25 May Workplace Wellness
I’ve had a lot of people come to me lately asking how they can set a healthier example at work.
No wonder – Canadians spend just over 1,700 hours a year working, and our professional lives tend to cause many of us at least some occasional stress. While we may not be able to eliminate it completely, more and more business leaders are realizing that cultivating a healthy workplace is a must in order to:
- Attract and retain talent
- Boost employee productivity
- Ensure your employees remain engaged, loyal and invested in their work
- Reduce incidences of chronic health issues and burnout
If you ever wonder what you could be doing to ensure your employees are healthy and happy, good news – there are a few small changes you can make to help foster workplace wellness. Here, I explain what they are and how you can integrate them painlessly, from switching the candy stash for some fresh, healthful snacks that satisfy everyone’s cravings to incorporating yoga and meditation at company sales conferences.
Make better choices for snack time
If you find you and your team are prone to reaching for chips, candy and pop to get through the 3 p.m. slump, you’re not alone. As a leader, you can empower your employees to take charge of their own health at work by sharing snack duties. Each of you can bring in fresh, healthy and delicious snacks that are easy to make. From Health Jacked Cracker Jacks to No Bake Nut Butter Oat Bites and Coconut Cashew Lemon Drops, you’ve got many options to choose from.
Create a welcoming outdoor space for employees
We keep reading about the mental and physical health benefits of getting out of the office on our lunch breaks, but do your employees feel like they have a space all their own where they can savour the fresh air of a warm summer’s day, take a quick stroll and even work productively in a comfortable area?
When planning a healthy workplace, it’s important to take a look at your needs outdoors as well. By combining your existing resources and investing in practical amenities and features that last, you can design a welcoming outdoor oasis while keeping budget in mind. Here are some ideas:
- Green landscape and flowers
- Employee community garden or rooftop lounge area
The key to creating a useful and functional outdoor area your employees will love is to ask for their suggestions. How do they want to feel when they visit the space? What features are important to them? Where should it be located so that it’s most accessible and convenient? Adding a comfortable, welcoming outdoor space can contribute to employees feeling valued and appreciated.
Incorporate meditation and yoga sessions in the office and at conferences
At first glance, you might find it hard to grasp the connection between yoga or meditation and business. After all, aren’t yoga and meditation supposed to be about relaxation, mindfulness and light exercise, while sales is about building business relationships and beating out the competition to close a deal?
But when we take a closer look at the benefits of yoga and meditation, it does make sense to incorporate a session into your event to help your employees experience the benefits of both activities, and encourage them to join a yoga or meditation class. Plus, it will give them time to take a much-needed break during their busy day to connect with their minds and bodies.
Here are some tips for including yoga and meditation both in the office and at sales conferences.
At sales conferences:
- Kick off your day with a short mindfulness, meditation or visualization exercise (e.g.: deep belly breathing)
- Dedicate 20 to 30 minutes to a meditation or mindfulness session (preferably not right after eating)
- Weave a meditation session into the conference by scheduling a guest speaker to talk about the benefits of mindfulness and how to incorporate it into your daily living, followed by a short meditation session
- Incorporate some light stretching or restorative yoga during the conference in a breakout room. Schedule multiple sessions if required based on space and number of attendees
- Hire a registered yoga teacher or certified meditation instructor to facilitate a customized experience based on your venue, timeline and staff.
In the office:
- Arrange sessions for each department (vs. trying to arrange enough space for the entire company at once)
- Schedule multiple classes on the same day to give everyone a chance to participate
- Schedule ongoing sessions once a month, bi-weekly or weekly, during or after work hours, to give employees a chance to learn and practice techniques regularly with a professional
- Organize a retreat: integrate yoga and meditation into your corporate retreat or schedule an excursion to a local yoga studio
- Encourage your employees to take 5 minute wellness breaks for an office yoga sequence, some light stretches or to clear their head with a simple guided meditation meditation
Looking for an experienced speaker or instructor to help you create a customized wellness program or talk at your next conference? I can help. Let’s chat.
PURE and specifically Sharlene offers a unique wellness partnership. She works with you to determine your business needs and offers creative solutions to meet them head on. From her extensive knowledge of nutrition to her facilitation skills she will work to engage participants. Whether offering a group cleansing program, meditation or cooking class you know you will receive a remarkable wellness experience
Sharlene Styles is a registered holistic nutritionist and a transformational coach. She is an avid speaker on natural health, a registered yoga teacher and a certified meditation instructor.