6. Have guest speakers regularly throughout the year: One of the best ways to keep staff focused and motivated is to have experts in to talk to them on a regular basis. We all love to learn from others and often listen to others more than those directly around us. Monthly or bi monthly lectures can be a great way to improve the health of your staff.
7. Lead from the top: It is hard to motivate your company if those at the top of the company aren't learning by example. For any wellbeing programme to work properly, everyone must take part, make it visible that senior management are doing it too, we all love to follow people so you will be surprised at what difference it makes.
8. Measure it: Above all, measure the success of the programme by measuring some outcomes. It could be the number taking part or some component of the plan. Regardless, just ensure to measure something.
You will be amazed at the effect these simple changes will have for your staff and your company. From increased motivation and productivity, to happier, healthier staff, you have it all to gain and nothing to lose! Try some of these strategies and watch what happens.
Karl Henry is a health and wellbeing ambassador for laya heatlhcare. To find out more about our health and wellbeing programmes visit our website here. Watch more of our health and wellbeing experts on our Youtube Channel