How Does Health Impact Productivity [Infographic] 79

How Does Health Impact Productivity [Infographic]

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.

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.

Optimizing ROI

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.

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9 Ways to Handle Change in Your Life [Infographic] 3

9 Ways to Handle Change in Your Life [Infographic]

When a big change happens in your life, it doesn’t have to be a negative change to have a huge impact on you.

Change causes uncertainty and our brains and bodies react to uncertainty by trying to protect us with the release of fight or flight chemicals and hormones.

The downside to this is that living with these for an extended time results in elevated heart rate and affects your digestion, immune systems and blood flow.

But there are ways you can regain control over your life even in the midst of big changes.

The first is to take a step back and reflect on what’s actually happening and what your involvement is, which will help you to understand and find perspective on the situation. Hopefully, this will enable you to find the opportunities that every change in your life brings, rather than obsessing over any short-term negative impacts.

It may also help you to allow yourself a transition period where you adjust to the changes. But with a firm deadline by which you expect to have moved on and settled into the new routine. Even if it doesn’t quite work out that way, it will still push you towards visualizing the end of the uncertainty, which will prepare you to make it happen sooner rather than later.

On a more basic level, you need to remember to look after yourself during this time of change and the related stresses.

It can be too easy to fall into bad habits like neglecting your own simple needs, like a good night’s sleep and staying active and eating right when you are going through something like this. Having a day in your pajamas eating ice cream out of the tub is fine. But your body needs sleep, exercise and nutrition to keep you healthy.

Routine can be a comfort when it feels like everything in your life is changing.

So try and stick to some simple ones like walking your dog every morning or going to a regular gym class to give your life some stability and consistency.

You also need the help and support of those around you. And having a strong support network is crucial when it comes to coping with big changes in your life. This means family and friends, but you could also seek out people going through similar experiences by looking online. There may well be communities who you can talk to and get helpful tips from.

Most importantly of all, you need to be aware of when you need more than just the love and support of other people to help you cope with stress and uncertainty. If you start to feel like your mental health is really suffering, or you have been feeling the symptoms of stress for more than a couple of months, you need to go and talk to a health professional to get the help you need to bounce back.

You can read more practical tips about dealing with change and the symptoms it causes in this infographic from Pounds to Pocket.