It is said that health is wealth, especially if you are an employer or project managing on a daily basis. Without good health, we wouldn’t be able to do anything, if that’s not the understatement of the year I don’t know what is. More specifically however the health and wellbeing of your team is imperative to productivity within the workplace.
One of the most common excuses people cite for not being in good health relates to not having the time or the energy to do what it takes to be healthy.
This is particularly true of working professionals, our own employees. Can we as employers really afford to let this be the reason our workforce are not well in work?!
Read on to add these simple steps into the workplace routine to ensure your staff are performing well, in more ways than one!
Being immersed at the desk, surrounded by monitors, computers and technology in general it’s easy for your employees to lose track of how much water their drinking in a day.
Dehydration is a source of irritability, lack of focus, poor concentration, muscle cramps, drowsiness and many other ailments.
Proving an office or workplace water machine will give employees the opportunity to drink more, stay hydrated and active.
Furthermore, having an area to drink water gives an excuse for employees to leave their chairs and move about. The watering station or hole is a great place to put up further health and wellbeing signs and messages for employees to take note.
I know as project managers we want people “crack on” and get on with the task at hand. But research suggests small bursts of work are more effective and efficient than long endless stints on the office chair. Furthermore we are aware that employees themselves do want to “crack on” and finish their projects so they can get out of the office on time.
However, encouraging short and sharp breaks on a regular basis will boost morale and productivity within your team. Taking a break does not waste yours or their time; it ultimately means your workspace will be more productive.
On the contrary, poor break management and endless time at the desk makes employees mentally lethargic and reduces creativity. Make it a point to get away from the desk, take a break and rejuvenate your team.
Stairway to Success
If your office environment is on the 1st floor or higher then many of your staff will take the lift and settle into their sedentary days without much thought!
However, what if you put a sign on the lift that says out of order?! This may not be very ‘PC’ but encouraging your staff to walk the stairs once a day will be enough to keep them active.
A burst of exercise to start the day or throughout the day will encourage your staff to fight off the repetitive strain that is often associated with desk jobs.
Ok, so maybe don’t pretend the lift is broken, but do suggest walk to desk days and ‘lift bans’ that promote physical exercise and “feel good” chemicals to surge around your PM team.
Meetings on the Move
Very often in the workplace there are meetings about meetings. Too often we gather around large tables essentially moving from one chair to different type of chair in another room. To combat this, ask yourself do we need a desk to discuss this!?
If you’re meeting one to one or even in a small group then meetings on the move can be your new go to!
Suggest walking to the coffee machine at the other end of the building or out into the carpark to have your smaller catch ups.
Giving your staff the opportunity to leave their seats, stretch their legs and dare I say it but get some fresh air will be a welcomed addition. Furthermore the change of pace and environment will boost employee mood and creativity making meeting up more worthwhile in the first place.
We get so caught up in the “our desk, our space” mentality that we look for solutions not to leave our sacred zone.
You may see your staff with flasks on or around their desk suggesting they won’t be moving for a while. Bearing in mind flasks are for camping and long journeys so we don’t need to promote this sort of sedentary behaviour within our teams.
Implement simple changes such as standing up when you’re on the phone or walking around checking emails on a work phone rather than their computer can help combat inactivity.
Furthermore try to keep emails for ‘external’ colleagues only as walking to inform a colleague within the same building will be much more beneficial than sending an email 50 foot away.
If your staff must be at their desks at key points throughout the day then simple stretching exercise posters can be placed around the working environment.
For example, promoting dynamic chest stretches, squats, arm and shoulder circles can be simple but very effective. Even small amounts of activity can add up and bring on positive benefits.
Moving staff around from their sedentary comfort zones and into a more productive, healthy and efficient environment will do wonders for them personally, as well as organisationally.