Wellness programs in the workplace are a must-have for companies that want to help employees become healthier. Walking programs are nearly omnipresent and while it is fun to track your steps and challenge your colleagues, participation and enthusiasm for standard programming can wane over time. Wellness is about more than walking, after all, so for those looking for some new wellness ideas, try some of these creative programs. You might find these wellness ideas will have a positive effect on morale, too.
Host an Office Cleaning Party – Everybody loves a tidy space, and the act of cleaning can be a full-body workout. Moving old supplies or clearing out drawers, filing cabinets, or closets can be productive and worthwhile physical activity. Wiping down or scrubbing desks and other surfaces engages multiple muscle groups. The added benefit is that beyond the invigorating physical activity, there is a satisfying feeling of completing a task in which you can see the tangible results.
Create a Community Garden – Not only does a garden supply employees with delicious, fresh, and healthy food, it also creates a sense of ownership as employees tend to the crops and see them grow. While some office spaces will only have room for container gardens, which provide little workout but much good food, areas with larger spaces to dedicate to a garden can lead to a healthy amount of physical activity of weeding, watering, and harvesting organic crops.
Monthly Volunteer Days – Volunteering in the community gets employees out of the workplace, builds camaraderie among colleagues, and creates goodwill relationships in the community. Volunteer days can range from park clean-ups to pick up litter at community parks or neighborhoods, to working with students during recess or sports events. Every moment spent away from the desk and engaged in an activity provides physical movement and factors into wellness programming.
Distant Meeting Places – You’ve heard of walking meetings, but not all agenda items are conducive to meetings on the go. For meetings that have to take place around a table, schedule them at the farther conference room or a different floor. Not only will this encourage extra steps, it allows team members to talk with each other outside of the meeting time, which can lead to unexpected connections and new ideas.
Mindful Breathing – Karen May, a vice president at Google, resets her body and mind by taking a “mindful breath” before each meeting. It takes approximately six seconds as she focuses her thoughts on her breathing, and that focus allows her to recharge before the next task. Your wellness programming can institute mindful breathing moments before each meeting. By encouraging employees to be mindful together, they will start to incorporate healthy behavior in other aspects of life, too, which leads to healthier outcomes and increased productivity.
Positivity Notes – Organize a team to write anonymous positivity notes. Then, leave the notes around the office space. For example, on the bathroom mirrors, on doors and desks in the office, and anywhere else that is a fitting place for positivity. This is a great way to enhance mental health and wellness in the workplace by putting a smile on someone’s face, anonymously.