Wellness in the workplace is about more than physical health: emotional, social and mental wellbeing all have a positive impact on your daily grind. We spend a lot of time at work and thankfully, these days, looking after ourselves is more of a necessity than a flash workplace perk.
Mindful Monday, anyone?
The benefits of mindful meditation are far-reaching, from improving cognitive abilities to reducing stress and anxiety. Learning to switch off, focus on your breath and be present really is a valuable tool. At home? Use your lunch break for a walking meditation, tune into a Zoom yoga class, or try a guided meditation when you hit a slump. In the office, an onsite mindfulness or yoga session doesn’t have to be instructor-led. Great apps for guided meditations include Insight Timer and Headspace.
The team that sweats together...
Active bodies, active brains. Create space in the day to move: regular activity has benefits beyond the physical, the most obvious of which are a boost in mood and concentration. This doesn’t mean you have to run a 5k at lunchtime – it could be as simple as making your next meeting a walk; taking a lap around the block or down the street while you confer.
Sign up to a fun run as a team, tackle the 10,000 steps program, or take a virtual fitness challenge like My Virtual Mission to complete a virtual route – anywhere in the world – as individuals or teams.
Working hard or hardly working?
Some of the biggest and best companies have worked out how to keep employees engaged: project time. It’s nothing new – 3M scientist Art Fry invented the Post-It note during his ‘15 percent’ time at 3M in 1974.
This doesn’t mean you need a handful of hours from your employer every week to code the next big app (sounds lovely, though). If you could work on one thing that’s not part of your job, what would you do? Whether it’s another language, a new skill or a side hustle, study or learn something you’re curious about in your spare time.
Get to know each other
Yes, Friday arvo drinks are a great start. Consider book club, team lunches, theme days and group chats. A Wellness Wednesday lunchtime session might present a different topic for casual discussion each week. Charity can also bring people together – a volunteer day is a great way for the team to give back to the community and build positive relationships with each other.
The link between mood and food
Nutrition is one vital piece of the wellness puzzle, and it doesn’t begin and end with providing decent office snacks. A cooking demonstration at lunchtime or ordering nourishing food for a meeting can also empower healthy choices. Instead of hurriedly scoffing lunch at a desk, the simple act of encouraging a proper lunch break promotes mindful eating, sitting down to eat with intention. And hey, breaking bread with co-workers can be downright pleasant.
Ruff work day
Do you really need convincing on the benefits of bringing your dog to work? Pets can reduce stress levels in the office – it’s actually a thing – and boost creativity and productivity. They’re a great way to break the ice or forge a deeper bond with coworkers, and owners will be more likely to pop outside and get some fresh air during the day. Amazon may host about 800 pups a day at their Seattle-based headquarters, but you don’t need to be the world’s largest online retailer to support canine companionship at work. RSPCA have some great pet-friendly workplace tips for Take Your Dog To Work Day, held in June each year.