From the 16th to 20th March in the UK is Nutrition and Hydration Week an annual event aimed to highlight and promote improvements in nutrition and hydration both locally and globally. Health risks such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity can all create problems for any employee or staff member in the workplace, and ultimately lead to an unhealthy, unhappy and unproductive environment.
Research from Glassdoor explains how our conception of wellness has to go beyond traditional health measures, to embrace employee wellness and engagement by helping and supporting work-life balance.
In light of the above, based in Leeds, Marshall’s Mill shares 10 top tips for promoting nutrition, hydration and well-being in your workplace.
1. SET A HYDRATION CHALLENGE
Water is vital for our bodies. Not only does dehydration cause excessive loss of water and salts from the body, which allows our muscles to function properly, but it also effects our productivity at work. Being 3-4% dehydrated can lower your work performance by approximately 25-50% . Dehydration causes dizziness, light-headedness and tiredness – all adding to loss of productivity.
Combat this with a Hydration Challenge in your office, giving employees their own water bottle (be funky, personalise a reusable bottle #sustainable) and challenge all employees to drink at least 1 lite per day throughout the week.
2. ENCOURAGE BALANCE
A balanced day at work equals a more productive workday. According to research by CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personal Development) exploring trends and practices in well-being in UK workplaces, multi-tasking decreases productivity.
Employees who are constantly switching from answering phone, checking emails and other tasks can build up higher stress levels and become less productive therefore it’s important to encourage employees to single task rather than multi-task.
3. GO HEALTHY FOR LUNCH
There are many different restaurants, bars and cafes across Yorkshire offering healthy eating as well as vegan and vegetarian options. At Marshall’s Mill we have many of different eateries all offering healthy choices for lunch and we regularly arrange healthy food pop-ups for our tenants to enjoy.
Do you find employees snacking on crisps, biscuits and chocolates through the day? Allow your employees to take an hour’s lunch and grab a healthy lunch this week whether this is paid for by the company or the employees, the opportunity will be a chance for employees to eat health and appreciate their workplace.
Plant-based foods improve mood and productivity, instead you could offer a selection of fruit, vegetables, nuts or more once a week as a treat.
4. TRY AND CONSUME LESS DRINKS CONTAINING CAFFEINE
According to health expert, Janae Brown (ARNP) from UnityPoint Health, “Because it’s (caffeine) a stimulant, it can increase heart rate and blood pressure, which impacts someone’s overall health”. Brown also advises that a health adult shouldn’t have any more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day. Short-term effects can include trouble sleeping (insomnia), feeling jittery, anxious and restless.
Cut down caffeine in the office by offering decaf options – it tastes just as nice!
5. FIND A HEALTHY RECIPE BOOK
There are many different cookbooks that can help you keep healthy whilst at work. For example, The Leeds & West Yorkshire Cookbook is a delicious recipe book that also tells you relevant, fun stories around Leeds and Yorkshire.
If your team don’t want to eat out for lunch every day, you could make sure they are aware what is a healthy option to pack in lunches. Swap the snacks for fruits and vegetables – even bring a bit of hummus to dip them carrot sticks into and provide a quick guide to top rated healthy cookbooks that are available in local stores to help promote healthy cooking at home.
6. CREATE FLEXIBLE WORKING HOURS
Flexibility can allow employees to structure their day to suit their lifestyle and strengths at work. Some people may work better earlier in the mornings than later in the day and vice versa.
Kick out the habit of set working hours (e.g. 9am-5pm with an hour lunch) and focus on the quality and effectiveness on employee’s work, leading to better outcomes and results.
7. PLAN EXERCISE OR YOGA
Did you know that 54% of yoga practitioners report that yoga helps them release tension ? This will help employees de-stress and balance their emotions ready for work. Research in Australia found that employees who walked 10,000 steps a day, and exercised in the gym three times a week, tended to be more productive than those who only walked 10,000 steps a day.
Promote local classes in the area for your employees to take part in either in their own time or an hour of work on a chosen day this week.
8. TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Training and development opportunities add value to both the workplace and the individuals. As well as improving employees’ skills, training and development allows employees to gain personal achievements whilst exposing them to new and interesting learning environments which generally are positive and motivational counteracting any negative stressful pressures they could be feeling.
Implementing in-house training courses can be time-consuming, if this is not possible there are plenty of external courses available across Leeds and Yorkshire, many free too. At Marshall’s Mill we are keen to help and support our tenants and therefore frequently hold skills development events. Check out our most recent Negotiation Skills Workshop for Business here.
9. IMPLEMENT A NEW TYPE OF MEETING
Meetings can sometimes seem boring and don’t get much engagement from employees. Instead of hosting all of your meetings cooped up inside a dark room lacking natural light, if possible, take a walking meeting. Take a walk outside around the building or in our case around the lovely estate. As well as the exercise encouraging a fresh perspective it is also keeping employees healthy and motivated.
10. ORGANISE A SOCIAL WELLNESS EVENT
Likely causes of stress at work can includes tight deadlines, lack of support or workload pressures among other factors such as mental health; anxiety and depression. In order to keep a positive and productive company your employees need to be happy and healthy.
One-way to do this is to hold company wellness day at work including popular activities. This can include cooking classes, stress management sessions, puppy days, staff surveys and much more. Wellness days offer a comprehensive, strategically designed investment in employees’ mental, physical and social health benefiting both yourself, your employees and your business.