6 Low-Cost Ways to Keep Your Team Healthy

September 11, 2015

11:00 am

Healthy workers lead to a stronger workforce and bigger business success. It’s a fact proven by science, statistics, and numerous real-life examples of the most successful companies. Big industry players invest thousands of dollars per year in various wellness programs to woo and retain their employees. If you are a small startup, however, most of the cool sport perks can sound like too much for your budgets. However, there are 6 amazing ways to keep your team healthy (and happy) without breaking the bank!

1. Promote Smarter Snacking

Host healthy potlucks a few times a month and encourage employees to bring in nutritious dishes and snacks from home and share them together as a lunch. Instead of stashing your kitchen with free crisps and cookies, buy nuts, fruit, low-fat yogurts and other small and healthy treats. Sure, those might be slightly more expensive than pizza, but they’ll save you hundreds of health insurance dollars.

2. Invite a Yoga or Meditation Instructor

Offer 20-minute regular sessions during lunch or after work. According to this study, regular yoga and meditation practice reduces stress levels by 10 percent and drastically improves sleep. Less stress means a more productive team!

3. Adopt Walking Meetings

Rush everyone out of the conference room for a meeting on the go. Steve Jobs, Jack Dorsey, and Mark Zuckerberg are among the numerous fans. Why? Walking meetings boost creativity as the creative output of people increases by an average of 60 percent when they are walking. Five minutes of outdoor exercise per day can make your team feel more content. Additionally, walking meetings lead to more frank and productive thought exchanges with your colleagues and tear down the walls between the management and executors.

4. Start a Weekly Exercise Group

Running, rowing, boot-camp workout – it could be anything that appeals to most of your team. You can either hire a pro coach or, even better, ask a fitness buff on your team to guide everyone else during the session and break some fitness myths that may discourage a lot of folks from daily workouts.

5. Encourage Everyone to Take Timely Breaks During the Day

According to a recent study by Staples, 66 percent of employees spend over 8 hours a day at work, and more than a quarter of them don’t take a break except for lunch. Taking timely breaks is important for our brains to stay focused, retain information better and re-evaluate our goals. Your employees should not feel guilty for taking short breaks each other hour.

Encourage your team to try the Pomodoro technique to work in short, effective sessions on small tasks or use the newly researched 52-17 method based on the fact that most productive people work for 52 minutes at a time, then take a 17-minute break before getting back on task.

6. Allow Napping at Work

Design a cozy napping space where your employees can doze off for an hour once their brains need to re-charge or they’ve just got back from a business trip. Google and Hubspot are just among the few tech giants vigorously promoting the nap culture. The napping room can be booked like a conference room and there’s no limited time for using it. Short power naps were proven to be more effective than caffeine, raise alertness by 54 percent and boost productivity by at least 36 percent.

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Dianna is a former ESL teacher and World Teach volunteer, currently living in France. She's slightly addicted to apps and viral media trends and helps different companies with product localization and content strategies. You can tweet her at @dilabrien

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