As an HR or benefits manager, you’re always looking for ways to make life better for your company’s workers. But where do you even start? To help out, we’ve put together a list of easy, actionable ideas you can start putting into practice today.
1. Put green plants in your workplace
By providing oxygen, increasing humidity, reducing toxins, and adding warmth, plants can make the office a happier, healthier place. Snake plant, ZZ Plant, and English Ivy are great low-maintenance options, while oxalis and rex begonia will add a nice splash of color.
2. Install air purifiers
The best models for offices use true HEPA filters to capture over 99% of particles in the air. These will limit dust, allergens, and airborne pathogens that can make employees sick.
3. Install sound absorbing panels
By reducing ambient noise levels, these can improve employee concentration and reduce anxiety and stress.
4. Bring in more natural light
Seat several employees (rather than one) in an office or area with a window. Add mirrors to multiply existing light and use transparent or semitransparent partitions instead of solid ones.
5. Make conference rooms and spaces more inviting
Warm colors, pleasant artwork, and natural wood furniture make public spaces in your office more soothing and rejuvenating
6. Educate employees on good desk ergonomics
Let them know that proper seat and desk height can reduce muscle and joint issues, while adjusting monitor location and settings can improve eye health.
7. Encourage healthy meal options
For working lunches, bring in healthy, natural meals. For employee dinners at home, encourage or subsidize meal planning and grocery delivery options such as Hungryroot.
8. Bring healthcare into the workplace
Bring treatment options directly into your office, so busy employees can receive care easily. Eden Health and other companies can provide onsite care through workplace popups. You can also set up flu shot drives, “lunch and learn” seminars for stress management and nutrition, and biometric screenings.
9. Start a meditation group
This will help employees relax and feel more renewed. For larger groups, you can bring in a teacher; for smaller teams, conduct informal sessions using coaching from the Headspace app.
10. Coordinate out-of-office meetings between colleagues
By encouraging members from different teams to meet outside of work and socialize, you can foster cross-functional exchanges and even launch new friendships. One way to do this is to set up buddies for new hires from two different departments and encourage them to meet monthly or quarterly.
11. Make walking meetings a part of the culture
Have teams stroll your hallways or corporate campus during their next conference or touch-base. The change of pace, fresh air, and exercise will increase energy and participation.
12. Provide a monthly gym membership stipend
This will encourage employees to start a fitness regimen—and stick with it. Some companies offer as much as a $60 per month reimbursement. But even $20 a month has been shown to motivate up to three times more employees than no stipend at all.
13. Form company sports teams
A softball, flag football, volleyball, or basketball team can provide not only invigorating exercise but employee happiness and camaraderie.
14. Initiate company-wide fitness challenges
This can take the form of a single-day walkathon/run and/or a cumulative daily workout contest. Competition helps bring employees out of their exercise comfort zones.
15. Set up volunteer programs and volunteering days
This supports positive employee self-image, reflects well on the company, and—most importantly—benefits the community.
16. Give employees a vacation day on their birthday
Allowing team members to celebrate on their special day makes them feel happy and cared for.
17. Provide remote work flexibility
Allowing eligible employees to work from home, whether one day a week or five, can help them maintain an ideal work-life balance.
18. Subsidize development courses
By allowing your workers to continue their education, whether professional or personal, you help them reach their life goals—and to contribute even more deeply to your company. Some companies cover all education costs, while others provide a percentage of fees or cap at a certain amount. Note that many states offer government grants for companies that provide training for their employees.
19. Celebrate “Wellness Wednesdays”
Alleviate the tedium of “Hump Day” by trying out—or launching—any of the ideas on this list. This is a great way to overcome inertia if your office is set in its ways and resistant to change.