7 Creative Employee Wellness Program Ideas and Activities
Employee Wellness Programs improve overall health and promote a safe working environment by reducing stress and burnout due to employees' extensive work habits and everyday life experiences. These employee wellness ideas focus on employees’ mental, social, and or physical wellbeing.
Understanding and learning how to cultivate an employee's mental health helps prevent risks such as mental illness, inequality, and exhaustion. Interacting with other individuals creates social health, but risk factors of social alienation, divergence, and harmful societal impact occur when connections are lost. Having good physical health helps to promote physical wellbeing, harmony in your work life and promotes a healthy routine. But when there is a negative impact on health, you can fall at risk for an unhealthy lifestyle, work-life can be hectic, and practices are disrupted.
With the added stress of daily life, employers are changing their approach to help employees’ health and wellbeing. More companies have started to adopt programs such as Mindful Meditation and Yoga to help with stress. Some organizations also reduce the health insurance cost for doing simple annual physical, dental and eye exams and well-woman exams. The reduction in health insurance costs for employees has also been extended to employees' spouses, domestic partners, and children for completing exams.
Not all employee wellness ideas are successful. Many fail due to lack of employee engagement, the investment return is inadequate, the focus is single-dimensional, the root cause is missing, and the cultural change is insufficient.
Challenges of Employee Wellness Ideas
Lack of engagement
According to research, approximately 60% are non-active participants in wellness activities for employees at work, and those who participate are in good health. Including incentives like weight loss challenges, free membership to gyms, and step challenges attract employees that are already driven to be healthy. Programs are needed to attract employees that need more incentives to participate.
Poor Return of Investment
The overall purpose and incentive for staff wellness ideas are to help employees save on health expenses. Unfortunately, researchers have found that to be false. There have been significant changes for cost-saving. However, employees do learn health behaviors by participation.
Many wellness program ideas fail by not focusing on emotional, community, career, and financial health because physical health is the absorption for this program. Employees are seeking more support than physical health.
No Root Cause
Wellness program ideas do not consider the root cause of a chronic condition. The cause of chronic diseases is the reason for health care's driven cost. By addressing the reason for the chronic illnesses, wellness programs can be altered to help lifestyle adjustments.
Insufficient Cultural Change
An employee's culture can be a reason why employee wellness ideas fail. Offering donuts at a meeting, working long hours, and no leadership participation buy-in will diminish. An organization should shift its culture to help promote the success of wellness programs. The best way to promote safety in a productive office environment is to ask employees what they want in a wellness program idea.
What are the Types of Wellness Activities for Employees?
There are over 100 employee wellness ideas programs that employers can choose for their employees. Each program can be selected according to what the organization's best interests are. The main focus for wellness programs is Nutritional and Healthy Living, Group Activities and Fitness Hacks, Fun Fitness Challenges, Competitions, and Contests, Active Rejuvenation, Cool Perks and Just for Fun, Productivity Boosters, and Mental Health and Personal Growth.
Nutritional and Healthy Living
Mindful, healthy eating helps the body get the nutrition it needs. Adding incentives such as nutritional snacks, encouraging laughter, celebrating wellness days, standing desks at each workstation, having a chef to teach easy recipes, holding a health fair, having a virtual wellness week, providing smoking cessation incentives, reminding employees to focus on their health, and have an onsite massage chair or a massage therapist to help promote healthy habits.
Group Activities and Fitness Hacks
Who does not like to have a workout partner? Encourage employees to join yoga classes, sports league instead of sitting for a meeting walk, keep hula hoop, volleyball, and footballs in the office, post reminders for employees to use the stairs instead of the elevator to have employees engage in group wellness activities for employees.
Fun Fitness Challenges Competitions, and Contests
Who is in for friendly competition? Employees can engage in friendly competitions such as team scavenger hunts, fitness challenges, employee field days, wearable technology to track activity, sleep, water, and weekly fitness challenges, and cooking contests.
There is nothing worse than feeling exhausted while at work. Employers can offer fun rejuvenating wellness programs such as a scheduled recess, unlimited vacations, paying employees to volunteer, making the employee lounge a "No Work Allowed" space, giving a vacation day for employees birthdays, hourly scheduled breaks, and offering flex-time as wellness programs.
Cool Perks and Just for Fun
Who wants a work environment where everything is routine? Having employee wellness ideas like attired themes, listening to music, ridesharing, Company Happy Hours, and gift card giveaways for project completion helps to promote healthy morale in the workspace.
Productivity can diminish when employees do not have the freedom to work their way. Having morning huddles, allowing employees to work from home at least one day a week, having flexible hours, and sharing personal goals and accomplishments can help employees be more productive.
Mental Health and Personal Growth
Mental and personal growth is just as significant as physical health. Employees are more appreciative when employers acknowledge their hard work and dedication. A wellness program idea can implement an acknowledgment jar, have emotional wellness classes, create a department vision board, have a wellness wall, have lunch and learn seminars, and create "high-five" board programs to help promote mental health and personal growth.
Key Factors to Know about Ergonomics Workspaces
Learning about ergonomics is the first step to helping organizations incorporate the perfect ergonomic workspace for their employees. Ergonomics is also one of the common employee wellness ideas today. It is easy to jump at the idea of creating a safe and functional workspace. Factors to consider are:
Benefits of Ergonomics
- Simplicity – assessment and training are reduced by 75%, and face-to-face assessments are minimized.
- Proactivity – educate employees to problem solve to help tailor the needs of the organization.
- Management Driven – unsafe trends can be identified for a tracking solution.
- Data-Driven Decisions – provides real-time reports for performance.
