It’s January – a time for New Year’s resolutions. Whether you stick to yours for 3 days or 3 months, it’s always worth trying out something new to become a better version of yourself. Here at Tunafish, as individuals we’re all doing something new in an attempt to be healthier, whether it be sticking to an exercise regime or simply drinking more water. But as a team, we’re working together to construct a comfortable work environment that will support and focus on the needs of everybody here.
And we think that you should try it out too! And to help you start off, we’ve compiled some ideas together to act as a guide for you to follow.
Show your team that you trust them
If you haven’t already, consider introducing flexitime. With an abundance of appointments and demands at home, it can be problematic for some people to stick to set times and hours. Flexitime often has a positive outcome and can be mutually beneficial as it increases employee loyalty and reduces the chances of staff members burning out.
Another great way of proving that you trust your staff is to offer one-day remote working every week or fortnight. The commute to work can often be long winded and draining. So giving your employees the chance to work closer to home for one day can reduce stress and optimise performance (also, lunchtime naps are always a bonus).
Do regular team building activities
Not only do team building tasks encourage camaraderie but they also help your employees to understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, meaning that the team will work even better together on future projects. They also encourage creativity, increase motivation and improve communication between one another.
One particularly fun example is to take your team to an escape room. All members are required to get into the same mindset, with the same common goal: to escape. It also provides a great opportunity to observe how each individual works and to identify particular skills. Some places even offer the chance for two teams to race against each other to escape from identical rooms. This is especially good for those who are competitive and you could even offer the winning team a prize.
Avoid long chair time
There’s nothing worse than sitting in the same spot all day. It may not seem physically taxing, but it can potentially cause some levels of pain or discomfort. Hence, it’s important to encourage your staff to leave their desks periodically. You should also insist that they eat lunch in a different spot too.
One great way to get people away from their desks is to introduce walking meetings. People will come back feeling refreshed, focussed and ready to work. It might be worth investing in some standing desks or cycle chairs too. But this depends on how active your employees are feeling.
Another method to get your staff moving is to set a reminder after every two hours of continually staring at a screen. Make sure that they take some time to be up on their feet to have a quick stretch and to take a look out of the window to reduce eye strain.
Be aware of mental health
Research shows that staying silent about mental health can be costly to your business. So, as an employer, it’s important to be able to recognise the signs of someone who might be in distress.
Encouraging positive communication around the office can be helpful in tackling the stigma that comes attached to mental health. Try to ensure that your staff feel comfortable talking to either a member of management or one of their fellow workers.
One particular way of tackling mental health problems in the workplace is to invite a professional to hold weekly meditation sessions. Or if you’re feeling brave, lead these sessions yourself. Research suggests that meditation can make you a better leader, and by using mindfulness techniques, both you and your staff will feel more relaxed, and therefore able to cope with stressful situations more efficiently.
Reduce stress as much as possible
Where possible, encourage your employees to not integrate their home life and work life too much. Or help them to find a work-life balance that suits them. It’s been revealed that those who maintain a steady work-life balance are more positive and productive in the office than those who don’t. It’s also important to ensure that your employees take their breaks, as opposed to working through them – an exhausted employee will not produce valuable work.
Think about introducing the notion of Mindful Mondays or Wellness Wednesdays and utilise certain time slots during these days to focus on your employees having some time to relax and de-stress. The activity that you decide on doing during this timeframe is completely up to you, but it could be a mini team building exercise, yoga or a calming mindfulness class.
Health is wealth. An unhealthy office will be sluggish and unproductive but if your staff are feeling healthy, they’ll have more energy and are bound to produce better work. As a manager, it’s beneficial to your business if you encourage your employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Try introducing mini exercise and healthy eating competitions between your employees. Who can do the most steps in a day? Who can swap their usual lunch for healthier options for a whole week? Encouraging these types of mini challenges promotes a more motivated environment. Plus, the competitive element will help to boost morale amongst the team.
At the end of the day, without your staff, your business would plummet. Hence, taking care of them should be your number one priority. Having a happy and healthy workforce increases productivity, and makes the work that they produce more efficient and focused. However, it’s also important to note that if you’re reading this as a manager, don’t focus your efforts solely on your employees, make sure to implement these tips to your own days in the office too.