June 20th, 2017
In an increasingly high-tech world, we are all spending more time sitting down at our keyboards or on our tablets and mobile phones. This might connect us with the outside world but can come at the expense of our own health.
Businesses can ill afford to lose too much time through staff sickness, and having fitter, healthier employees can also boost productivity.
As a leading supplier of managed office space in the UK, Basepoint is keen to promote wellbeing among staff of small companies. Here are five key areas where SMEs can help improve the health and fitness of their staff, especially over the summer.
Get Staff to Take a Break
This means not only getting people to take a full hour for lunch, or whatever their full entitlement is, but also making sure they don’t eat at their workstation. Encourage people to go outside, particularly during the summer months when they can really enjoy the fresh air. Even when the weather is not so good it is still important that members of take a break, maybe by having their lunch in a breakout area.
In the longer term, it’s a good idea to make sure everyone takes their full allocation of staff holidays not only in summer, but throughout the year.
Encourage Sporting Activity
Some larger companies have traditional sports days and long-standing tournaments, with trophies and prizes awarded, which pit fellow members of staff against each other. If organising this isn’t practical for you as a smaller company, you could arrange something on a more informal basis.
For example, sports activities could take the form of a casual game of tennis between employees over the summer months, or staff members could go running together. This kind of activity can also help internal staff relationships. If you want to go a step further, you could offer staff pedometers so they can record their levels of activity.
Your SME could also possibly look into offering a discounted membership on a sporting club or local gym. On the subject of subsidies, some companies offer discounted corporate healthcare schemes as well.
Cycling or Walking to Work
A number of companies offer financial incentives to staff who cycle in to work. This eases traffic congestion and pressure on parking as well as making employees fitter. The Government is keen on this, too; its Cycle to Work scheme offers tax advantages in this area and it is possible for small companies or even sole traders to take part, as long as they are paid through PAYE.
You could also encourage staff to walk or even run in to work, again particularly during the summer months. Some Basepoint centres, including Dartford and Haywards Heath, help by offering showers where staff can cool off after a run.
There are a number of ways to help staff eat more healthily. Instead of the ‘cake culture’, which often means people bringing in a selection of unhealthy sweet products and sharing them around, you could politely suggest bringing in free fruit. Or you could even regularly bring in a free bowl of fruit for staff to share. This is a small perk which can make a big difference to staff diet and morale.
In summer particularly, eating outside in a relaxed atmosphere is better than grabbing a sandwich for lunch and eating at your desk. You could go a step further and hold company business meetings outside, too.
Keeping Cool in Summer
Making sure your employees are not overworked or overstressed is important not just in summer, but all the year round. People are much productive if the office is somewhere they are happy to come to, as well as leave at their end of the working day. This can extend to the layout of the office furniture, making sure that it is not too cramped, and providing some breakout areas where staff can relax. You could also add some plants to make the office more welcoming.
Make sure the working temperature is acceptable, because you don’t want it to be too hot during summer. You could also consider relaxing any dress codes your company has, for instance about wearing suits and ties, during a heatwave!
If you are looking for a managed office in the UK, then Basepoint Business Centres have 32 affordable office centres in different areas of England, including Bromsgrove, Evesham, Broxbourne and Canterbury. We aim to encourage better health among our users, with breakout areas where people can relax during breaks from work. Click on the link if you are thinking of moving into Basepoint’s competitively-priced office accommodation and would like a quote.