Boost Employee Health to Boost Your Bottom Line – Guest Post

Successful companies recognize that employees are a business’ number one asset. Happy and healthy employees are productive employees. From designing the work space with ergonomic office equipment to developing onsite recreation spaces, here are just a few ways to ensure your employees are happy, healthy and productive.

Furnish Ergonomic Office Spaces

At work, repetitive motions, awkward posture and stress on the musculoskeletal system are common. This can lead to pain, fatigue and discomfort, which often are the first signs of musculoskeletal disorders that affect the nerves, muscles, businessman doing yoga in officeligaments, tendons and joints. Ergonomic solutions can make employees comfortable in the workplace, decrease the risk of employee musculoskeletal disorders and increase employee productivity. Blue Cross Blue Shield found that ergonomic workspace designs led to a 4.4 percent increase in employee productiveness. This also reduces the potential risk of having to pay for high medical treatment costs and workers compensation claims.

To create an ergonomic office, consider replacing traditional workplace equipment like phones with headsets and stationery monitors with adjustable styles. Ergonomic office furniture retailer Relax the Back recommends using equipment like stand up desks, lumbar supports, footrests and ergonomic keyboards in the office.

Allow Flexible Work Schedules

Long days at the office can take a toll on employees. The largest Latvian IT company Draugiem Group discovered the secret to unlocking employees’ maximum productivity. This secret consists of a rotating work and break schedule of 52 and 17 minutes, respectively. It may seem obvious, but encouraging breaks leads to a high level of productivity.

However, implementing this technique into the daily work schedule may turn out to be a difficult task. Although managers may encourage workers to take breaks, some employees will be reluctant to take part because they don’t want to seem like they are slacking off, notes Inc.

Employers should be clear and state that breaks are valued and encouraged in the office. Managers also can provide perks like headphones and accessories, stocked break room cabinets, comfy relaxation areas and game rooms to encourage all employees to kickback and take a well-deserved break.

Promote Fitness

Arizona-based software company Infusionsoft has an onsite recreation room and football field for employees to use during break periods. Kohl’s has a 14,000 square foot facility just across the street from their headquarters that is equipped with free-weights, cardio machines, two fitness studios and locker rooms. The retailer charges $25 for a membership, but if an employee uses the facility more than eight times each month, access to the gym is free. Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California hosts seven state-of-the-art fitness centers on its campus and also subsidizes employee gym memberships.

These companies recognize that employees are the most valuable asset and have put these programs into place to increase employee productivity, job satisfaction and retention rates. Investing money into fitness centers and recreation rooms can lower long-term expenses including healthcare costs and can lower the rate of employee absenteeism while developing better performing employees, according to SparkPeople.

Dedicate a space within the building for a recreation area. Equip the space with free weights, stationery bicycles and weight machines. If an entire room dedicated to fitness is not within the budget, LIVESTRONG suggests equipping the office with stability balls, resistance bands and treadmill desks. Employers also can take note from Google and subsidize workers’ gym memberships.

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