Workplace wellness is not just for big business. And a new guide can help midsize and small businesses recognize the benefits of — and easy ways to implement — wellness programs that work.
“Wellbeing at work can support increase productivity, improve staff performance and reduce absenteeism. This does create a business case, however, the benefits are felt at least as much by the wider economy, government and society as a whole,” writes the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which focuses on the wellbeing of small business owners and employees in the UK.
The FSB continues: “Small business owners can, and do, play a powerful role in improving the lives of their employees through a variety of actions – from innovative and new ideas to simple steps such as encouraging more activity and regular breaks.”
As part of its mission, the FSB has created a new guide titled Wellbeing in Small Business: How You Can Help.
Mike Cherry, FSB National Chairman, said in Workplace Insights: “Owning and running a business can be hugely rewarding. However, it brings with it demands, responsibilities and risks that can bring personal pressures that can impact a person’s health and wellbeing.”
Cherry continued: “Wellbeing can help increase our productivity, improve our performance and reduce absenteeism. There is a clear business case, however, the benefits are felt just as much in our health as individuals, but also by our communities and the wider economy.”
The guide covers physical wellbeing, mental health, office design, and more — areas where a well-run workplace wellness program can help midsize and small businesses.
For physical wellbeing, simple tips for midsize and small businesses include:
“Food and sleep – the building blocks of a healthy body: It is important that we eat healthily and get the right amount of sleep. Everyone should try and eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and drink plenty of water. If you’re putting on a spread for a client or an important meeting, think about ordering in some fresh fruit. Not getting enough sleep can leave you tired, unable to concentrate, anxious and increases the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity.”
“Make it fun – start an in-work fitness group: Physical inactivity is now identified as the fourth risk factor for global mortality… Inactivity can lead to an increased risk of conditions such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. The latest research shows that we should aim to get 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity throughout the week, or do at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity a week.”
“Two wheels are better than four: Cycle to work [programs] are a simple way to motivate your employees and promote a healthy, active commute.”
In the coming days, we’ll cover additional ways that midsize and small businesses can — and should — implement well-run workplace wellness programs and tactics.