How to encourage and enable self-care in the workplace
11th November 2019
We spend so much of our life at work, putting in increasingly longer hours in the office to get the job done. So, it’s vital that employers encourage and enable staff to look after their mental well-being in the workplace. Not only will employees feel valued, cared for and stress free, their productivity will be given a boost too if they are happy.
Here are some ways to encourage staff to look after themselves whilst in the work place:
1. Organise walking meetings
Whilst sitting in a board room around a table might be the traditional way to hold a meeting, why not consider taking a meeting outside in the fresh air? As long as you don’t need equipment such as projectors or paperwork, discussions can just as easily be held whilst having a stroll through a nearby park, giving everyone involved some exercise, fresh air and a change of scenery, which is bound to lift the spirits.
2. Insist on regular breaks
It can be tempting sometimes to work through a lunch break to get a job done. However, not having a proper break could result in a reduction in productivity in the afternoon as fatigue hits. Ensure that staff know the importance of breaks, and remove a culture where they think having lunch at their desk will impress the boss.
3. Create an office library
Many people might choose to spend their lunch break scrolling mindlessly through social media. However, that hour of free time could be better spent doing something else which is better for mental well-being. Encourage staff to read during their lunch break by setting up a space with books for them to borrow. Why not launch a book club to encourage staff to socialise and share with each other a common interest? Or create a recommendation list with a place for people to comment on books they have read and enjoyed.
4. Offer the option of standing desks
Sitting down all day isn’t good for us, and can increase the risk of various illnesses. Give staff the option of working from adjustable standing desks to help reduce the issue of sitting all day, and support them to stay focused and healthy.
5. Offer healthy food
If you have an office canteen, or vending machines, make sure there are healthy options available. Nutritious, balanced meals and snacks will give staff energy throughout the day, whilst also helping them to stay alert and focused. Consider setting up a healthy snack shop so employees can always find something to nibble on if they’re feeling hungry, without reaching for chocolate or crisps.
Communicating with staff is key to making sure they are well and happy. Holding regular one-to-one meetings with individuals will highlight any possible problems they might be experiencing at work, giving them a specific time to talk. They will also feel valued knowing that their voice is being heard and that what they say matters.
7. Introduce plants
Not only will a plant personalise and brighten up the office, they also have many health benefits. They give a boost to oxygen levels, can improve mood and the natural, green colours are meant to help you feel calm and content.
8. Offer alternative drinks to tea and coffee
Many office workers will rely on the caffeine boost from endless cups of coffee and tea throughout the day. However, too much caffeine isn’t good for us, and for those in an office it’s easy to drink too much. Why not offer a range of alternative drinks for staff to choose such as herbal teas, decaffeinated options or green tea.
9. Offer flexible working
Allowing staff to work flexibly may boost their productivity. Research suggests that when people are given the freedom to manage their own time, they work more efficiently. It also shows staff that their employer trusts them, and reduces the stress of having to be in the office at a particular time. There are also many benefits to businesses, including reducing the amount of office space needed if staff can work from home.
If you’re looking to implement flexible working in the workplace, MovePlan can help with this change so that it goes smoothly. We can also support you to create a more flexible office which better suits your needs.