5 Easy Ways to Promote Workplace Wellness

Many employees spend extended periods of the workday in the same position, whether sitting at a desk, or standing at a counter. Others find themselves making the same movements over and over, leading to the possibility of repetitive strain. Taking some simple steps to enhance the workspace, and incorporate movement and mindfulness into the workday, can have extensive physical and mental wellness benefits, including elevated morale, engagement, and productivity.

Promoting workplace wellness doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive for employers. We have compiled a list of five wellness ideas that are quick and easy for you to implement:

  1. Make the workspace inviting. Cultivate a productive atmosphere by encouraging employees to regularly declutter and reset their space. Choose comfortable, upright seating to promote good posture or invest in anti-fatigue mats to alleviate joint pain. If the area has limited natural light, brighten the mood with some lamps. Consider adding plants or other (safety-conscious) decor to the workspaces to boost the team’s mood, reduce stress, and improve air quality. Be mindful of how scents/perfume may irritate your employees and think about requiring a scent-free workplace. Download our free Environmental Sensitivities policy template.
  2. Encourage movement. Incorporating movement into your daily work routine has many health benefits and provides opportunities to reset and recharge. Recommend that employees regularly stand up, stretch, and take short walks or laps during the workday. Encourage them to adopt these positive habits in moments of downtime or go one step further and introduce standing desks or walking meetings to office environments! Alternatively, encourage regular rest breaks if employees’ daily work is physically demanding. Download our free poster that outlines a simple stretching routine.
  3. Set up lunchtime activities. Group activities are a fantastic way to instill camaraderie, advance team building, and create a positive work environment. Consider tailoring the activities to your employees’ interests and ensure that there are options for varying ability levels. Walking clubs and yoga are examples of lunchtime activities that you or an employee can organize to get started. If you want to go a step further, bring in a professional to lead the activities.
  4. Encourage focus time. Suggest that employees dedicate blocks of time to work on a task or project without interruption. ‘Focus time’ blocks increase employees’ productivity and reduce external distractions. Brainstorm how to combat monotony by breaking up repetitive tasks. Some employers even implement ‘No Meeting Days’ to curb excessive meetings and conserve workers’ time and energy throughout the week.
  5. Disconnect during non-work hours. Technology allows workplaces to be more connected than ever before, but it is important for employees to disconnect from work during their personal time. The most effective way to help employees disconnect from work is to allow them to choose for themselves how, when, and where to respond to work communications outside of work hours. You might consider putting in place a Disconnecting from Work policy for your business (required in Ontario from June 2, 2022). Download our free, customizable template.

The best way for employers to promote wellness in the workplace is to lead by example. When you prioritize your own wellness, it demonstrates to your employees that they should do the same. Incorporate these 5 tips into your workday routine to level up your leadership and improve the well-being of your workers.

Brought to you by CFIB's Wellness Hub - a wealth of help, information, and resources