Adding wellness programs to your company can be a great way to boost morale and keep the team healthy, but for a small business these programs can be difficult to fit into the budget. In this article, we will outline 10 creative ways to incorporate wellness into your workplace - without breaking the bank.
Here are 10 ways to get creative with wellness program costs.
1. It Starts with Talking
As Michelle Berg, CEO of Elevated HR Solutions, mentioned in our "Employee Wellness Programs" podcast episode, workplace wellness starts with simply having a conversation.
If you are a business owner, ask your employees how they are feeling about their workload, work-station, and schedules. Depending on your business, you may be able to accommodate an employee that could use modified hours, a more comfortable chair, or an extension on a project.
Showing genuine interest in how your team is feeling can make a world of difference when it comes to their workplace wellness.
2. Take a Walk
If you're in a fast-paced environment or one where you sit a majority of the day, grabbing a colleague and taking a walk can benefit not only your own fitness and mental well-being, but also become a fun social break you look forward to.
As a business owner, this can be a great way to show employees you care about them taking meaningful breaks.
By walking 30 minutes a day we:
- Increase our concentration,
- Improve cardiovascular fitness,
- Strengthen bones,
- Reduce excess body fat,
- Improve muscle strength, and
- Reduce the risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Not to mention, walking is free!
3. Take 10 Minutes for Mindfulness
Set-aside 10 minutes a day for the team to take a mindfulness break. An easy way to do this is to follow the acronym "STOP":
S – Stop
T – Take a breath
O – Observe what’s going on
P – Proceed
This will allow everyone to clear their minds for a moment and refocus on the task at hand.
4. Stretch It Out
Bring the team together and lead a quick 5-minute stretch break. This is especially helpful for those who work at desks all day and are prone to tight shoulders and necks.
5. Bring In Plants
Is your workplace stuffy? Consider bringing in some houseplants to brighten things up and help clean the air.
Having plants in the workplace can:
- Help reduce stress: One study found significant reductions in stress among workers when plants were introduced into the workplace. This included at 37% drop in reported tension and anxiety, as well as a 38% reduction in fatigue.
- Increase productivity: According to one study, productivity jumped 15% when a previously "lean" work environment was filled with a handful of houseplants. Adding 1 houseplant per square meter also improved memory retention.
- Boost creativity: Attention restoration theory suggests that when we look at nature our brains shift into a different processing mode that encourages relaxation and concentration, all factors which help with creativity.
6. Host a Healthy Potluck
Once a month, or however often you'd like, have a potluck during lunch. Encourage everyone to bring in healthy foods so that everyone leaves lunch feeling well-fed and energized.
7. Provide Filtered Water
Keeping everyone hydrated is a great way to encourage small, but powerful, healthy habits. Simply getting in the right amount of water in is a small step to an overall healthier lifestyle.
- Delivers oxygen throughout the body,
- Improves skin texture,
- Cushions the brain, spinal cord, and other sensitive tissues,
- Regulates our body temperature,
- Is crucial for digestion,
- Makes minerals and nutrients accessible,
- Prevents kidney damage,
- And much more.
8. Break Room Games
Bring in some puzzles or board-games for your break room. It can help encourage everyone to socialize during break times and take a much needed break from screens. If your work environment doesn't encourage a lot of collaboration, this can give employees a chance to get to know each other.
9. Bring Your Pets to Work
If it is suitable consider allowing pets in the workplace. Pets are known to help reduce stress, and allowing them in the workplace can reduce the burden of pet-sitting costs. Read our "How-To" for dogs in the workplace by clicking here.
10. Offer a Wellness Spending Account
If you're a business owner looking to give your employees an opportunity to invest in their own well-being, consider offering a Wellness Spending Account. With a WSA you determine how much each employee gets, and can set parameters around what the money can be spent on. Popular options include: gym memberships, sneakers or other sports equipment, art classes, self-defense courses, ski passes, and more.
Olympia's WSA works for a business of any size (1 to 10+ arm's length employees).
At the moment, this WSA offering is only available to existing Olympia HSA Group clients.
HSA Group is Olympia's Health Spending Account plan for a small business with arm's length employees. It is a tax-free allowance for employees to spend on the medical expenses of their choice.
Want to learn more about Wellness Spending Accounts? Download our FREE Beginner's Guide:
Want to learn more about Employee Wellness Programs? Listen to our latest podcast episode: