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What Makes a Successful Corporate Wellness Program?

More and more companies today are rapidly and actively taking part in improving their employees’ wellness. It’s a positive development in the corporate environment because many of our daily habits are actually harmful to our health. Multitasking and continuous exposure to technology—two of the most common things we do at work—can overwhelm and end up making a person feel unproductive. Even worse, these circumstances can lead to other bad habits and more serious health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Not only the employees, but the company will also suffer. Inflated health care costs and decreased productivity are only some of the effects of poor employee wellness.

A corporate wellness program is a solution to remedy these undesirable effects. It can be implemented in many different ways, but the most important thing to remember is the employees are the focus of this program. Healthy and happy employees are the foundation of a successful company. Now, what does a good corporate wellness program look like? What are the factors that determine its success? And how can you design a program that actually works for your company?

A good corporate wellness program shouldn’t add to the complexity of office life. In other words, it should be simple and practical. It should also be integrated into the company structure and involves all employees. Employers must offer motivation and support to maintain the continuity of the program and therefore guaranteeing its success. Below are several concrete suggestions that you can do to implement a wellness program at your office.

Nutrition and Overall Well-Being

“Weight loss starts in the kitchen.” Don’t take this quote so literally, but look at the point it makes: good nutrition is at the core of getting healthy. With this in mind, here are some of the things you can do at your company:

Stock healthy snacks and drinks
An employee with diabetes can cost the company tens of thousands annually in health related non productivity, and that is just one single employee! Swap the candies and sodium-laden chips with fresh fruits and nuts. Stop supplying vending machines filled with soda and other sugary drinks and encourage workers to drink more water instead. Another way you can motivate workers to eat more healthily is to have lunch together so it feels more like a group effort.

Opt for stand-up desks and ergonomic chairs
Sitting for an extended amount of time can carry negative side effects, not the least of which is obesity. A Mayo Clinic study concluded that workers who sit less gain little to no weight compared to those who sit all day. Stand-up desks help employees to move from sitting to standing position easily, hence increasing physical activity. When they do have to sit, ergonomic chairs will help to support the lower back, maintain good posture, and prevent and reduce back pain.

Offer incentives to quit smoking
Studies show that smokers miss more workdays compared to non-smokers, which will eventually affect the company’s productivity. To help employees stop smoking, the company can offer financial incentives that are shown to be 3 times more likely to achieve success. [1].

Physical Health and Fitness

Be creative and turn your office supplies into workout equipment.
Anti-slip chair mats can serve as a yoga mat—a great way to get your employees moving.

Organize group activities.
Hold morning stretching and yoga sessions at work, or encourage workers to cycle to work.

Wearable technologies.
If you have a bit more budget, technologies like FitBit can help monitor workers’ activity level, fitness, and sleep quality.

Mental Health and Self Development

Let your workers socialize
Socializing can provide a small but much-needed break from routine and help workers to clear their head. A collaborative workspace will encourage and increase the workers’ chance to socialize whenever they feel necessary.

Post inspirational quotes around the office
Properly-placed motivations like quotes and appreciation of achievements fill the brain with positivity and in turn increase productivity.

Provide an open library
To help with workers’ personal growth, a company can supply various self-help and self-development books. If you’d like to be even more organized, you can arrange a book club where people can read and review books.


Create an employee lounge
Let your workers have a shut-eye moment to rest their brain from the hectic work hours. A short nap time can increase creativity and productivity, and also improve the memory.

Schedule break time and recess
Encourage your employees to take 5 minutes per hour to get up from their workspace and do something other than work. They can walk around, socialize, or grab some water and healthy snacks from the kitchen.

Offer extended vacation days
You can reward your employees by giving them the day off on their birthday or a short sabbatical for the best employee of the month.

Office Fun

Basically, you want your employees to enjoy coming to work. You can make this happen by holding some events at work, impromptu or otherwise, such as:

Setting up a chair race
If done properly, there’s no downside to this method. It’s fun, adrenaline-filled, and competitive at the same time!

Casual Friday
It doesn’t have to be Friday, really, but make sure to set aside one day where workers don’t have to be formal all the time. Bringing a little bit of ourselves to work is a lot of fun!

Play some music
Music is well-known to reduce depression, improve mood, and boost creativity. Make sure you choose soft tunes—loud music can be distracting.

As your organization learns to embrace healthier office habits, it can only improve employee wellness. You’ll notice that these suggestions are not overly complicated and most of them involve a group activity. But most importantly, all of them serve as a much-needed resource for your employees. You can choose which ever ones suit your company and your budget best—it doesn’t need to be this exact program.

So, are you ready to try them? Here’s a tip: start small. Implement just one of these ideas and before you know it, you’ll have healthier and happier employees, a better office environment and contribute to reducing health costs while increasing productivity.

JasonL has the people power and infrastructure to deliver office furniture from a single chair to an entire office fit-out. We are “Yes” people and have trained sales persons, interior designers, installers and office movers to make your furniture journey easy and enjoyable. You can find premium stand up desks at Jasonl.com.au

MFN Contributing Author