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Your health may be affecting your company’s bottom line

Three small changes help create a healthy and productive business environment

By Brendan Rolfe

You care about your health, right? And you must care about the health of your business, otherwise you wouldn’t be an entrepreneur. Whether you recognize it or not, the life-blood of your business is you and your employees, and the success of your business can be a reflection of your team’s mental and physical wellness.

According to Statistics Canada, Canadian workers took, on average, 7.4 sick days per year in 2015. This means that in addition to staffing, scheduling, and administration costs, businesses that offer paid sick days lost around $1,500 in direct wages, per employee. While this may not seem astronomical to a layperson, small business owners, who already operate on razor-thin margins, can attest to the fact that an extra $1,500 per employee may be the difference between paying themselves for the next two months or not.

Stressed yet? Yeah, you probably are, which is a big part of the problem!

Additionally, a 2007 British study found that happier and healthier employees are significantly more productive, are less likely to be absent or tardy, and report a higher level of workplace satisfaction. This means a small investment in the health of both your employees and yourself can pay immediate fiscal dividends.

Here are three easy workplace mental and physical health initiatives you can start today:

  1. Mandatory breaks – For your employees and yourself. Consider implementing a mandatory policy where all of your employees take five minutes out of every hour to get up, walk around (or sit, if the job normally has them on their feet), and do something that is not work related, including not talking about work-related topics.
  2. Emphasize fitness – You may want to sign you and your employees up for a weekly bootcamp (bonus team-building!), bring in various health professionals for ‘lunch and learns’ each month, offer to subsidize all or part of gym memberships, or create a friendly health-related competition.
  3. Office plants – Yep, I’m serious. Studies have shown that adding indoor plants to your office not only improves the air quality, but it gives employees and customers alike a better sense of well-being. Start small, and no plastics. Adding a small plant to each employee’s desk will promote these benefits, plus a calming, nurturing effect. Win-win-win!

Interested in another quick and easy way to boost your business? Register yourself on the Shop Small Biz directory to reach your customers and prospects!



BRENDAN ROLFE is a former small business owner, a certified Health & Wellness Specialist, and a current Business Resources Counselor with the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. Brendan is a former (washed-up) professional athlete, a fitness and health enthusiast (maniac) and is keen (obsessive) about beach volleyball. Brendan has been happily counseling BC members for 2 years.

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