- Target all aspects of wellbeing: Health tips for employees should encompass physical, emotional, and social wellbeing.
- Employee health doesn’t end in the office: Employers should support employee wellbeing with health tips that extend into their life outside of work.
- Consider how you share health tips: Share information in an easy-to-digest format, such as a company-wide email or a team meeting.
Employee health issues in the workplace cost businesses £18.8 billion in 2019/2020, and research has shown that presenteeism as a result of poor mental health costs UK employers £29 billion per year.
In contrast, good employee health improves productivity and a business’s bottom line, while also making a significant difference to the happiness and life satisfaction of individuals. That’s why promoting and supporting employee health is so important.
One way employers can do this is by sharing health tips with employees. It’s a simple way to get employees talking about wellness and thinking about the ways they can improve their own health.
This guide offers employee health tips that focus on mental, physical and social wellbeing.
1. Stay hydrated
Water is vital for so many bodily functions but it’s easy to forget to drink it, especially when busy at work. Remind your employees to stay hydrated, aiming for 6–8 glasses of fluid a day. If plain water isn’t their favourite, give them ideas for alternatives, such as flavoured sparkling water, sugar-free squash or adding slices of fresh fruit to their glass. Encourage them to keep a water bottle at their workstation and ensure they have access to cool, fresh water throughout the day.
2. Use your breaks
Employees eating at their desks or skipping lunch entirely is common in organisations across the UK, with 82% of employees saying they do so because they feel work is more important. However, taking breaks is beneficial for wellbeing and performance. Employers should promote taking regular breaks and ensure employees are spending lunchtimes away from their computers.
3. Cut down on caffeine
Many employees rely on tea, coffee and energy drinks to get them through the day, but the caffeine in these drinks can lead to side effects including insomnia, digestive issues, headaches and anxiety. Promote cutting down on caffeine by offering employees alternatives, such as decaffeinated tea and coffee, herbal tea and fruit juice.
4. Make time to move
Exercising just once or twice a week can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease but it can be difficult for employees to achieve this, especially if their job is predominantly desk-based. Signpost employees to NHS physical activity guidelines and provide information on different types of exercise, as well as information about fitness centres, classes and local walking spots.
5. Get outside
Spending time in nature has many benefits; it can improve a person’s mood, reduce stress and help them to be more active. Tell employees about the health benefits of getting outside and give them ideas on how to connect with nature, such as a dog walk in the woods, gardening or a swim in the sea.
6. Skip electronics before bed
Electronic devices are a crucial part of modern life but they can make it difficult to fall asleep. Educate employees about how electronics can stimulate the brain and disrupt sleep due to the blue light and noises they emit. Also advise them on ways to create a good sleep environment, such as ensuring the room is dark, quiet and cool.
7. Eat the rainbow
Eating a wide variety of foods helps people to get essential nutrients and reach the five portions of fruit and veg a day that the NHS recommends. Therefore, employers should encourage employees to eat a colourful array of foods across all food groups. Further support this by providing a range of nourishing snacks, such as fresh fruits, nuts and smoothies.
8. Wash your hands
As employee health tips go, this one really came to the forefront during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but is still incredibly important in preventing the spread of germs. Promote frequent handwashing at work through engaging signage and ensure employees know the correct handwashing technique.
9. Take a breath
Breathing exercises can help alleviate anxiety and stress, and promote calmness, which can be useful to employees in a range of situations. Give employees information about breathing exercises they can use at work, at home and when out and about. You could send them a link to a tutorial video or arrange a workshop during the working day.
10. Start a conversation
Loneliness is a significant health concern, with 1 in 20 adults reporting feeling lonely often or always. It increases the risk of high blood pressure, cognitive decline and stroke, is likely to increase the risk of death by 26% and is worse for health than obesity. Employers can help tackle loneliness among employees by promoting social connections. This could be through starting a conversation with a colleague they don’t know well, or asking the server in a coffee shop how their day is going.
11. Protect your skin
The skin is the largest organ in the body, but it can often be overlooked when it comes to individual health. Employers can provide information on common skin conditions and the symptoms to look out for, give employees tips for healthy skin and highlight the risks that come from sun exposure.
12. Go alcohol-free
Around 24% of adults in England and Scotland regularly consume more alcohol than advised. Employers can promote good health in relation to alcohol by providing clear information about consumption guidelines, alcohol measures and the health implications of drinking alcohol. Engaging with campaigns such as Go Sober for October and providing information about support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous can also be helpful.
13. Ask for help
This isn’t simply about asking for help with work-related tasks but with anything that an employee is struggling with. Employers can do this by fostering a company culture based on transparency and understanding.Whether an employee is navigating a divorce or coping with cancer in the family, employers should ensure that they know they can reach out and get support.
Perci Health can help employers support employees impacted by cancer. We connect cancer patients and those around them with expert practitioners through our virtual care clinic. Each on-demand session is affordable, takes place online and is personalised to the needs and circumstances of each individual. You can find out more about how Perci Health works by booking a demo today.
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