- Workforce Engagement – helps to assign actions as well as tracking and sending meeting agendas.
- Compliance Proven – provides investigation and records of incidents and automatically alerts for critical deadlines.
Surveillance and solutions for best practices can help identify, control, and access workplace stressors.
- Ergonomics is utilized in the office, lab, industrial, distribution, process, and field settings.
- Industrial services include manufacturing, automotive, chemical, food and beverages, aerospace, and pharmaceutical.
- Support service involves ergonomics training, program support, and engineering design.
Work control providers solutions that are comprehensive as well as ultimate.
- A comprehensive solution may involve the first step to sustainability by establishing easy and repeatable steps.
- An ultimate solution provides contractors and employees self-service ability to promote accountability and flexibility.
Solutions for risk management include analysis, verification, and assurance.
- Risk analysis – uncovers the daily risk that is presented within an organization.
- Risk Verification – uses tools to prioritize risks systematically.
- Risk Assurance – looks at-risk activities from top to bottom.
What is an Ergonomics Workspace and the Types of Ergonomics Workspaces?
Ergonomics is the science of altering your workplace to maximize your comfort by reducing discomfort and increasing productivity and functional office space. From the type of computer chair to your eyes hurting from looking at the monitor, ergonomics can help correct sitting posture and reduce long-term repetitive motions. With changes in technology and frequent computer usage is an arguable reason for having an ergonomics workspace.
When accessing your work or home office, it is vital to consider the lighting, keyboards, monitors, chairs, and desks. Most office furniture has had no movement, so your posture is often fixed and stiff. The good news is, with an ergonomics workspace, a balance between standing and sitting can occur.
What makes a workspace an ergonomics workspace? Consider the following when designing a safe office space:
1. Position the keyboard – it is ideal for placing your keyboard on top of your desk. Unfortunately, this can lead to long-term damage to your wrist and causes camphorated to the upper body. Your keyboard should be positioned at an inch or so above your thighs, allowing your arms to be relaxed.
2. Monitor Placement – correct placement of your monitor helps to reduce work fatigue and strain on your eyes. Your monitor should be at arm’s length and elevated to prevent neck strain.
3. Standing Desk Usage – having a comfortable chair in your workspace is fantastic and having an adjustable desk that allows you to stand is better. At the same time, standing helps to encourage efficiency and allows blood to circulate to the legs.
4. The Mouse – take frequent breaks when using a mouse. It can also be helpful to use the opposite hand, not holding the mouse tightly, and buy a vertical mouse to help eliminate hand fatigue.
5. The Right Chair – having a chair that is adjustable for height and comfort is good for the times you are sitting. Be sure to have a chair that provides excellent lumbar and neck support.
Ergonomics workspaces consist of a chair, keyboard, monitor, mouse, desk, footrest, and other office supplies such as a stapler and telephone. Since the majority of your time is spent sitting, having an exceptional work chair is ideal. Having a chair to support your spine and neck can prevent neck and back pain. Having a good supportive chair is essential.
How you rest your feet while sitting can make a big difference with back support. Having a footrest can help you raise your feet to the desired height. As mentioned above, a standing desk helps with circulation in the legs, which is beneficial for those with chronic conditions such as poor circulation due to heart problems.
A good mouse is needed to help alleviate strain off your wrists. Your monitor should be at eye level to prevent eye strain and using a headset or headrest for your telephone can prevent neck pain. It is also helpful to have your stapler and other office supplies within easy reach to eliminate over. When designing your office spaces, it is crucial to keep in mind safety and comfort.
Having a good office space whether at home or an office, helps with productivity. It is also important to make sure your home office workspace is designed to be cozy, provides a positive ambiance, provides comfort factors, and a workspace that is multi-purposeful. Design your workspace to increase productivity, improve your mood, has a good first impression, and have ergonomics equipment such as chairs and electric standing desks
What Purchasing Programs are Available for Employers to Order in Bulk?
Upgrading your organization to a safe office can become expensive. Ordering in bulk can help alleviate the high price of office equipment. Autonomous is a website that allows organizations to buy ergonomics office equipment in bulk, saving money. From standing desks to desktop accessories, this company can supply your organization with its needs. With the discount offer, organizations can save between 5% to 10% on bulk orders depending on the number of items bought.
Along with Autonomous, Uplift Desk provides bulk ordering for companies. Unlike Autonomous, organizations have to customize their desk to suit the needs of the employees. Adding accessories such as a chair or stool, cable organizer, monitor, storage caddy, standing board or mat, keyboard, mouse, surface protector, lamp, privacy panels, drawers for storage, and so on can range from $9 to $1,169 to customize the desks. This pricing does not include a desk. And accessory assembly and disposal of the packaging. Desks can start at the price of $3,857 and up.
Unlike Autonomous and Uplift Desk, Humanscale is a build that is sold as individual units. However, they do provider Ergonomics Training, Consulting Services, Software, and Work From Home Ergonomics. Humanscale offers sustainability and design innovation that gives your workspace a modern look. Products offered through Humanscale are chairs and stools, monitors with arms and integrated docks, stand, and sit solutions, privacy panels, lamp, technology tools, keyboards, foot mats, laptop holders, desk accessories, CPU holders, and cable management units. Pricing starts at $169 and up. Some products allow customization, and, in this case, the pricing can increase.
Overall, the Employee Wellness Program with wellness activities for employees can be beneficial when done the correct way. Having programs that fit the needs of all employees, provides options for what is suitable for them. In addition, the added bonus of ergonomic equipment to the workstations helps to alleviate damage caused by repetitive motions.
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