There’s a world of difference between a business cycle and a fitness cycle. And yet research shows there is a correlation between a workforce that is physically fit and a company that is fiscally fit.
Health impacts productivity to a great enough extent that it benefits companies to encourage their workers to be active, eat well, and practice other healthy behaviors. The accompanying infographic highlights some findings, by the numbers—none more important than the determination that 77 percent of productivity loss can be attributed to health-related factors.
One such factor is sleep deprivation—and it alone is responsible for an estimated $63.2 billion in lost productivity each year.
One of your biggest investments as a business owner is in your workforce. In many industries, in fact, more than 50 percent of operating expenses go toward payroll, benefits, and contract labor.
Maximizing your return on this investment requires ensuring that your workers are as productive as possible. Unfortunately, productivity has several natural enemies. Absenteeism is the most obvious, but illness, fatigue, and lethargy are on the lengthy list as well.
Studies have found that there’s an increase in the risk of productivity loss among employees who smoke or have poor diets or who lack regular exercise.
What’s more, and it’s significant, is that just one unhealthy behavior is enough to decrease productivity. So a drop-off in a worker’s efforts might be more about diet than dedication (or lack thereof), and easier to address. But trying to improve productivity without encouraging wellness could be an exercise in futility.
Tips for Being Healthy At Work
An overwhelming 87 percent say job seekers take health and wellness offerings into account when they are considering job opportunities.
Helping employees flex their muscles and get stronger might yield a stronger balance sheet in addition to improving their health. Encouraging crunches in the cafeteria might be overdoing it, however. Here are some easier-to-manage suggestions:
- Encourage employees to park as far from the entrance as possible. This promotes walking, and extra steps daily really add up.
- Allow employees to take very short walks hourly to keep moving. In fact, they can set alerts as reminders to tour the office or hallway.
- Supply healthy snacks. Most employees will take advantage of freebies, giving your company influence over their choices.
- Cater company lunches with healthy fare. Think fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean protein sources.
- Pass along the importance of staying hydrated.
- Set up a lounge area that allows workers to grab a quick nap during their lunch breaks. A rested mind is a more productive one.
- Encourage occasional stretching, a good stress-reduction technique.
- When catering larger corporate events, order healthy items from the menu.
Putting a Plan Into Action
Print the accompanying infographic and share it with your workforce to help them think healthy, and they will literally be taking steps toward being more productive.
About The Author
This is a guest post by Jeff Richau, the Client Success Coordinator at ZeroCater in San Francisco. Richau has been with ZeroCater for three years, has planned thousands of catered office lunches, and even helped launch ZeroCater in the Chicago market.