Our top 10 free Workplace Wellbeing Tips
We all want to start our health and wellbeing journey in the workplace, but it is sometimes hard to know where to start and how to do it. In the past few years at Mind It Ltd, we have worked with many wellbeing managers, HR professionals and business owners in Leeds and Yorkshire who felt lost in the world of wellbeing. Their common trait was to feel stuck because of the lack of budget and resources available to invest in the wellbeing of their team members. And our answer to this is simple:
You do not need an extensive budget to focus on wellbeing in the workplace and to start wellbeing initiatives.
So here are our top 10 workplace wellbeing tips you might want to try in your organisation. Hint: they are all free to implement!
1. Encourage walking meetings
Walking meetings are a great way to get away from the common stuffed meeting rooms. They enable team members to get some fresh air, exercise and have a better focus with less stress. You will be surprised how it can support your team members to focus, make better decisions, and efficiently. If you are doing some brainstorming, or if you are trying to bounce ideas, walking meetings are an efficient option: you get creative when you move and get some fresh air! We would recommend no more than 3 people in a walking meeting though, to make sure you can hear, see and interact with each other easily. For more information on the benefits of walking, you can read this great article in the Guardian.
2. Start sleep-friendly initiatives
Sleep is the most underrated health habit. We tend to push back the bed-time hour and wake up early to fit more into our days. However, we need a fair amount of sleep to feel good, perform and interact positively with others. Why not having a nap-space? It can just start with a meeting room booked on a specific slot for people to get some rest if needed. A short 20-minute nap can boost your team members’ alertness, performance and overall wellbeing. Another idea is a late-morning friendly policy: you might want to allow your team members to arrive late sometimes, promoting flexibility of working hours, and enabling them to be at their best when they are at work, not just physically present. Or maybe a duvet-day, allowing your team members to have one day a year where they can relax, if needed?
3. Start a ‘no screen policy’ during meetings
Our screens (laptops, phones, tablets…) interfere with our ‘real’ social interactions. How many times has someone looked at their screen while you were having a chat? It is common practice. For your team to be efficient and effective during meetings, you might want to try a 'no-screen policy'. It would enable your meetings to be shorter, straight to the point and efficient. It would also enable your people to disconnect from the screens for a little while and to reconnect with others, take notice and feel better! If you need to take notes and write reports, why not having one person using their screen only, and writing the action plan for everyone?
4. Practice gratitude
We have a biased brain that focuses on the negative things rather than the positive ones. Practicing gratitude daily helps us to shift that tendency and to see the positive in every situation. As a team or as an organisation, practicing gratitude can take the form of sharing your latest happy moment with team members at the beginning of a meeting, sharing what you enjoyed during the week on Fridays or even implementing the 10-fingers gratitude exercise regularly, where people have to find and share 10 things they are grateful for.
5. Empower your people to start their own wellbeing initiatives
Who has a passion that could benefit others? Starting your health and wellbeing programme does not have to be very costly. You have people in your organisation that might have passions you don’t know of. Ask around and see if they might be interested in running a workshop or session around their passion in the workplace. Your team members would feel valued, get the opportunity to share their passion and connect with others on a different level.
6. Create a list of healthy food options around your workplace
Healthy eating is a key part of health and wellbeing, and you might want to make it easy for your team members. One way would be to create a list of healthy eating options available around your offices, along with directions towards these places, and – if you want to go one step further – a list of some of the healthy food choices that are available there. If you are a Leeds-based business, we have a blog specifically for you: What to do during your lunchbreak in Leeds.
7. Start a weekly or monthly 'tea & talk' time
You might want your people to meet. Regularly. And know who is this person they see every morning in the elevator but never had a proper conversation with. Organising regular tea & talk times is a way for your team members to feel valued, meet each other, create connections, build relationships and have a good time. You might want to do it weekly, on Fridays at 3pm for instance, or monthly, where you could invite all team members who have had their birthday this same month for example, so all of them can meet and share some tea and cakes!
8. Create a ‘Mindful Space’
It does not need to be complicated, fancy and expensive. Mindfulness is about taking notice, being in the present moment, nothing more. A mindfulness space is the opportunity for your team members to step back from their desk, relax and get energised. It can just start with a meeting room booked on a specific slot for ‘mindfulness time’ and shared on your internal social platforms so your team members know about it and everyone respects it.
9. Do and promote random acts of kindness at work
As simple as bringing coffee to one of your team members in the morning or complimenting someone’s new haircut. Being kind to someone, randomly, would bring a smile on this person’s face, make them feel valued, and make you feel great! Why not having a Kindness Day at work, where everyone should do something nice for someone else? World Kindness Day is every year on the 13th of November. Just saying!
10. Encourage stairwell use
Elevators are comfortable. What if we replaced one lift by going up the stairs once a day? This is a great opportunity to promote simple and efficient physical activity. You might want to provide posters for display in strategic locations (maybe to guide your team members towards the stairwells from the elevators lounge?). You might also want to use these posters to illustrate the health benefits of walking, climbing and exercising, especially for our heart. One sentence that we love is ‘BURN CALORIES, NOT CARBON’. You might also want to try a stairwell challenge to launch this campaign, equipping teams with FitBits or equivalent, and the teams who walked the most steps in one week could win a prize!
If you manage to do all of these wellbeing initiatives, well done you and the team! This is already such a good start to your health and wellbeing programme!
Would you like to get more insights into wellbeing and how to implement wellbeing initiatives in your workplace, or specific support and guidance? You know where to reach us! (email@example.com)