Give Your Employees Some Room to Stretch

give your employees some room to stretch
If you’re looking for a unique way to help your employees embrace health and wellness, while at the same time creating a caring work environment, you need to get them away from their desks. Not all the time, of course, but encouraging your team to be active throughout the day and offering an ergonomic office setup can help improve productivity, boost communication thanks to more face time, and ultimately help keep your staff healthy.

According to research by EMPLOYERS, most small businesses are falling short when it comes to letting their workforce stretch. They are still caught up in the cubicle mentality in which dedicated employees sit chained to their computer desks all day. That’s hardly the ideal workplace of today’s job seekers.

Here are some of the surveys key findings:

  • More than one-quarter (29 percent) of small business owners said their employees typically remain seated for more than an hour at a time.
  • Two out of five (42 percent) small businesses do not provide monitor stands to improve the posture and comfort of employees who primarily work on computers.
  • Only 55 percent of people who work mostly on computers are encouraged to take routine breaks.
  • Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of hourly and salary employees say they wait up to three or four hours before taking a break.

Sitting for long periods of time day in and day out is not healthy, and can lead to fatigue, body discomfort, eye strain, and burn out.

“Business owners and other senior leaders need to set an example by offering healthier workplace environments and enforcing time off policies for themselves and their employees,” said David Quezada, Vice President of Loss Control at EMPLOYERS in the company’s press release. “Our poll found that often doesn’t happen.”

If you really want to stand out and attract top talent, think about creating a “flexible” culture (pun intended!). Offer short stretch sessions in the break room a couple of times throughout the day. Encourage people to get up and speak with fellow staffers face to face, rather than send emails to someone a few feet away. Consider non-traditional seating areas like treadmill desks and stability balls, and choose ergonomic furniture and office equipment.

By putting workplace wellness and safety first, you can help improve the health and focus of your staff.

What efforts have you implemented (or are considering implementing) to boost the wellness of your workers?

About Dawn Papandrea

Dawn Papandrea is a Staten Island, NY-based freelance writer specializing in careers, education, personal finance, and lifestyle topics. Follow her on Twitter: @DawnPapandrea.

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