How to Create a Healthier Work Environment Without a Wellness Plan or a Budget for it

Many people today are very conscious about their health, and while these people are making the necessary choices to improve their health in their personal lives, they want to find a business that places just as much importance on the topic as they do.

Many companies are realizing that their employees are making healthier decisions, and these companies are making the decision to also become healthy.

Some companies make the mistake in thinking that in order to make the work environment more healthy for employees, they need to take the time and invest the money in creating a detailed health and wellness plan, but they don’t. In order to make your work environment healthier, you don’t need to invest in fancy incentive programs or bring doctors in for health screenings. Instead, you need to implement the following changes around the workplace to make it a healthier environment for all.

Ban smoking.

You’re going to upset some employees, but since their habit has a negative effect on others in the company, you don’t have to feel too bad about banning smoking on company property. Don’t let your employees stand outside the front door to smoke a cigarette—make them leave the property in order to do so. If you have a large business and leaving the property would be too much of a hassle, create a designated smoking area far away from the building. This allows everyone in your office to breathe in fresh air. Plus, if the smoking area is far enough away, it may incline some of your smoking employees to quit.

Invest in healthier office furnishings.

If you sit at a desk all day, your chair and your desk can be damaging your posture and your overall health. Enlist the help of an office furnishings specialist and invest in ergonomic chairs and desks to make your employees more comfortable and improve their overall health. Make sure that employees who use computers for most of their day have the correct mouse, mousepad and keyboard support to reduce their risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.

Open up the stairs.

Some companies have their staircases locked and only allow employees to use them during emergencies. Instead of doing this, unlock the doors to the staircase and allow your employees to use it to travel from one floor to the next. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator is a great way to exercise, and doing this provides an easy way for your employees to burn some calories throughout the day.

Offer healthy snacks.

Most companies have food and drink vending machines in their buildings, and if yours does, make sure to replace unhealthy snacks with healthier choices. Replace pop machines with water machines, and if you can’t replace the vending machine with healthier food, remove it and invest in a different program, such as a fresh fruit delivery program, which offers your employees the chance to snack on fresh fruits instead of chocolate.

Creating a healthy environment for your employees is important, but doing so does not mean that you have to invest in a health and wellness program. Instead, you can make these small changes around the office to make it a healthier environment for all.  

About the Author: Lucille Anderson is a human resources educator providing guidance in the creation and implementation of health programs for corporations.