motivation for your workforce

But promoting an active lifestyle has its problems in an office environment,  especially in those organisations where work is desk based.  Here are a few suggestions to help bosses and managers to motivate their workforce to get active and limber up. 

1.      Encourage flexible working hours

Giving staff the option of what time they arrive and leave the office can mean they develop healthy habits outside of work, such as fitting in a gym class in the evening or swimming in the morning.  Some employees may choose to take a longer lunch break and go for a half an hour run, making it up before or after their normal hours.  Physical activity is proven to prevent common reasons for sickness and absence such as back pain and stress and will rejuvenate concentration levels.  If there is a strong fitness enthusiast on the team, you could even ask them to start a lunch time fitness club, boosting staff morale and relations. 

  • 2.      Remind staff to move

Some workers get so engrossed behind their keyboards that they rarely move around the office – while this may sound good for work productivity, it is not good for an employee’s health.  Back pain can be caused by bad posture and staying in one position too long.  Remind staff to get up from their workstation at least once an hour – encourage spreading out their photocopying or filing tasks, or ask everyone to make their own coffee in an attempt to get people taking a trip to the kitchen and back rather than relying on the generosity of others. Bringing in specialist equipment such as stand up desks and active ball chairs is also worthy of consideration, particularly if your business loses a lot of employee work days per year to complaints such as back problems, stress and RSI.

  • 3.      Give each employee a task

Delegating physical tasks to different employees ensures each member of staff will have something to do away from their desk and computer.  Although some tasks may be menial, such as fetching stationary or greeting a visitor in reception and escorting them to the office, giving staff time away from their desk is a vital tool in improving the health of the workforce. 

  • 4.      Create an alternative relaxed working space

If there isn’t already, buy some informal, relaxing furniture and place it around the office.  Depending on the available space, you can have one designated lounge area or a few separate sofas sparsely arranged for employees to utilise.  Promote this space not only to use during their break times, but during their working hours too.  Short meetings could take place there, or creative thinking and note-taking – remember, walking to and from their desk than sitting in a different chair is good for your employees’ health.