How small businesses can ensure a healthy workforce

Your workforce is the most vital component of your company, without a strong, reliable team, the day-to-day running of your business will make it difficult to run efficiently.

With this in mind, ensuring that you have a healthy workforce is incredibly important. We take a look at some of the ways in which you can keep your team fit and in good health.

healthy workforceAllow for exercise

Regular exercise is important in many different respects, whether it be for its mood-boosting effects, helping to reduce anxiety, stress and depression or its ability to boost physical health, encouraging your staff to keep fit is an excellent way to ensure the team remains strong.

You want to provide an environment that caters for exercise. This can be as simple as finding a location that is a healthy 10-minute walk from the nearest station, selecting premises with a built-in gym or even providing secure bike parking on your premises. Employers should push the cycle to work scheme, as there are tax breaks available for those that cycle to work including savings on bikes and safety equipment. 

Healthy snacks at work make a healthy workforce

Having small, healthy snacks (such as having nuts or a fruit bowl) available in the office can help to encourage healthy eating habits. Nearly everyone becomes susceptible to a mid-morning or late-afternoon snack, but it can be very tempting to go for the nearest thing available as a pick-me-up. In offices, this can often be a vending machine chock full of sweets and crisps, which can create an initial energy high, but quickly dip.

Eating healthy snacks leads to a more sustainable energy boost, leading to better productivity within the workforce and using companies like Graze and local fruit vendors make this very easy to have healthy snacks delivered to your door every day.

Create a productive work environment

The physical layout of an office is important to the health of your employees. For example, if the office is cramped, messy and with no real sunlight, this isn’t likely to have a great effect on the mental health of workers.

Several startups are accustomed to working in basements or garages but the lack of light, fresh air or heat can have a detrimental impact on an employee’s health.

Work out together

Doing activities outside of work – such as a gym or yoga class is a great way to keep your staff healthy (as well as you!) and it can be a way to facilitate team bonding. Weekly 5-a-sides and jogging clubs are very popular activities for companies in the summer. Even setting up a regular football game with a rival company is a great way to maximise participation.

In addition, if you all work out together on a weekly basis, it will most likely encourage you all to stick to the routine, as if you have all made a commitment to go to gym classes together, it encourages you to go.

Another option could be to have exercise bikes in the workplace so staff can do some light exercise on their breaks. Companies such as have a wide selection of exercise bikes and fitness equipment specifically for workplaces.

Health insurance

One of the more costly measures to ensure a healthy workforce is providing viable health insurance. Whilst the average policy costs around £1,000 per year, there are more affordable offerings for businesses. Notably, the use of health cash plans allows you to claim for 6 times what you pay towards appointments and treatments at dentists, optometrists, doctors and physiotherapists.

Not only does having quick access to private healthcare enable a healthy workforce, it also means that staff are able to skip NHS queues and spend less time in pain and more time being productive at work. It’s a win-win situation for both employer and employee.