"Workplace wellness is an umbrella term describing a number of programs or activities typically offered as part of employer-provided health plans. To help employees improve their health and reduce healthcare costs, these initiatives effectively stop bad habits before they become health risks," defines Canadian telemedicine company Dialogue.
"With most adults spending more of their waking hours at work than anywhere else, addressing mental health issues at work is vital for all people in Canada. 70% of Canadian employees are concerned about the psychological health and safety of their workplace, and 14% don't think theirs is healthy or safe at all," according to a 2021 publication by the Mental Health Commission of Canada.
"Often, productive work routines are also healthy work routines, and healthy staff lead to healthy teams," according to the University of Toronto. For this reason, these are UofT's easy-to-implement ideas for healthier workplaces:
1. Set Boundaries
With hybrid work, it is important to maintain time boundaries to keep a work-life balance and reduce burnout. Ensure you have a clear start and end to your workday as much as possible.
2. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness gives employees permission and space to think — to be present — leading to mental agility, resilience and self-awareness. In addition, mindfulness can reduce emotional exhaustion, increase openness to new ideas and develop compassion and empathy, affirms Yolanda Lau.
3. Find Humor at Work
Finding humor in everyday situations can help to lighten up difficult situations or conversations. “Though fun at work is sometimes thought to be a distraction, research suggests that it has a positive impact on engagement, creativity, and purpose — increasing employee retention and reducing turnover. When we find tasks enjoyable, we're more eager to dig in and complete them,” according to Bob Nelson.
4. Participate in Wellness Challenges
Wellness challenges transform traditionally boring tasks into fun, game-like activities. Employees are encouraged to try a new activity with support (and incentives), then adopt these healthy new routines into their daily habits, recommends Shonna Waters.
What other workplace wellness ideas would you recommend? Help us complete this list in the comments below.
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