The benefits of a healthy workforce include fewer staff-days lost through sickness, increased productivity and improved morale. Those things should motivate every business to develop a healthy workforce, but what can you do to help things along?
The simplest place to start is in the company cafeteria. Ensuring that you are offering your employees healthy choices at meal-times will help them to eat a healthy diet and live a healthy lifestyle. This need not mean that you serve only healthy items – a balanced diet can, of course, still include the odd slice of cake. Instead, it can simply be a case of offering a variety of healthy options, promoting the healthier items that are on sale and perhaps making healthier items more appealing by offering discounts on healthy meal deals.
An hour for lunch is standard at most companies, but it can be too short for employees who want to use the time to go to the gym or for a run – particularly once travel and showering has been factored in. Giving staff the option of taking longer for lunch and making up the time later in the day can be all that is need for more employees to take the opportunity to exercise.
A more direct way to encourage staff to exercise is to give them the opportunity to do so without leaving the workplace. Running exercise sessions before the workday begins, at lunchtimes or after work not only makes it very easy for employees to exercise, but can help to improve workforce morale and engagement. Sessions can take place in offices if there is enough room, in adjacent outside spaces or nearby parks, among other places.
Although we often think of employee benefits as things like bonuses and pensions, they can also be used to offer health-focused items. Many benefits packages, for example, already include private healthcare, gym membership and, of course, cycle to work schemes. You can find out more about signing up as an employer with Bike2Work Scheme on our website!
Our free guide, 'Choosing a cycle to work scheme: an employer's guide', provides impartial advice on how cycle to work schemes operate, things to consider when choosing a scheme and best practices for setting up a scheme.