One of the key things employers need to provide is a stimulating and engaging workplace. This can sometimes be a challenge however a great place to start is incorporating health and fitness into the day-to-day lives of employees. Many of us are becoming more aware of our health and the negative effects that sitting for long periods of time behind a desk can have on it. Therefore we are all thinking of ways to become healthier and fitter by taking small steps towards a bigger goal. As an employer you can turn this into a team-building activity by incorporating the following small collective actions into your workplace.
Provide healthy snacks for employees
This can be as simple as leaving a few bowls of fresh fruit around the office for employees to enjoy as they work. It encourages them to keep energy levels up by snacking on something full of goodness which will give them the energy they need to stay productive. If you wanted to go even further you might like to provide healthy breakfast and lunch options as a fantastic perk of the job.
Sign up to a 5K
A great way to build team spirit and get everyone working together towards a fitness goal is to sign your team up to a 5K – or better – to run legs of the local marathon! This way you can agree a training plan and run together a few times per week (this could be early morning, evening or even over lunchtime) to reach the fitness level you need for race day. It’s important that this is a casual commitment so as employees with busy lives can still take part without feeling as if they cannot miss a single training session. Perhaps treat the team to dinner or some drinks after the race to reward yourselves.
Have a steps challenge
One of the best ways to involve everyone in a fitness challenge is to have a steps challenge. You don’t need to be particularly fit to take part and it is good fun for the whole team. Of course, this will be easier for employees who wear smart watches such as a fitbit or an Apple watch however anyone who has a smartphone can take part. Send weekly email updates of the leaderboard and perhaps provide a small prize at the end to the winner (maybe even stretch to a wooden spoon for the loser!). You will soon notice a peak in calls being taken standing up or a quick walk around the desks every now and again to meet hourly goals!
Negotiate gym Memberships
While not all workplaces have the budget to provide an on-site gym or pay gym memberships in full, depending on the number of employees you have you may be able to negotiate a preferential rate for them with a local gym. This will be another added benefit to working for your company and will encourage employees to keep fit and healthy before or after work. They may even decide to gym together building stronger networks within the team.
Get Active at Lunch Time
It’s really important to ensure employees take an adequate lunch time each day to refresh themselves. A great way to do this is to organise a group activity over particular lunch times each week. Ideally, this will be something which people may not have experienced before such as Yoga or Salsa, however if you do not have the space or budget for this, you could organise a daily lunchtime walk around the area. This will give employees a chance to catch up socially, enjoy some fresh air and most importantly they won’t feel bad about taking a lunch break if everyone else is heading out also.
These are just a few of the ways to involve employees with health and fitness goals within the workplace. It’s important that these activities remain light-hearted and that employees who do not want to take part do not feel pressured to do so. Introducing one or all of the above is an easy, low-cost way to provide a stimulating and friendly environment which is sure to inspire existing employees and welcome new ones.